Women love to shop. This stereotype follows us around from marketing strategies to jokes to husbands grumbling about our shopping trends to his friends. This stereotype is mostly true, but the store of choice varies widely. Shoppers often choose their favorite stores primarily by cost. Are the goods inexpensive, in the middle or costly? This varies somewhat depending on what the individual thinks about the value of quality versus quantity. Some people may only shop high end clothing, but be content to buy their coffee maker at Walmart. Others buy everything at Target except for kitchen ware which is bought at Spoons N Spice or from their Pampered Chef consultant.
I like to buy my clothing at Ross, but will on occasion spend more to buy quality long lasting garments. My shoes, well they usually come from Payless and my purse comes from where ever I can find an inexpensive one that I like. I hate purse shopping. As for accessories I use what I have and seldom buy more. Clothes, shoes, accessories, hair products, home decorations, etc. I'm not all that interested in shopping for. I have my moments when I get excited about some of these things, but overall they have a small appeal.
There are two types of stores that I love. The first is book stores. I don't often buy books, but I love walking through books stores. My favorite stores are the ones that sell used books. They are a little dark and smell like moldering paper. The shelves are close together and there is usually a room with books stacked in piles. This is the bargain room where, if you have the patience, there is a fabulous treasure awaiting you for a $1.50. I also like the books sellers at street markets or garage sales that have books. It is an adventure in which you're never quite sure what you will come away with.
I love gear stores. REI, Patagonia, and EMS are just some of these wonderful stores. The atmosphere is relaxed and you can show up wearing grubby outdoor clothes. These stores feature quick dry and optimal performance clothing. In the winter you can find gear for all varieties of winter sports, but as summer approaches skis are replaces with bikes. One of my favorite sections is the camping section. I love just wandering around looking at all the gadgets to enhance your camping/backpacking experience. I read labels and debate whether a small foldable bowl is a better tool than a metal one. I contemplate the wall of water bottles with the new colors and tell myself that I already have at least five, I don't really need another one. I spend time with the spools of rope, feeling the different kinds. You can never have enough rope. I can spend quite some time wandering around these stores just looking. I was in REI yesterday trying to figure out how to spend my dividend. I decided on a camp chair, one that will be perfect for camping trips, ball games, the beach, or reading my book on my lawn. I exercised incredible will power and limited myself to that single purchase.
I have always viewed myself as being different from most women as I'd rather be comfortable than fashionable and I spend much more time comparing backpack specs than I do in choosing my makeup. But in the end I'm not all that different. You might drool over another woman's stilettos in the same way as I longingly look at colorful well designed backpack. I love shopping, it just has to be the right kind of store.