If you fancied yourself a cool girl in the '90s, you probably logged a few hundred hours hanging out in malls. Now that online shopping has put a beating on our once beloved Friday night stomping grounds, malls are slowly beginning to fade away, and they're taking the nostalgia of our childhoods with them. Though they may be declining in popularity, we won't ever forget their glory days or the things that every '90s cool girl loved about the mall.
Going to the mall definitely tops the list of things that every '90s cool girl did on Friday nights. Back then, a trip to the mall on a weekend night meant getting completely dolled up and busting out your cutest skirt and your most profound glitter shadow and definitely your most reliable butterfly clips, not to mention every other fashion essential '90s girls had for the special occasion that was going to the mall. It sounds weird now, but pretending to be Topanga from Boy Meets World or Cher from Clueless was pretty much what a day in the life of a 90s kid looked like, and those girls spent a lot of time at the mall, so Friday nights at the mall were kind of a big deal.
Those were the days, weren't they? The days before streaming services hijacked our Friday night social calendars and left us living in our pajamas. While I do love convenience, I must admit that I also miss the excitement of getting home from school on a Friday afternoon and covering my body in country apple-scented glitter lotion in preparation for a girls night at the galleria. Ah, the nostalgia is potent.
If you were a cool girl in the '90s, you definitely did the following ten things at the mall. While you're strolling down memory lane, I'll just be over here figuring out if I can order country apple glitter lotion online because why hasn't it made a come back?!
Got Their Ears Pierced
Remember when getting your ears pierced with your friends made you look like a total bad ass? Your heart was racing as you were trying to play it cool and pick out the perfect studs. All of your friends gathered around you as some teenager took what looked like a tiny gun and stuck a needle through your ear lobe, but you never flinched because you had a reputation to maintain. Then, you went home and cried every time you had to turn those little studs so that they wouldn't scab over, because that was the worst.
Shopped At Limited Too
Limited Too was all about the girl power in the '90s, but one of their skorts would eat up two months worth of allowance. That didn't matter though, because you had been eye-balling your favorite pieces from their summer catalog for so long that by the time you saved up enough money to buy something, most of what you wanted was already on sale.
Hung Out In The Food Court
How many times did you tell your friends that you would meet them at Panda Express before you all went into Limited Too together? Every Friday night? Yep, that's what I thought.
Traveled In Packs
Every cool girl in the '90s traveled in a pack. They were always in a straight, horizontal line that spanned the entire walkway of a mall, preventing anyone from breaking through their glittery, linked arms. Now that I think about it, this is actually super rude and annoying.
Got Drunk On Sugar
Before you grew up and developed a taste for wine, you would get sugar drunk on caffeinated substances that probably had no business being manufactured and sold. Remember showing off to your friends as you filled your big gulp cup with equal parts of every sugary fountain drink? Sure, this was a terrible trend, but that didn't stop any of us from taking part in it.
Got A Free Makeover At The Makeup Counter
Sneaking away to the makeup counter while your parents shopped for curtain panels was so exhilarating in the '90s, especially before you were allowed to wear lipstick. I'll bet you even told the girl at the counter that you wanted to look like Cher Horowitz from Clueless, and you probably wiped off all the major makeup before your parents caught you being too much of a rebel.
Begged Parents For An Inflatable Chair
Inflatable furniture wasn't really all that practical, but that didn't negate your desire to own an entire bedroom suite of inflatables. "But mom, I can clean it with Windex and deflate it when I need to so it's easy to store!" was probably your argument (it was mine too), and if you were lucky, your parents bought it, probably to prove a point because they knew it would pop after a few sleepovers (which it did). The sound of an inflatable chair popping was more heartbreaking than hearing that Jonothan Taylor Thomas had a girlfriend for most '90s girls.
Bought A Spice Girls CD
Or the Spice Girls movie, because oh my god it was so awfully amazing! If you were a '90s cool girl you listened to the Spice Girls on repeat and you knew every word to ever song and you sang it with such conviction. You probably also had a favorite, insisted that your friends refer to you by your Spice Girl name, and had a choreographed routine for at least half of the CD.
Pretended To Be Part Of The Clueless Cast
I'm 28-years-old, a mother of two, and have voted in three presidential elections, but I still love the movie Clueless, and I still have hair envy for Cher. Didn't we all see part of ourselves in one of the characters? Didn't we all want to wear knee highs and write with feathered pens and want to dance to "Rolling With The Homies" at a cool party? Surely I'm not alone here!
*Update: country apple glitter is no longer in production.