L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

7 Reasons to Visit the Mall

Shopping in L.L.Bean store

My trip to King of Prussia this past Saturday was a success. I managed to get there alive on public transportation. (You have to leave early in the morning before the unsavory people wake up.) My fellow travelers were wearing real clothes, a little too casual, but real.

After exiting the bus, I spent a little time in the morning air reminiscing about when I used to make the excursion during my high school years. The younger me could often be found at J.Crew KOP on weekends. The mall has been upgraded a bit since then, and I wanted to see the improvements for myself.

At several points during my indoor stroll, I reflected on my other motives for visiting the mall. Even a shopping destination as massive as KOP can seem mundane after a few consecutive visits, but it’s a better destination than the sofa. Here are 7 reasons to visit the mall:

Exercise // You won’t be paying attention to your step counter because you’ll be too busy looking at the rows of storefronts . I walked over 8 miles/20,000 steps on Saturday without even realizing it.

Window Shopping // Surveying the offerings from various brands is the first step in developing your personal style. If I had to pick one noteworthy item that I saw on my voyage around KOP, it would be the L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles (pictured). All of my Boat and Totes have short handles, but I think I might switch up the length on my next one.

Discoveries // You never know what new stores you’ll discover on your visit to the mall. On Saturday, I visited Aritzia in person for the first time.

Returns // Sometimes ordering is a necessary step in getting exactly what you want. Although I didn’t return anything this past Saturday, I might venture to the mall in the future for this purpose. Any excuse to leave the house is a good one!

Observations // Observing your fellow mall-goers may cause you to experience a range of emotions. A baby who was learning to walk brought a smile to my face. A young girl wearing a tight, spandex onesie with fluffy Ugg slippers did not.

Social Scene // You never know who else thought that going to the mall was better than sitting on the sofa. On Saturday, I ran into my manager from my very first job.

Lunch // You’ve put in all those steps, and you deserve lunch. On Saturday, I treated myself to Sweetgreen’s hot honey chicken plate, and I’m glad that I did.

Works Sighted

Loft button-up (old) // J.Crew Camille shrunken sweater-blazer // J.Crew Martie pant // Adidas Stan Smith sneakers // L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles

The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

Medium L.L.Bean Boat and Tote with short handles.

The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote was originally designed for hauling ice but is an ideal carrier for endless combinations of items: notebook/pen, towel/sunscreen, salad/apple/Perrier, package/shipping label/tape. It is a stylish sidekick for busy days. The sizes range from small to extra-large, which enables the buyer to select a style with dimensions that suit the task(s) to which it will be designated. The handle’s color and length are customizable, as is the color of the monogram. Oh yes, you must get it monogrammed. The only time I ordered a Boat and Tote without one was when I gave it to a friend and didn’t know if she would prefer her initials on the side. I’ve given this canvas bag as a gift on three occasions. The medium, open-top tote with short, navy handles is my go-to style in these instances. But it also comes in a zip-top version, which I’ve found useful. L.L.Bean will occasionally produce variants of the classic tote, but I don’t recommend that you explore them until after you’ve become acquainted with the original.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote (medium, short handles in navy, red monogram)