Where Are Your Favorite Places to Shop?

Published in: Just For Fun

DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse

Ah, DSW… My home away from home.

Funny thing is, I like shopping, but I don’t really do much shopping in stores anymore. Definitely not as much as I used to.

I mean, there was a time when I loved going shopping so much that I’d happily pick up extra shifts at the mall.


(SIDE NOTE: If you ever shopped at the Miller’s Outpost, The Limited or Emporium Capwell’s at the New Park Mall in Newark, CA back in the mid-’90s, I probably greeted you at the door and tried to sell you pocket tees.)

I just don’t have the patience to spend all day at the mall anymore. Now, a couple hours — that, I can do. 🙂

I still like to look around for clothes and things, but I usually start my research online before going to see something in person. Feels like I save a lot of time that way.

Oh, but some things — makeup and shoes, of course — I can still spend hours shopping for, and I do, which brings me to this: some of my favorite places to shop, in no particular order…

DSW: My shoe Mecca! I can easily spend half a day here (and have). First, the gargantuan selection, and I love the wide aisles and how neatly everything is organized. On top of that, you don’t have to wait for a sales associate to scour a back room to find your size. They’ve got everything just right out there on the floor! It’s great! I kind of like being able to waffle without feeling like someone is waiting on me. Sometimes I’ll spend…a while trying to decide between two different colors, and at DSW I can take as long as I need, LOL! The one at Vintage Oaks by my house has a great selection of purses, too. I’ve seen stuff from Nordstrom there at pretty good prices.

Nordstrom: Speaking of Nordie’s, it’s another favorite haunt of mine. There’s one about 15 miles south being renovated right now, so it’s a hot mess inside, but it’s still open. It’s like my idea of the perfect general store. They have almost everything I could ever ask for — makeup, clothing, shoes, accessories — and when I find something I like on sale, score! Their personal stylist services are also really handy, and I love their generous return policy.

Target: There’s one five minutes away from my house, and you’ll find me there often. Sometimes the customer service doesn’t knock it out of the park, but anyplace I can buy ice cream, drugstore makeup, cat litter, heart-shaped sunglasses and dishwashing liquid in one fell swoop is all right by me.

Anthropologie: Some of their stuff is a little hippy dippy for me, and sometimes I look at the prices of tops and think, “Hmm-mmm! Ain’t no way I’m paying $70 for a piece of gauze with sequins on it.” I have found some really cute things there, though, like this jungle romper, and when they have sales, they’re generally pretty good. Like Nordstrom, they also have a personal stylist service, although I haven’t tried it yet (I want to!).

Old Navy: Hello? $10 shorts!? I give myself a 30-minute time limit whenever I go to the store because if I don’t, I’ll do some damage. Just so many choices and great prices.

Trader Joe’s: Woman cannot live on fashion and makeup alone (well…). I love their organic stuff, and they carry some of the same tasty odds and ends that cost twice as much at Whole Foods, like their meatless meatballs, stinky cheeses and smoked salmon. The produce isn’t always great (I wish I could actually pick my individual tomatoes and peaches), but their prices put Safeway to shame. As for downsides, I skip their toiletries, sandwich bread (the expiration date is usually just a couple days away), and when their TJ’s brand and pre-made foods are gross, they’re REALLY GROSS. Tabs refuses to eat their cat food, and that’s saying something.

Saks Fifth Avenue: I usually just stalk the beauty department here, and then walk through the rest of the store gawking at everything else. In the makeup section, everyone’s been really helpful, and if you’re nice, they’ll hook you up with hella samples! Love that.

And then there’s the MAC Pro Store in San Francisco, the Benefit Boutique in Mill Valley (I used to work right around the corner and would stop by after my shift to stress shop!), Pier 1 Imports (sooo many fun things for cat ladies), Sephora (of course) and Crate & Barrel…mostly just for window shopping.

Alright, babe, you’re up! Where are some of your favorite places to shop? Sephora, Marshalls, Macy’s, H&M, Nordie’s, any local boutiques?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Claire says:

    I love Target! When they opened the one in downtown SF- just a couple of blocks from work- it was life-changing. Still not as great as a regular target though, so when my boyfriend and I go up to see his parents in Marin I drag him to the target in Novato. It seems weird to complain about the shopping in downtown SF but sometimes I just want to park and buy makeup that hasn’t been opened, you know?

    Also, one boutique I love is Ambiance on Union Street. You should check it out if you haven’t already! And I love buying pots and pans and as-seen-on-TV gadgets, so I’d also add Bed Bath and Beyond to the list.

  2. Olivia says:

    I’m from Melbourne but here’s a few of my fav boutiques & shops if anyone is planning a visit;
    -Grace (Hawksburn)
    -le louvre (South Yarra)
    -Carl Kapp
    -Madam virtue & co
    -Christine’s (on Colins st- Céline stockist)
    -green with envy
    -scanlan & Theodore
    -Christenson Copenhagen
    -Oscar and wild

    & if you find yourself shopping on Chapel st/in the Prahran vicinity, stop for lunch at Hu Tong on commercial road- dumplings complete any shopping day!

