This is exactly how you don’t want to look when shopping with your kids – angry and empty-handed.
In our survey, one in four women told us that “lack of time to shop” was their biggest fashion issue since becoming a mum.
As one woman lamented:
“I have one hour (max) to walk around a shopping mall to find the perfect outfit. My mind is elsewhere, the kids are going nuts, and I inevitably end up leaving empty-handed and feeling annoyed.”
So we’ve compiled a handy check-list to help make the most of your next retail window of opportunity.
9 ways to have happier, faster, more successful retail therapy
(with the kids in tow).
1. Research the terrain.
Knowing what you want before you hit the mall will make it easier to ensure you don’t spend heaps of time, and still leave empty-handed. Flick through mags and tear out what you like, check out your favourite websites and blogs, and get a clear idea for what you’re after and who might stock it.
2. Pack for the mission.
If you’ve got to take the kids with you, make sure you’ve got plenty of things to keep them occupied. Depending on their age that includes snacks they love, toys or gadgets they are besotted by (hello iPad!), and have a
bribe reward ready for them when the shopping expedition is complete.
3. Dress for Speed.
Don’t go out wearing anything jingly, jangly, or remotely spangly – it’ll just get in the way when you’re pulling off your clothes to try things on while your two-year old is ramming the nearby mannequin with his nappied butt. Stick to tops that can be pulled on and off fast, and slip-on style shoes – ballet flats, loafers or flip-flops are your friend.
4. Wear your hair in a ponytail.
10 tops pulled over your head in less than an hour are going to give you major static. Pull it back into a pony, and shove a hat in your bag in case your hair starts looking like a BRATZ girl.
5. Go to the loo.
I’m lookin at you AND your kids! You know it’s inevitable that your toddler will announce that they need to do a poo – loudly – the minute you are down to your scanties in the change room, so make sure they go before you hit the stores. And if you’re drinking the litres and litres of water that Elle MacPherson recommends for glowing skin* then you’ll probably be busting without much prior notice too. You’ve been told.
Only enter the stores that you know suit your figure, your budget and your style. When you’re pushed for time there’s little point in flicking through the dainty Allanah Hill lacy dresses when you’re more of a Cotton On kinda gal.
As Mugato the crazed fashion designer chanted to the hypnotised Derek in ‘Zoolander’ “Do not get distracted by the beautiful people!” Same applies for clothes when you’re on a shopping mission. Do not get distracted by items that are not on your list – even if it is a silver sequin unstructured bolero jacket in the window of Sportsgirl (you can buy it online later like I did…)
8. Don’t get on the chat with the sales people.
It’s tempting. But they’ll lead you astray (see point 7. above re. Focus). You’re not there to talk about the weather, the state of the economy, how cute your kids are, or the shade of your lipstick.
9. Ask for help.
Approach the sales people and give a clear description of what you are after – they’re there to help, and a good one will be really pleased to help. Start moving toward the door the minute they reply in the negative though, and do this before they can start suggesting something that’s not on your list, as it may lure you off track (again, see point 7. above re. Focus)
Gwyneth’s looking chilled after a successful shopping trip with her daughter, Apple.
How do you survive a trip to the mall with your off-spring? Had any horror crazed-fembot moments when shopping with your kids? Or are you sorted like Gwyn? If so, c’mon and spill your speed shopping secrets!
* Something tells me there’s a bit more to the condition of Elle’s skin than just H20.