Outfit Post: Cocktails in stores - yay or nay?

I have a little Wednesday night ritual. I change out of my clothes into an ancient pair of Anthropologie pajama pants and a Michael Stars tank, pour a double shot of Makers Mark whiskey, and cocoon into a fluffy throw blanket on the couch. Then I turn on the teevee, turn off the lights, and watch Modern Family, Cougar Town and In The Middle while cackling with delight. Then I'll flick to TBS and catch my super secret husband Timothy Olyphant on Justified.  Occasionally, when these shows are repeats, I bring my shot of whiskey over to my laptop and engage in a little online window shopping. By ten p.m I feel relaxed, slightly sedated, and ready for a good night's sleep.

I was never much of a drinker. In high school and college I avoided alcohol like the plague, and waited until my twenty-first birthday to have my first drink (yes, really.) I was exceedingly proud of my ability to abstain at parties while my friends got inebriated. I suppose I was afraid of losing control. And throwing up. But now that I'm older, and more mature, I enjoy a shot of whiskey every now and then. And there's something to be said for the simple pleasure of sipping on a beer while sitting on a restaurant patio during a warm spring night.

Last week, the NY Times ran an article about a new trend developing in New York City stores. A collection of independent men's boutiques have started serving alcohol to shoppers, often tying in the type of drink served to the apparel being sold. Traditional men's lifestyle brands have long offered customers a glass of scotch while being fitted for a suit, a rite of passage for men stepping up into the business world. “It feels like a social experience, very James Bond or 1960s Playboy, but I guess it’s also kind of like Vegas — the more you drink you more you spend,” said Joey Rubenstein, an Internet entrepreneur, as he waited for the clerk to bring out his Hugo Boss sport coat. 

In hip New York City neighborhoods, several men’s wear stores are now lubricating the shopping experience with everything from microbrews to specially made cocktails. While few stores advertise the perk, some shoppers are now stopping in to stores for a drink before continuing on with evening activities, with shopping as an afterthought. And often, the store employees drink with the customers. “We’re not trying to get them drunk, we’ll have one with them,” said Karim Manuel Fresno, general manager at Groupe Seize sur Vingt. “We’re not just selling the clothes, we’re selling the experience. We promote the lifestyle.” 

Reading this article got me thinking about how my shopping experience would change if I was offered a drink while browsing the racks. There's no doubt that sipping on a cocktail puts customers at ease. At high-end stores that cater to women, customers have long been served champagne to reinforce the note of luxury which high-end merchandise symbolizes. Being served a drink encourages customers to remain in the store for an extended period of time, increasing the likelihood that they'd make a purchase. I can certainly see how shopping while tipsy would lead to more money spent, and possible buyer's remorse when the buzz wears off. And bonding with a store employee over a cocktail might encourage a more intimate shopping experience. 

How do you feel about being served while shopping? Would in-store cocktails encourage you to visit, and make a purchase, at a store? Have you ever sipped on a drink while browsing? Or do you believe this trend is going a bit too far? 

Market Publique vintage blazer; Anthropologie ruffled top; Gap cami; Citizens of Humanity jeans; vintage Coach satchel; Mia clogs;  Forever 21 bracelet; Forever 21 rhinestone earrings


  1. I like going to shopping events where a martini or mimosa is involved, but I wouldn't want to have a drink every time I go to store, because I may spend more than I care to, lol.

  2. Every time I've gone to store event where they serve drinks, I never end up buying anything. It's mainly a convenience thing- usually I'm just caring a purse, but now I have a purse, a drink and a napkin...... so no free hands. I love drinks being served but it's sort of a hindrance to shopping.
    PS- Timothy Olyphant is my secret boyfriend too!! Girl, you have great taste :)

  3. this outfit is adorable! I love the whole look of it, it's perfect for spring :) and yes... I would love to get cocktails every once in a while while shopping. I would probably buy way more, but meh, it'd be fun.

  4. A cocktail and shopping is a bad combo for me. I would end up broke, lol. Love the blazer

  5. In the small town that I live in we have a GNO the first Thursday of each month. All of the small shops and boutiques stay open late and serve drinks and snacks for the customers to enjoy while shopping. I have watched women down a couple of drinks then buy a $150 t shirt that they had just scoffed at before their drinks. I think that it is a genius idea on the retailers part. As long as everyone is of age then the morning after buyers remorse is your own issue, not the retailers. All of this being said; I wish that Target would serve Mimosas :) And I ALWAYS need a stiff drink after a Wal Mart visit.

  6. Like your style & yes I like it sometimes when it is a promotion ( lauch of new line, grand opening) to be served champagne but not for regular shopping.

  7. I think it would make clothes shopping a bit risky, but I'm happy to have a drink at other shops. I recently had a glass of fizz at L'Occitane, a bath/body shop where I was picking up a few presents. It just made the whole browsing experience more enjoyable.

  8. I think I'd feel uncomfortable drinking while I shopped... like I'd be guilted into buying something. When I got my hair cut at Aveda Salon, they offer water, wine, etc, but I could never bring myself to order something, even if it was free. Just seemed... off.

  9. I love this blazer on you! The color is fantastic, and the blouse underneath is pretty cute too.

    I don't agree with being served alcohol while shopping, I believe its taking it a bit too far...

    Stacey Kay
    “Runway Inspiration, Vintage Decoration”
    Cleveland Free Press: Goodwill Huntingg Shopping Guides
    Fashionable Photography with Mindy Sue
    My Vintage Handbag Line

  10. I agree with Cathy. I've been to events at stores where they offer beverages while you shop, but I need both my hands to be as thorough as I like to be.

    That being said, drinking and online shopping is much easier. BUT also more dangerous. I speak from experience haha.

  11. I love a good blazer, and that one is awesome!

    er, and I don't drink so I don't think it'd make a difference.

  12. Oooh, I love the pastely-ness of your outfit. (Is that a word? No.) I am a thrift-store shopper, so I cringe to think what kind of drinks they would serve at my kind of establishment. On the other hand, when I do splurge at a fancy store, I think it would be kind of cool to be treated to something special. I'm for it!

  13. To be honest, this trend doesn't surprise me at all. It's all about subtle selling - drinks loosen up inhibitions, including those that keep you from buying expensive clothes. That being said, I'd probably indulge in a drink if available. :)

  14. not everyone can rock that jacket, but you sure do!! love your look!


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