DIRECTIONS TO LADIES FOR SHOPPING,
SHOPPING is the amusement of spending money at shops. It is to a lady what sporting is to a gentleman; somewhat productive, and very chargeable. Sport, however, involves the payment of one's own shot; shopping may be managed by getting it paid for. Ride all the way till you come to the shopping-ground in a coach, if you can; in an omnibus, if you must; lest you should be tired when you get there. If you are a lady of fashion, do not get out of your carriage; and when you stop before your milliners, particularly if it is a cold, wet day, make one of the young women come out to you, and without a bonnet, in her thin shoes, stand on the kerb-stone in the damp and mud.
The best places for shopping are fashionable streets, bazaars, and the like. Street-shopping principally elates to hosiery, drapery, and jewellery of the richer sort. Bazaar and Arcade-shopping, to fancy articles, nick-nacks, and perfumery. In street-shopping walk leisurely along, keeping a sharp look-out on the windows. In bazaar-shopping, beat each stall separately. Many patterns, colours, novelties, conveniences, and other articles will thus strike your eye, which you would otherwise have never wanted or dreamt of. When you have marked down some dress, or riband, for instance, that you would like, go and inquire the price of it; haggle, demur, examine, and, lastly, buy. You will then be asked "whether there is any other article to-day?" Whether there is or not, let the shopman show you what wares he pleases ; you will very likely desire one or more of them. Whatever you think very cheap, that buy, without reference to your need of it ; it is a bargain. You will find, too, as you go on, that one thing suggests another; as bonnets-ribands for trimming, or flowers; and handkerchiefs-perfumery. In considering what more you want, try and recollect what your acquaintances have got that you have not; or what you have seen worn by strangers in going along. See if there is anything before you superior in any respect to a similar thing which you have already ; if so, get it instantly, not reflecting whether your own will do well enough. You had better finish your streets before you take your bazaars and arcades; for there the shopping, which one might otherwise call cover-shopping, though excellent sport, refers mostly to articles of no manner of use ; and it may he as well to reserve toys and superfluities to the last. Married ladies, when they have laid in all they want for themselves, are recommended to show their thoughtfulness by purchasing some little trifle for their husbands, who, of course, will have to pay for it in the end.
Punch, Jul.-Dec. 1844
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Ladies Shopping without male escort, and requiring luncheon, ran safely visit any of the great restaurants — care being always taken to avoid passing through a drinking bar. In some cases a separate room is set apart for ladies, but there is practically no reason why the public room should be avoided. At some of the great “omnium gatherum” shops, and at institutions such as South Kensington and the Royal Academy luncheon can be obtained while several confectioners at the West-end particularly study the comfort of ladies.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879