People are often divided in their views on shopping, especially when it comes to who you should go with. Pop culture is commonly filled with tropes of group shopping, whether it be the gang of girls hitting the stores together as an elated squad or the overspending girlfriend dragging her bored boyfriend around the mall. Aside from Carrie Bradshaw’s frequent solo shopping escapades in the fashion-filled Sex and the City series, group shopping outings are usually the depicted norm, however, one survey reveals that this may not be everyone’s preferred way to shop.
Last April, YouNeedABudget.com conducted a survey of 1000 Americans to find out about their shopping habits and preferences — nearly two thirds of those questioned, 63%, admitted they would rather shop alone than with friends. Google ‘shopping alone vs. with friends’ (or something similar) and you’ll find that most of the people either writing or commenting on articles prefer solo shopping trips for a number of reasons, many opting to join friends when they plan on solely browsing but going alone to actually purchase something in particular.
But what about those special occasion shopping trips like the search for a prom dress or a wedding gown? Maybe day to day shopping alone is preferred, but I struggle to think of anyone who wouldn’t want their squad in attendance when picking out the perfect item for their big day. Many people also like having their friends with them on ordinary shopping trips because they enjoy company on tiring days spent traversing the mall or to get a must-needed yay or nay to something they’re trying on in the fitting room.
Clearly, there’s benefits to both group shopping and solo trips which often depend on the kind of shopping you’re doing and the purpose of your excursion — here’s our two cents on the subject:
Pros of Shopping Alone
You Make Your Own Schedule
Everyone shops at their own pace, thus many people find shopping with friends stressful as some in the group may feel rushed while others feel slowed down. Solo shopping means you can take as long or as little as you like, leaving ample time to agonize over colour choices or flip through each item in an overflowing sale rack. Sometimes I look at myself in the fitting room for eons or try on two different sizes of pants multiple times before making a final decision — I doubt the squad would want to wait around for that.
You Choose the Stores
Shopping alone also means any and every store you wish to visit is fair game. There’s no comparing how much everyone in the group spent and no guilt about dragging your shopping companions into a store that only you are interested in — so indulge in those guilty pleasures and hit up that store your friends are supposedly “too old” for now.
Much Needed ‘Me-Time’
There are many activities that feel liberating when done solo (going out to eat, seeing a movie, etc…) and shopping is one of them. When I embark on my solo shopping missions, I can’t help but feel like I’m pampering myself — it feels both rewarding and indulgent when I leave the store with something special and give myself a little mental pat on the back for a job well done. There’s no distractions or other people to consider, just some time to do me and browse/try on/buy whatever tickles my fancy that particular day. So go on, “treat yo self!”
Cons of Shopping Alone
Your Friends Can’t Give You a Second Opinion
One of the biggest drawbacks of shopping solo is not having your partner(s) in crime there to give you their highly valued opinion on an item. We’ve all been there — you try something on, spin around in the mirror several times, look at it from every possible angle and still can’t decide if you should buy it or not. Sometimes we opt to text a photo to a friend or venture out of the safety of the fitting room to ask a sales associate, but nothing beats getting your bestie’s feedback!
It’s Less Fun Without Company
Solo shopping certainly has its practical qualities that make you feel like a strong independent woman, but it can get a little lonely too. Sure, the squad may slow you down and you might have to compromise on some things, but you’re also able to have a mid-shopping mall pretzel intermezzo with a pal and laugh together in the fitting room at that super trendy item that just does not suit you. Plus, you can all celebrate when one of you finds exactly what you’re looking for, in your size, on sale. Yas queen!
You Overlook Items Your Friends Might Pick Out
Most people have a tendency to buy the same things over and over. There’s nothing wrong with that since it makes sense to buy things you know you’ll actually wear, but sometimes it’s nice to have a friend there to encourage you to try something different. For most of my life, my mom bought primarily beige clothing — I always sat impatiently in the change room asking “don’t you already have that?!” and begging her to try something new. She eventually did, and although beige is still her go-to, she now has a diverse range of coloured pieces she loves. So next time you’re shopping with your pals, humour them — you may be surprised by the results!
Do you prefer shopping solo or with your squad? Comment below!