Wednesday, May 19, 2010

shopping woes

Gentle readers, I am curious: when shopping for clothes for yourself, do you prefer to shop with others or alone?

I am, admittedly, a slow shopper. I prowl for bargains, usually visiting each of my favorite stores once to study the options and then returning to the store that offers the best deal for my desired item(s). I hog the dressing room, often taking in two sizes and multiple colors of each garment and trying everything on at least twice. At my favorite stores, one trip to the dressing room is never enough for me; I often sweep through the store once more after I've made my first-round selections just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I don't shop for clothes often, maybe two or three times per year, but when I do, I try to make my trips worthwhile and buy everything I need.

I wish I could shop online--it would save so much time! But when I can buy a size extra-small in one top and a size large in another style, from the same store, I need to try on every item, in multiple sizes, before I buy it. And who wants to deal with all that shipping, anyway?

Because of my shopping habits, I prefer to shop alone. I feel bad subjecting others to my poky tendencies, and to be honest, I don't want to be pressured to hurry up.

When Brad and I first got married, he followed me around the clothes racks in my favorites stores while I browsed, often so close on my heels that when I stopped suddenly, he crashed into me. I finally broke him of that habit by directing him toward the nearest chair and encouraging him to relax. Now, he's much, much, MUCH more patient when waiting for me than he used to be (thank you, BlackBerry!), but I still can't help feeling rushed and unproductive if he's with me when I'm looking for new clothes.

Brad and I made the mistake of going to Banana Republic in Georgetown last Saturday afternoon because we both wanted to pick up a few new things for our upcoming vacation. It was an absolute madhouse. I have never seen so many people crammed into a clothing store, even during the holiday season! The clerk advised Brad and I to share a dressing room, which we eagerly agreed to do to avoid a longer wait. But when we entered the claustrophobic 3x3 space, both of our arms crammed with clothes, I knew we had made a horrible mistake. We're lucky we're still married after that debacle. Clothes spilled out of the tiny room because we didn't have enough hooks. Brad stood between me and the mirror the entire time and I couldn't see a single outfit I tried on. He claimed he had nowhere to go when I asked him to move! After about three minutes, we both got frustrated, gave up, and marched out of the store without buying a single item, a rare occurrence for both of us, but especially for Brad, whose casual wardrobe comes mostly from BR.

We soothed our frazzled nerves with a treat from Georgetown Cupcake, an act not at all conducive to fitting into vacation clothes, but much needed for keeping us sane and happy. And married.

I went shopping the next afternoon for two hours, ALONE, and bought almost everything I needed. Shopping solo = success!


rebecca.d.winnett said...

I laughed out loud at the thought of you two sharing a dressing room. I too prefer to shop alone, but often think I need someone's advice...if only we could have our cake and eat it too.

Organized Living by Amy said...

When it comes to clothes, I only shop alone. I don't try as much on as you do, but I do look for a bargain. Until the flood, I would go to the BR Outlet on a Friday night. It was glorious.

Mania_Momma said...

Sooooolo. Ha ha. I'm a fan of shopping at places like Nordstrom Rack, TJ MAxx, Marshalls. You know, places where you can find amazing bargains, but it takes some work and patience? Yah. So if someone who shops similarly wants to accompany If not, I'm far better going it solo. The bigger challenge is finding time to shop without the kiddo. Now THAT is a challenge ;)

Rachel said...

Great story! I too enjoy some solo shopping which is when I seem to find my best deals. Justin tags along and I feel either rushed or feel the need to help him shop for deals. So solo it is!

Caitlin said...

Oh my goodness, I can't imagine you two trying to share a dressing room! I can't get any shopping done when I go with anyone else, it's definitely better to just set aside the time to do it right.

Katie said...

I agree, I'm much more of a solo shopper too - perhaps the older we get the more concerned with are with the clothes we buy and our clothes are probably a bit more expensive (even with bargain shopping) so it just makes more sense to go alone and have the time and space to think about your purchases.