2 In Shopping Tips

Shopping with Girlfriends — a good thing?

shopping bag JennyA client confessed this week that she’d gone shopping with a couple of girlfriends and came home with a few items that she hoped we’d like (Erin and I, her wardrobe coaches) but regardless of whether we did or not, she was convinced she needed to find a way to handle the situation differently in the future.

Maybe you can relate.

The situation: A friend says, “You’ve got to check out this store I found. It’s great! Let’s have lunch and I’ll take you there!”

The particulars: This shop owner is very enthusiastic about her point of view. She’s dressed very dramatically and no matter who comes in the store, she thinks everyone can do what she does. In fact, there’s no other way! You’d be silly to even try!

Complications: It’s a store that doesn’t keep regular hours. It has a no-return policy. What you purchase is yours forever, unlike major department stores like Nordstrom or Macy’s where you can think about it and change your mind without losing any money.

Shopping psychology: Friends just love helping friends spend money.

I’m not pointing fingers because I have some of this in me! Although I don’t believe one store will suit everyone, I do enjoy it when I’m shopping with friends and we ALL buy something. We each walk out of the store with a bag in hand and all is right with the world.

What is that? A ritual that dates back centuries? A bonding experience? Making memories?

I don’t get a chance to do it very often. I do personal shopping as part of my wardrobe and style services. I’m not much of a shopping-as-sport person. I’d rather be hiking on the weekends than shopping. But I must admit that I did bring two friends to a store I love in Sonoma last Saturday and I was thrilled when one of them purchased a dress and the other one was considering a handbag. I bought a bag as well, with their encouragement, and I’ve used it every day. I can’t wait to see my friend wearing her new polka dot dress. It will bring back the memory of poking around the store together that day.

But for my client, it was a mixed experience. One sweater was good and will be better in December because of the color. One sweater was not so good. Not a great color even though her buddies were saying, “Oh, you have to have that!” And a necklace was too large scale but I figured out a way to redesign it so we’ll make it work.

“I just don’t like being in those pressure shopping situations,” my client said. “I think I need to either avoid them or say I’ve just done some shopping and I’m not going to purchase anything today.”

What’s your experience with shopping with friends? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? If it’s not a great experience, how have you handled it so you have a better outcome?

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  • Reply
    March 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I only go window shopping with girlfriends — or, at most, look-and-maybe-try-on. When I really want to find and buy clothes, I need *time* — which I don’t have when someone is waiting for me. I can’t try on eight(teen) pair of jeans, or keep going from store to store for the right-shade-of-blue blouse when I feel rushed by the needs and schedules of others. That said, going shopping with girlfriends is great fun! As long as I don’t plan to buy anything.

    • Reply
      Brenda Kinsel
      March 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Love your shopping sense! And I love that you’re willing to try on 18 pairs of jeans. Sometimes it takes that 18th one before you go YES!!! Thanks for your share, Lindsay!

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