As tweenagers (blech, I hate that word), the mall wasn't just a place to buy new clothes and follow your mom around -- it was the watering hole of teenage society where everyone congregated, identity was established and sh*t. went. down.
We were teenage mall rats. We were proud of the fact that we could pile seven gangly girls into a friend's mom's Suburban and buy matching friendship bracelets to prove this bond.
Or we desperately needed to torture our parents by dragging them to Abercrombie, so we could scoop up the latest moose button-henley.
Let's take a walk down memory lane on this very fine Throwback Thursday, shall we? Back to the good old days when it was on someone else's credit card. Here are the 12 stores we all visited when we were teenage mall rats and loving it.
1. Abercrombie & Fitch
What it said about you then: You were the cool girl who was the ringleader at the sleepover and the first to kiss a boy in your group of friends. You also pulled off spaghetti-strap tank tops like a pro.
Who you went with: Your mom because everything was way too expensive to be bought on your own, and she needed to check your hemline while complaining about the loud music. Ugh, so uncool.
Item you bought: Frayed jean skirt. Over leggings, natch.
If you still shop there now: You never got over your high school years and like to hit on shirtless teenagers.
What it said about you then: You needed as many friendship bracelets and inside jokes as possible to solidify your middle school clique.
Who you went with: BFFAEAE ILUTTMASABA 4 Lyfe.
Item you bought: 30 packs of earrings and small purses. One or both were definitely shoplifted.
If you still shop there now: You have an affinity for gel pens and notebooks about girlhood, and you own a rotting collection of tarnished rings in your jewelry box.
3. Hot Topic
What it said about you then: You were an angst-ridden teen who kept a disgruntled LiveJournal and thought dressing in black was a metaphor for the soul.
Who you went with: No friends.
Item you bought: Metallica T-shirt, checkered Vans and a studded belt before it became trendy, obviously.
If you still shop there now: No one understands you still, except your Tumblr community.
4. Express or Bebe
What it said about you then: You were developed.
Who you went with: Your older sister (who didn't care if you wore ill-fitting trashy clothing) or in more awkward situations, your dad.
Item you bought: A blazer that was way too sophisticated for you, or a ruched stretchy shirt/dress thing of some sort.
If you still shop there now: You refuse to graduate to Club Monaco and spend double on a pair of real Editor pants.
5. Bath & Body Works
What it said about you then: You gave terrible birthday gifts consisting of your bath gel leftovers.
Who you went with: None of your friends liked going in there with you because it smelled so offensive.
Item you bought: Juniper breeze body spray. It gave you headaches but you had to wear it.
If you still shop there now: You have to clean out your bathroom cabinet, and the half-used bottles of lotion from the exclusive "Winter Sugar Cookie" collection.
What it said about you then: You hated the mall. You hated going shopping. You just went because all your friends were going.
Who you went with: The girl still finishing her Sbarro pizza, who was the only other person you could convince to sit in massage chairs with you.
Item you bought: Nothing, but that didn't stop you from trying everything.
If you still shop there now: You are a grownup who still likes her toys, or are buying your dad a birthday gift.
7. The Kiosk
What it said about you then: You were a loud-mouthed teen who liked to bargain and thought you knew better than the kiosk owners.
Who you went with: You best believe you made every single member of the 7+ group wait as you struggled over which rhinestoned canvas belt to buy.
Item you bought: Canvas belt with a special buckle, a rhinestoned cellphone case or really crappy jewelry.
If you still shop there now: You should be on an episode of "Hoarders."
8. Limited Too
What it said about you then: You loved being a girl and girl power almost as much as you loved sparkly bell-bottom pants.
Who you went with: Your mom, your best friend and her mom, so you could plan Monday's #twinning outfit.
Item you bought: Everything in the store. That place was preteen crack.
If you still shop there now: You are currently wearing the proper day of the week underwear.
9. Wet Seal
What it said about you then: You were confused on how to dress more "high schooler with butterfly clips" and less "Britney Spears circa the trashy backwoods years."
Who you went with: Your other awkward friends, none of whom fared much better.
Item you bought: Stretchy tube top in a shocking color.
If you still shop there now: You're looking for a cheap, DIY Halloween costume.
10. Auntie Anne's
What it said about you then: You have the metabolism of a lab rat on diet pills, and / or you preferred socializing over "the court" to shopping.
Who you went with: Yourself. You were strong, confident, chatty and, most importantly, had an "in" with the older kids.
Item you bought: A sweet, cinnamon sugar pretzel. You know exactly what you're doing.
If you still shop there now: It's for the free samples.
11. Victoria's Secret
What it said about you then: You desperately wanted tits.
Who you went with: Your mom. What a drag.
Item you bought: Bras you couldn't fit into.
If you still shop there now: You attend a lot of bachelorette parties.
12. Steve Madden
What it said about you then: You were a sucker for marketing and had visions of being a "Madden Girl."
Who you went with: Your mom and your sister and your brother on a regular family mall outing. And then you were horrified when you ran into a girl from school and her mother.
Item you bought: 5-inch thick flip flops and this mesh one.
If you still shop there now: Your tastes have changed, along with the times.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It