3 Things I’ve Learned from Clothes Shopping with Other Women


clothes shopping

A typical Saturday during my tween years (before that term even existed) consisted of coordinating a trip to the mall with as many girlfriends as could fit into one of our parent’s cars. After dropoff, we’d beeline to the food court’s salad bar (already conscious that girls should watch what they eat), and then spend the day bouncing from store to store. The usual suspects: Contempo Casuals, Claire’s, Delia’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Spencer Gifts, and Sam Goody.

I didn’t really remember what it was like to shop with a bunch of females in this way until I started attending private shopping parties at my favorite boutique in San Francisco, Ambiance. It’s just as much fun as the old days, full of laughter and non-stop chatting, and it’s made even better by having access to private stylists, free champagne, appetizers, and desserts! It’s a tween girl’s dream come true, but now that I’ve been to several shopping events, both with my best girlfriends and with less close-knit groups, I’ve noticed a few common themes that we, as women, just have to stop doing: 

We believe we are a larger size than we really are.

I’ve been guilty of this and so have many of the other women I’ve shopped with. Recently, one of our very own SF Moms Blog contributors was complaining about how she can’t find jeans that fit her correctly. Then one of the Ambiance stylists gave her a smaller size to try and, voila! It was a perfect fit. Size does matter when it comes to wearing clothes that fit your frame properly, but beyond that, it’s just a number – one that can vary greatly from brand to brand. Don’t get hung up on it.

We’re hesitant to buy clothes out of our comfort zone.

There’s something wonderful about finding your personal sense of style and curating a wardrobe that feels like “you,” but the fun of wearing women’s clothing is how many options we have. It’s fascinating to watch another woman come out of the dressing room looking downright hot and then crinkle her nose in the mirror because she’s wearing something she wouldn’t normally buy. You absolutely have to feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing, but sometimes it’s worth turning off the voices in your head and listening to the compliments being shouted around you. 

We don’t see ourselves the same way everyone else does.

No matter how positive our own body image is, our perception of ourselves is different from how other people see us. I remember trying on a pair of white jeans and feeling like my thighs had tripled in size, but all of my friends told me how amazing they looked on me (and we’re a brutally honest group). Fast forward to that same pair of pants on a different woman, and I thought she was crazy for not wanting to buy them. We have some sort of filter in our brains that prevents us from seeing ourselves objectively. So, if you look in the mirror and think you look like a “5,” add 5 more, and that’s what everyone else sees. 


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Because I don’t have a lot of free time for myself, Ambiance private shopping parties are the primary way I refresh my wardrobe. I get to hang with friends, shop in peace with focused attention from the stylists, and get discounts on my purchases, but even these special nights are hard to coordinate, which why I was so excited to hear about Ambi-Care packages. With this convenient service, clothing and accessories will be handpicked and shipped to your home for you to try on in private. There’s no minimum order, no service fees, and no commitment. My mother-in-law, who doesn’t live in the area, actually signed up for the service the last time she visited because it’s such a win-win! Reach out to julierhodes@ambiancesf.com to coordinate your first package, and promise me you’ll add 5 when you see yourself in the mirror. 


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