Shopping Fail At Woodbury Common

by Sandra Foyt on May 30, 2010

in Uncategorized

woodbury My daughter can attest to my inability to shop well, or at all.  When I go to stores it’s to buy, not to shop. I prefer a “search and destroy” method of shopping where I’ll scour a mall for a list of objectives, not leaving until I’ve found what I need. It’s exhausting but infrequent. 

Alas, children permeate your life, changing every facet of your former existence often in ways that you could never have imagined. I used to be the General Sherman of shopping, but now I have a teen daughter. 

Earlier this spring, she needed a dress for a semi-formal event.  That wasn’t too bad. Last year, we determined that the Macy’s at Crossgates Mall (but not the one at Colonie) is a good place to find reasonably priced dressy dresses that she is willing to wear.  We went in one evening, and within a couple of hours we had a dress, lingerie, shoes, and an orange julius to wash it all down.  Mission accomplished.

And then she hit me with the next request.  She needed a dress for graduation.  Not just any dress. It couldn’t be the same dress she wore to the semi-formal, and it had to be a party dress that could go from graduation to a dance afterwards.  It also had to satisfy not just her arcane desires, but also her friends’ exalted standards.

Macy’s was out as we’d already seen all they had to offer.  Also, JC Penny’s was out since many of her friends had already taken advantage of the dress sale earlier in the spring.  I didn’t imagine there was much left to find after all the pillaging.  As it was, we’d been privileged to view a private fashion show with some of the choicest items as one girl couldn’t decide between three dresses, and they were so cheap ($20-$30) that her mom was able to bring them all home.

Now if I was a real shopper, you know, the kind of person who frequents mall with no intention of making a purchase but just to stay abreast of what is available, then I might have known exactly where to go for this dress.

I didn’t have a clue, so I decided to set my sights further afield at the mall of malls, Woodbury Commons.  It’s huge and it’s an outlet.  How could I go wrong?  Right?  They’re motto is: “Legendary brands. Abundant selection. Real savings.”

Well, the real shoppers among you will probably recognize my mistake.  Yes, Woodbury Commons has a lot to offer, but it doesn’t have graduation dresses for teens.  I found:

  1. It’s a good place to drop big bucks on couture fashion, from $200 Betsy Johnson dresses to $2400 Marc Jacobs evening coats.
  2. The “Athletic Brand of this Generation” may be Under Armour, but the outlet shop didn’t carry the running shorts my teen wanted.
  3. The burrito salad at the Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grill tastes much better than you might imagine from a fast food joint.
  4. It is a good place to locate the just the right size cereal bowls and glasses that I’ve been hunting for elsewhere.

After many hours of shopping, we still didn’t have the dress.  I was worried that I’d have to invest multiple days in this campaign until my mother-in-law, one of the few true shoppers in our family, saved the day. 

She invited us to join her at the Lord & Taylor’s in White Plains, where they are currently running a sale on dress.  Within an hour, my daughter had her dress.  Even better, her grandma gave it to her as her graduation gift.

Even with a teen daughter, I don’t think I’ll ever be a shopper.  I’ll just leave that to the pros.

Shopping Day Trip:

Woodbury Commons
New York State Thruway (I-87) to Harriman, Exit 16.
1 hour 51 minutes from Albany

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

TheAngelForever May 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I have a special place in my heart for the Woodbury Common. I met TechyDad there and the rest is history. I must admit, there are not too many stores that I gravitate to there (love the Disney Store). So glad that you found another place to find a dress not to far from there.
.-= TheAngelForever´s last blog ..Thinking Pink for Cora =-.

Lissa June 3, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Betsy Johnson? Marc Jacobs?

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