As you could tell from the title, yes, I love shopping. Growing up with 2000s chick flicks, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon cartoons/sitcoms, they would always show the popular kids hanging out in the mall after school. Those shows would always include scenes of girls going dress shopping together, starting catfights with their rivals, running into their crush in the food court… My elementary school self thought American malls were the coolest place on earth, and I must visit them someday. To fulfill my childhood dreams, for the past few weeks, I have been visiting different malls/shopping districts in Philly. Here is my really unprofessional shopping guide to Philadelphia.
This mall is my favorite one to visit. It has a lot of my favorite stores back in high school, like Hollister, American Eagle, and H&M. As an exchange student on a budget, Primark has become my favorite store as they have very affordable and cute clothes! They also had Sephora and Ulta. I would say the mall is a good and quick one-stop shop for clothes and makeup. Plus, it is right next to Chinatown, which is perfect as I can grab boba tea before heading to the mall. Back in Hong Kong, I could not go shopping without boba tea. Old habits die hard, I guess.
As the basic girl I am, it is exciting that they had Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works in the mall. Their food court is my go-to place whenever I’m feeling hungry in the center city, as the mall is right next to City Hall. Also, there is a Bloomingdale’s outlet store with surprisingly good, discounted shoe selections. Overall, a chill place to be if you have 1-2 hours to kill.
As an avid window shopper, this is the place to be. The street is filled with aesthetic and sleek-looking stores and boutiques, with posh apartments and hotels nearby. The shops are a bit out of my budget, but still I managed to get something from Glossier and Brandy Melville. I had a pleasant afternoon strolling around the area and admiring the architecture.
King of Prussia Mall
This is the third-largest mall in the country. I spent a whole day there and still did not finish exploring the place! It is your very typical American Mall, with fountains, greenery, food courts, and more. You could get a whole new wardrobe and refurnish your room after a trip to King of Prussia while feeling like a main character in a 2000s chick flick. An amazing place to spend a day in, especially a rainy one, considering that it was only a 30-minute drive. The only issue is that the place was too big. A small corner of the mall took me 4 hours, and I was exhausted already!
As expected, turns out American malls were not as cool as my younger self thought. It is sad to see a lot of shops being left empty, especially during COVID and the decline of American mall culture. Still, it is satisfying to have my childhood dreams fulfilled.