  3. Gowthami says:

    I don’t have one… I go shop randomly 🙂
    Gowthami recently posted … Beauty Tip: Apple Cider Vinegar for Oily Skin

  4. Lulle says:

    I shop online a lot, but I still like to go the mall to see things in person before I make a decision!
    My favorite stores are H&M, Bath & Body Works, Sephora, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Zara, JC Penney, Victoria’s Secret… that’s all I can think of right now!
    Lulle recently posted … Master Smoky by Eyestudio: really Maybelline??

  5. Bree says:

    My favorite place is Target! Then Ulta, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sephora, Tj Max/Marshall’s, Old Navy (a new fav), & VS. I scored some awesome clothes at Marshall’s the other day. I got some amaze Michael Kors items for affordable prices! Probably the best black dress pants I’ve ever slipped on!

    That DSW looks amazing. I will have to visit one my next trip to Nashville. Will also be going to Kiehls (LOVE), Nordies, and I will raid the MAC counter!

    I don’t online shop for clothes much.

  6. Emme says:

    I like Macy’s for clothes, shoes and Mac. They always have great sales.

    I know, I know…they drive out the lil guy, among other things. But, they’ve got it all: drugstore cosmetics, groceries, paper goods, etc. The only things I don’t buy here are produce and meat. Their meat is really expensive.

    Shop Rite
    Love this grocery store. It opens really early and closes really late, so you can beat the crowds. The produce is fresh and the sales are always on. Plus mine has a liquor store attached, so I can pick up my wine, beer, etc. And there’s a Sally’s Beauty Supply and my eyebrow salon in the same plaza. Winning!

    Sally Beauty Supply
    For all my beauty needs. Love the GVP products!

    Harmon’s Discount Store
    They have all the drugstore cosmetics and beauty supplies at a discount. Love it!

    I buy the tank tops for layering for like $2 a pop, I really like the colored skinny jeans, and I love the costume jewelry…so fun!

    Wow! I love this online store. The clothes, shoes and accessories are so cute and the prices are reasonable. And there’s free shipping and returns on all orders, no minimums. It is THE place for trendy clothes.

    Shoes, shoes, shoes! I especially love the sandals. The jewelry is beautiful too.

  7. Rachel says:

    Anthro, Nordies, Target, mostly online, especially on sale. Also, my aunt has got me into thrifting, and this thrift store called Dakota Boys Ranch gets new items with the tags still on from Target! Cheap and no ickiness factor!

  8. Chelsea says:

    Target, Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack, and H&M are probably my favorites.

  9. I agree with everything! I also love GAP and J. Crew.

  10. Tiffany says:

    Target, sephora, nordies for the Mac counter, charming Charlie’s for accessories on the cheap, old navy for me and for kids clothes, gymboree for kids clothes, williams sonoma, and amazon for pretty much everything else 🙂 mmmm now I want to go shopping!

  11. Alison M says:

    DSW, DSW, Sephora, DSW. Makeup, shoes, and handbags never let me down! (I despise shopping for clothes because nothing ever fits right.)
    Alison M recently posted … Stila Convertible Color in Sweet Pea Review and Swatch

  12. liz says:

    Anthropologie, Target…ASOS….H & M, Lululemon, Old Navy, and Forever 21, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods. I unfortunately live in Yountville California which is in the middle of po-dunk no where so I’m limited when it comes to shopping. I have to kiddos that would not be very fond of me if I forced them to drive and hour to go into San Francisco or Berkley where there is a Lululemon and a Nordstrom. We have a great outlet mall though.

  13. Kimmwc03 says:

    Unfortunately, my town does not have a huge selection of stores but they are growing (slowly). Luckily, we do have an Ulta and Sephora that I love going to (the Sephora more than the Ulta). I go to Walmart and Target weekly. I love going to J Crew and Nordies when I can convince my husband to drive me the 30-50 miles for the closest one. I also love Charming Charlie. Belk is probably my favorite dept store in my area.

  14. Iris says:

    I’ve seen your posts from DSW and it looks grand!

    My favourite places to shop are Sephora, Lush, Bath & Body Works, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, VS, and Aveda, beauty product-wise. For clothing, I like to look around in Simon’s, H&M, American Eagle, RW&CO, Dynamite, Hudson’s Bay Company, Winners, and quite a few other places. I don’t buy many articles of clothing, as I’m a bit picky but I like to window shop.

  15. Nicole says:

    Love that you mentioned Newpark, I have fond memories of hiding in the clothes racks at the Emporium and scaring my mom by popping out of them unexpectedly.

  16. Susan S says:

    I love Goodwill. I find all kinds of clothes, including some designer stuff, for next to nothing, and when I’m sick of them, I can donate them back. Best recycling program ever. 😀 My local Goodwills have a surprisingly good plus size selection, too. I seldom have trouble finding clothing I like in my size, including some amazingly gothy stuff!

