I recently had a conversation with my sister-in-law about the joys of what I call “spa shopping.” Spa shopping is another phrase for eye buying, not to be confused with window shopping. It is the act of entering one of your favorite shops or boutiques and just enjoying looking at the colors and the shapes, imagining them on your body, or in your house, or on your children. And once you’ve scoured every inch of the store, you leave feeling fully satiated and relaxed and maybe even a little empowered without ever opening your wallet.
I had a hard week at work and when Friday night came around I needed a quick way to relax. As I was closing down my computer I decided to visit one of my favorite boutiques, Ode in Northampton, Massachusetts. I meandered the aisles, chatted with the sales associates, tried a few things on… and felt relaxed and renewed. I have always enjoyed walking the aisles of Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s. And in my edgier moods, Barneys never disappoints. When I travel to my hometown of Pasadena, California, I almost always pop into Koi, Rue de Mimo, Marz, and Camille de Pedrini’s to catch up with the girls and see what’s new and beautiful. In my 20s this would have not been possible, but in my 40s I have acquired the self control to be able to truly enjoy this activity. It is like going to a museum and actually getting to talk to curators about their choices.
And because of this well-cultivated activity, when I am ready to make that purchase I know it is what I want. In this consumer-driven culture, this makes me feel like I am in the driver’s seat.
Walk into an old favorite boutique or explore a new spot. Without opening your purse or feeling any pressure to buy, enjoy the store design, the colors, and the shapes. Strike up a light conversation with the sales associates. Then walk out with all of your money, still in your purse!
Tags: Barneys, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, relaxing, shopping