Of all the lies teen movies told us, these are the most egregious. One: playing matchmaker to your teachers will boost your GPA. Two: grand public declarations of love always work, and are never creepy. And three: shopping is an activity best enjoyed with your closest girlfriends, and then cut into a kicky montage. For while montages are always, always delightful (Getting so much done! In such a short amount of time! Plus music!), shopping with an entourage is not. Here's why.
Alone time brings out your weirdest, truest self. Think of the things you do, absentmindedly, when no one is home. Maybe you go down a YouTube tutorial rabbit hole, and emerge with the need to learn calligraphy, or you try out an at-home eyelash-tinting kit while adding songs to some super-specific playlist, like "Aggressive Treadmill Mix" or "Imaginary Desert Road Trip, 1996." You're wasting time, yes, but you're also tapping into what you like and what you don't. Ideally, you want to be just as open to your whims when you go shopping—that's when you find the best stuff!—and your friends, no matter how amazing they are, probably keep your impulses in check at least a tiny bit.
Even if whim-based shopping isn't your thing, and you're on a mission to find something practical—like the perfect white button-down shirt—taking a friend along puts unnecessary pressure on the whole outing. Let's say you want to comb the entire mall and try on 50 options until you find your button-down soulmate. Is your buddy up for it? When you ask her opinion on Shirt 47 from Operation Shirt Quest and she goes, "it's cute," does she really think it's cute? Or does she just want to go home? And if she does think it's cute, does she think it's cute for you? Or is her opinion colored by the fact that it's the type of thing she'd buy? And, now that she's weighed in, do you only think you like it because she's given it the thumbs up?
I do agree that drinks are a great post-shopping reward, though. But, just call your friend and have her meet you at the bar when your solo shopping trip is over.