A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

7 Ways to Shop Like Kate Middleton

 Today, several of you started school - high school, college, or graduate school. Which means you have all done (and still have yet to do!) a copious amount of shopping. I, along with the future queen of England, am here to provide you with insight for your next shopping trip.

It’s the thought that counts 
While sales girls really do appreciate that you want to help them out when you’re done with your dressing room items by trying to put items away (really - it makes their hearts skip a beat) - please don’t. While they might let you go through with your act of kindness, do believe that they will be rushing over to those items to place the hangers in the right direction, button and zip up the garment, as well as put the item in its proper place. Essentially everything that would have been done if you had simply handed the items over. Even worse, your sales girl could actually get in trouble; while she may not want to argue with you when you say “oh no I can do it”, she very well may get an earful from a boss when you leave. Simply put: Duchess Kate would leave her items in her room nicely hung and buttoned up - but she wouldn’t try to do the job of someone else. She is second in line to the throne, after all!

Don’t insult what’s in the store
 I’ve seen this in action, and it really makes me cringe. If you are there to shop, browse, kill time, or just to see what is new these days, fine. But if the first thing you do when you walk into a boutique is announce that you could find something similar and at a lower price at the mall, it doesn’t make you sound like a savvy shopper; It makes you sound like an ass. No one wants to be an ass.

Hand it over 
Remember the movie A Little Princess? Little Sarah Crewe goes around telling every female in the movie that they are “all little princesses”. I personally love that theory. Just don’t be a spoiled one. No throwing clothing items, cash or credit cards at your sales associate. Your beloved sales associate is a human being, not a four legged animal who likes to go chasing after loose pennies or credit cards that slide off the counter. Nor does she enjoy untangling a matted mess of hangers. Just smile, hand the items over to your sales girl, and the transaction will be smooth and effortless. Keep it classy princess!

They are cheerleaders, but not therapists 
Now being female in this day and age, it seems that we are all doomed for a little insecurity every now and then. Even Duchess Kate Middleton isn’t exempt. However, that doesn’t mean that you should solicit sales girls for confidence donations. Most girls working in the boutiques love clothes - that is why they chose to work with them. When a garment you are trying on looks good, they will tell you. Sales girls will share in your joy of finding the perfect piece to your wardrobe, and then offer it to you in three different colors. However the last thing they want to do is become a consultant on all your body insecurities. No fishing for compliments. Calling yourself “fat” when you are spinning a size 0 skirt about your waist may get you shallow flattery in the moment, but it will also get you a expertly disguised eye roll.

Chill Out
Are you instantly irritated that the sales girl in the boutique wants to help you as soon as you walk into the store? If so the boutique experience may not be for you. Might I suggest shopping online?

Tune in 
Nothing screams “ignore me” louder than a pair of headphones in your ears while shopping in a boutique. Boutique stores are small and intimate - they are created for the shopper who wants a more personal shopping experience. If you enter a boutique wearing headphones or sunglasses, the polite thing is to remove them promptly. Have you ever seen Kate Middleton shopping with a pair of Skullcandy headphones on her head? Exactly.

That book holds all the names of every girl who's pissed little Sarah Crewe off. Don't get on that list. Photo

Get on the List
Several, if not all boutiques have a special mailing list for customers who want to stay in the know. Often they even give special discounts for your birthday month as well. Get on that list! If you don’t see it readily available at the counter, ask.

For even more tips and do's & don'ts of shopping, please see my earlier post A Shopper's Guide to Shopping
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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog