Shopping my way through senior year

Through several different shopping sprees, see what Visor's Abby Griffith has to say about shopping malls.

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Shopping my way through senior year

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman out shopping in the city

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman out shopping in the city

Getty Images

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman out shopping in the city

Getty Images

Getty Images

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman out shopping in the city

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With under thirty days left of school (at least for seniors), almost every weekend has been spent shopping. Now, I’m not one to invest countless hours searching for the perfect outfit or dropping hundreds of Franklins in fancy-smelling boutiques. Frankly (no pun intended), I classify myself as the “browsing” type.

Gap employee: “Welcome to Gap? Can I help you with anything?”

Me: “Oh, no thank you. I’m just browsing.”

Browsing is the way to shop. No stress, no expectations and, occasionally, you’ll walk out with a lil surprise in one hand and suave swag in the other. Yet, through my multiple browsing excursions over the past few weekends, I have noticed several nuances and changes about shopping, specifically the modern mall experience.


More stores should close

During my time at the mall, at least three stores had a large red and black poster plastered against the window reading “Store Closing: Everything Must Go.” And, as an obedient student of Myer’s driving school, I never ignore signs in either red, black or yellow.

Payless, a personal favorite of mine, is sadly leaving the marketplace. Although I find this overwhelmingly disappointingwhere will I purchase my collection of moccasins now?the entire store is between 30 to 50 percent off. Bitter-sweet, yes, but I walked out with dark-pink velvet prom shoes and yet another pair of grey moccasins (I have to stock up!).

Charlotte Russe is also closing. And, when I sauntered past this store, those familiar red and black signs drew me in once again. Almost every item was 50 percent off and, with ease, two pairs of jean shorts and my Spring Fling accessories weighed in my hand as I strutted out of the store. In a well-crafted movie scene, a slo-mo shot would have panned onto me as the wind billowed my hair back and bags draped across my arms.


Francesca’s, Altar’d State, New York and Company, Pac Sun and Charm and Charlies

On the opposite side of the spectrum, franchises such as Francesca’s and Altar’d State have revolutionized fashion and overtaken every mall with their expensive products. Upon walking in, I immediately gasped and gawked at the trendy pieces and desirable products, greedily pawing through every rack. Then I glanced at the price tag.

$60?! For a pajama top with an adorable sleepy sloth on the front?


This hefty number was a common thread among many stores within the mall. Browsing became not only a preferred tactic, but the only option. My wallet was nowhere near deep enough for those sloth pajamas, let alone designer cotton pants and hand-sown crop-tops.


A modern, bohemian trend

As I continued my browsing endeavor, I picked up on some obvious fashion statements. The bohemian style is most definitely “in.” However, what exactly is bohemian? The ‘60s and ‘70s define the “boho” look with its free-flowing, bell-bottomed pants and airy fabrics.

Fashion today is directed toward this hippie ensemble, but with a more modern flare to it. Gen Z is turning more towards vintage looks that border between boho and promiscuous.

Floral patterns are stressed in dresses while pastels and stripes rock both tops and bottoms. It’s almost a beach-esque design with sun-kissed expressions, which may cause Ohioans to dress unintelligently for our local weather. Nonetheless, I guess I better start pulling out my John Lennon sunglasses and channel my inner “That 70’s Show.”


The future of malls in general

Way, way back when our parents were kids, malls used to be the ultimate hub. Concerts were sometimes held there and the food court was always poppin’. Think of any ‘80s movie and there must be at least one scene in a mall. Picture “Clueless” or “Legally Blond.”

Now outdated, such words like “dangerous” or “boring” taint malls’ reputation. The dangerous aspect deals with the modern scare of abductors and firearm predators while the boring side presents an inaccessible and inconvenient way to shop. Additionally, technology replaced the active part of shopping since most items are just a click away.

To ensure a future, malls must attract the younger generation and soothe the worrying parents. Possibly a digital attraction or introducing thrift stores for the kiddos. Safe-proof patrol officers or a new and improved camera system may calm distressed parents. Or maybe offering more restaurantswhere there’s food, there’s people!

My Opinion

With prom, graduation and spring break peeking around the corner, a wardrobe change seemed fit. My browsing skills were put to the test as I weaved through store after store within both Summit and Belden Mall. However, the outlets where I struck gold were none other than TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Rompers and dresses marked up $50 at Altar’d State were a mere $16.99 at Marshalls and boho, flowing pants originally $30 per pair at American Eagle were only $12.99 at TJ Maxx. Talk about makin’ deals!

Even better, I look great in my purchases (cocky? No way.)

It doesn’t look cheap in any way and the fabrics survived my mom’s hard-core laundering.