    Etsy is my source for lots of things, including soap that won’t kill my skin, some of my mineral makeup, and ingredients for my various forays into beauty concoctions. (I made my own sunblock a few weeks ago, and the results were incredible.) I have a few favorite stores, including SweetsNThings, HairByCreation, and SoBeBotanicals. Another favorite makeup shop, Sweet Libertine, started on Etsy several years ago, but has long since moved to its own site. (I adore Sarah’s stuff. Shipping takes a long time, but it’s worth it.)

    I love Target for mostly everyday stuff, including my pharmacy for all but the hardcore specialty meds, like my biological anti-arthritis injection and my custom compounded Ketamine lotion. Also, Target carries the ELF makeup brushes I adore. They’re $3 each and do a great job.

    Jo-Ann Fabrics is a perennial fave of mine. I knit, do beadwork, sew, all kinds of things, assuming my arthritis has settled down enough to let me use my hands and arms. While I tend to buy my yarn and beads from specialty stores, Jo-Ann carries most of the accessories I need, like purse handles, and their fabric selection is fantastic. I’ve got half a yard of millinery netting waiting to go on a hand-beaded beret-shaped fascinator that I made from the base up, and Jo-Ann was the most convenient place in town to get it. Now to see how it takes hot-fix pearls!

    Sprouts. I’m gluten free, peanut free, yogurt free, and supposed to be dairy free (though that one doesn’t really happen that much), on top of being pescetarian. Sprouts is a reasonably priced natural grocer (as those things go) with a fantastic gluten free selection. I still have to watch out for peanuts–BIG no-no, false strokes are no fun!–but I can get a wide, delicious variety of goodies not available elsewhere near my house, and the produce department is amazing.

    B&B Liquor. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE! Also BA Wine & Spirits, but that’s because of their salesdog, Molly. She’s a black and white shih tzu who gives high fives and LOVES me because I’ll spend 20 minutes petting her. B&B wins out, though, because they’ve got a truly monstrous gluten free beer and cider selection, with new stuff all the time. (Ace Joker Cider is amazing, btw. So very dry and crisp, almost like good champagne.)

  17. Maggie says:

    I live in a relatively remote area–it’s lovely here but certainly no DSW, Sephora, Nordstrom, Gap, Anntaylor or even a JCP. Most of my clothing I buy online. So, my favorite brick & mortar stores:

    1. Bookstores: the only kind of store I can spend a half day or ALL day in would be a bookstore. I miss Borders and we don’t have a Barnes and Noble but the local bookstore clerks around here definitely recognize me. I can seriously live with doing all my clothing and beauty shopping online but nothing replaces being inside a bookstore.

    2. Target: excellent return policy. I love that I can pick up lipstick, shoes, eggs, and orange juice and through it all, enjoy my cup of jo. Though you have to be careful! Nothing worse than spilling it ALL over merchandise (and I HAVE spilled coffee but lucked out on not getting it any merchandise).

    3. Costco: I can seriously eat a whole meal here just on food samples! This is one of my go-to’s for gas, groceries, meds and re-stocking for our business. Also, Costco seems good at singling out bestsellers/trends and frequently rotate merchandise based on this. For this reason, I try to take a glance at EVERYTHING they offer–from power tools to TV’s to odd supplements. I may not have a personal interest in these items, but it is interesting to see what exactly is selling well.

    4. CVS: For those who like to score steals on drugstore items and don’t shop at CVS, you’re SERIOUSLY missing out. After combining the store’s daily and weekly coupons, CVS extrabucks (purchase rewards that act like cash), manufacturer’s coupons, and the weekly deals, you’ll learn that with a little planning, Walmart has NOTHING on CVS. This is the place I shop for things I don’t need right away but need/want eventually. However, there’s something about the lighting or something at my CVS that bothers me so I can’t say I like to window-shop here like I do at Target. Usually, my purchases here are planned out.

    5. WinCo Foods: Sometimes, I just don’t feel like couponing–I just always want a decent deal and not have to think too much on it. This grocery store supplies most of the basics and I love all the bulk bins they have–everything from oats to spices to chocolate chips–so I can get exactly however much I want for a good deal.

  18. We just got an Ulta in town, though with 3 little ones under 5, I rarely set foot in there. It was great to pick my colors for my bareMinerals foundation in person though!

    I like Kohls & NY&Co. for clothes and anywhere I can find discounted SoftSpots shoes. They are sooooo comfy. And cute, too! Target is my choice when funds are low and I have a shopping itch or need the basics.
    Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker recently posted … Serve Your Spouse Saturday #22: Prepping for Baby Edition — with Printable!

  19. isabedia says:

    Here in Barcelona I would say:
    Mango, if you like Zara, try this other spanish brand
    Sephora: even the one downtown, filled with tourists
    Dolores promesas, for dresses with special prints
    Special mention to the internet, the only way to Victorias secret and Agent provocateur in Spain

  20. Fiercely Chic says:

    I love Target (great deals on running stuff and makeup), Old Navy (great casual stuff), DSW (LOVE heels!!!!), Khols, Forever 21(i want the whole store!!!! why can’t you carry XS?!), Guess, H&M, J Crew, Sephora, JCP, Charming Charlie, TJMaxx, and tons of other stuff!!!

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