Shopping with a friend has always had such a fun "ring" to it. The idea is great! Spending time with your friend, buying new stuff, people watching, catching up… all at the same time. Great way to spend your time right? Going shopping with a friend is like taking the relationship to another level. You are going to be faced with being honest, learning whether or not you can trust and value their opinion, whether you’re willing to make sacrifices, and perhaps put up with some personality clashes. All in all, you get a good sense of where your friendship is at and your friend’s personality.
Well, shopping with a friend can absolutely work or it can absolutely not work. It all just depends. Here are a few things to consider before you go and some tips on how to make it a day well spent for the both (or perhaps more!) of you. If all goes well, your friend could be your stand-in personal shopper! :)
Firstly, besides knowing how much you can spend (because staying within your means IS important! ), think about what each of your goals are for shopping. Are you looking for an overcoat? A dress? New workshoes? Just looking around and buy something if you like it? And what is your friend’s goal? Knowing ahead of time what your goals are might just help keep frustrations away near the end of the shopping trip.
Be willing to go to stores you would normally not walk into. This is where making sacrifices comes in. Are you willing to go with your friend into a store you would normally walk by as fast as you can, and actually help her/him find what they need? You might not agree with their choice of store but in order to help your friend find what they want, be able to say; "alright, I’ll go with you." Making an effort and actually looking for suggestions will help you look beyond yourself and let your friend know you think about them just as much as you think of yourself.
Be honest. Always be honest. This is my opinion. Even if you don’t like what they are wearing, be honest. It is better to say "I don’t really like how it makes you look right here, but if you feel comfortable in it then you should get it." This way your friend can never say or think; "why didn’t she say something? why did she say she liked it? Didn’t she see it?" when they might not like it when they get home. Taking a friend along is like getting a second opinion from the doctor. It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at it, even if you don’t agree. It either helps you strengthen your sense of what your style is, or it can save you from buying something that really wouldn’t do you much good. And sometimes friends help you find things you would never consider buying yourself either! So, be open minded yet at the same time know what YOU would feel comfortable wearing.
The first time you go shopping with a new friend it’s a good idea to keep the time limited. If it turns out to be a good time, you can rearrange other things, and if it’s not really working for either of you – you know when you will be done so you can get to doing other things and know in the future going shopping with this person is not such a good idea, but perhaps just coffee or a walk in the park or going out for dinner is a much better idea.
Two tips for keeping your own peace of mind while shopping:
♦ Take a look at your friend’s sense of style and dress and decide how much you value their opinion. Do you like their style? And most importantly, do you like their values in dresscode? You may not like their style so much but you might like their values such as – do they value "covering up" as much as you do, or do they let it all "hang loose"? Do they value quality over quanity? Do they know how to dress for their body shape and know how to highlight and camouflage body parts? Decide before you go shopping with them so you know how high to value their opinion of what you’re thinking of buying – this will silence any insecurity and doubts their comments may put in your head; or on the other hand, change your mind toward something you might never else have bought!
♦ Can you trust their honesty? Are they really concerned with whether you will be happy with your purchase and whether it really makes you look good or not? Or do they just want to say something and pretend they know what’s best for you but can’t wait to try on their own things?
Put these two tips together and you will know whether or not to listen to your friend’s opinions of clothing you are wanting to buy.
Other than that, do take some time to enjoy a treat for all the hard walking around the stores you’ve done and catch up with your friend! Shopping can be a great time investment for your friendship! Have fun!