UK Markets closed

5 mall stores that I still secretly shop at all the time

·5-min read
Lauren Caruso
Lauren Caruso

Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Lauren Caruso is an In The Know shopping contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

For years, I’d wait faithfully for the mailman to bring me a very, very important piece of mail. It wasn’t a birthday card or a letter from a friend, but rather, the dELia*s catalogue. I’d flip through the pages voraciously, trying to decide which bell-bottom diameter would best flatter my 11-year-old (aka non-existent) hips. The now-defunct store was the epitome of cool. While most mall brands haven’t survived the aughts (RIP Limited Too) — let alone the pandemic — there are a few that I still shop to this day: PacSun secretly has the best swimwear; I get all my jeans from Abercrombie; and most of my undergarments are from Aerie.

As it turns out, most of my friends feel like they’ve aged out shopping at these stores, so when I find something at one of them, I almost feel smug: Who knew the place that I used to dream about shopping at age 13 would become my mainstay for ribbed tank tops at age 33?

Ahead, five ‘90s mall brands that are as iconic now as they were in decades past.

Aerie

I was first reintroduced to Aerie with its activewear: A lot of the brand’s offerings come in sizes XXS-2XL, so I was able to buy the same pair of leggings for both myself and my sister, which is a rare occurrence. I ended up perusing the intimates section and realized it’s filled with a range of styles that include comfortable basics, sexy thongs and briefs that just fit well — and I love that the brand doesn’t Photoshop their models into oblivion, so you can get a real feel for how things fit. (Oh, and in true mall brand form, Aerie is almost always having a sale.)

OFFLINE Real Me High Waisted Crossover Legging, $31.46 (Orig. $44.95)

Credit: Aerie
Credit: Aerie

Buy Now

OFFLINE Real Me Xtra Track Legging, $34.96 (Orig. $49.95)

Credit: Aerie
Credit: Aerie

Buy Now

Aerie Real Happy Wireless Lightly Lined Retro Lace Bra, $31.46 (Orig. $44.95)

Credit: Aerie
Credit: Aerie

Buy Now

Aerie No Show Thong Underwear 3-Pack, $26.95

Credit: Aerie
Credit: Aerie

Buy Now

Aerie Jacquard Longline Scoop Bikini Top, $19.97 (Orig. $39.95)

Credit: Aerie
Credit: Aerie

Buy Now

PacSun

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Say what you will about the Kardashian-Jenners, but Kendall and Kylie make one heck of a swimsuit. For a recent vacation in Mexico, I bought five new suits under the impression that I’d have to return most of them, but unfortunately for my wallet, they all fit perfectly. The same was true for any of PacSun’s private-label suits, made under the brand LA Hearts. Plus, the Cali-themed mall brand also has an impressive selection of tanks, jeans and jackets that are perfect for a cool summer night.

LA Hearts Lace-Up Corset Tank Top, $15 (Orig. $29.95)

Credit: PacSun
Credit: PacSun

Buy Now

Kendall & Kylie Button Down Wrap Around Top, $25.86 (Orig. $​​36.95)

Credit: PacSun
Credit: PacSun

Buy Now

LA Hearts by PacSun Button Front Mesh Mini Dress, $37.56 (Orig. $46.95)

Credit: Pacsun
Credit: Pacsun

Buy Now

Kendall & Kylie Eco Black Ashley Tie Front Bikini Top, $23.06 (Orig. $32.95)

Credit: Pacsun
Credit: Pacsun

Buy Now

LA Hearts by PacSun Black Rebecah Scrunch Bralette Bikini Top, $​​32.95

Credit: PacSun
Credit: PacSun

Buy Now

Abercrombie

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

There’s no smell that transports me back to 2003 quite as strongly as Abercrombie cologne. But real talk: I’m not sure I can ever overcome the PTSD from getting made fun of as a teenager for not being able to fit into Abercrombie’s clothing. Anything I could afford from them came from Abercrombie Kids — and the little moose was a dead giveaway that I wasn’t “developed’ enough — and that I paid less than those shopping at the “real” Abercrombie. These days, though, the brand is more grown up. Even though it may never completely lose its Chad connotation, Abercrombie boasts some really well-made pieces, including denim, tanks and outerwear.

Curve Love 90s Ultra High Rise Straight Jeans, $99

Credit: Abercrombie
Credit: Abercrombie

Buy Now

Cinched Fleece Popover Hoodie, $41.30 (Orig. $59)

Credit: Abercrombie
Credit: Abercrombie

Buy Now

Utility Puffer, $200

Credit: Abercrombie
Credit: Abercrombie

Buy Now

Double-Layered Seamless Scuba Bodysuit, $39

Credit: Abercrombie
Credit: Abercrombie

Buy Now

Curve Love High Rise Dad Shorts, $35.40 (Orig. $59)

Credit: Abercrombie
Credit: Abercrombie

Buy Now

Foot Locker

Foot Locker was one of those stores I was never excited to go into. My dad would drag me in before the school year, usually when they were having a sale for sneakers to try on what felt like a million pairs of sneakers that were practical but deeply uncool. These days, I still love trying on shoes before I buy them, but I’m free to shop whatever trendy pair of shoes I want. Even though I still go for practical basics, having the option feels like the ultimate freedom.

adidas Ultraboost DNA, $180

Credit: Foot Locker
Credit: Foot Locker

Buy Now

Nike Air Max 97, $170

Credit: Foot Locker
Credit: Foot Locker

Buy Now

adidas Adilette, $29.99

Credit: Foot Locker
Credit: Foot Locker

Buy Now

Crocs Classic Slide, $25 (Orig. $30)

Credit: Foot Locker
Credit: Foot Locker

Buy Now

Nike Air Max 270, $150

Credit: Foot Locker
Credit: Foot Locker

Buy Now

Urban Outfitters

I don’t think I ever stopped shopping at Urban Outfitters — but the way I shop there changed quite drastically. Instead of picking out pieces that are core to my wardrobe, I shop basics that round it out, instead. That means my cart is usually full of tank tops, tees, bikinis and sweats — and the occasional home decor piece.

BDG Paula Waffle Racerback Tank Top, $29

Credit: Urban Outfitters
Credit: Urban Outfitters

Buy Now

Champion Classic Reverse Weave Sweatpant, $50

Credit: Urban Outfitters
Credit: Urban Outfitters

Buy Now

UO Riko Mesh Button-Front Mini Dress, $69

Credit: Urban Outfitters
Credit: Urban Outfitters

Buy Now

Billabong Pretty In Plaid Underwire Bikini Top, $24.99 (Orig. $70)

Credit: Urban Outfitters
Credit: Urban Outfitters

Buy Now

If you enjoyed this story, check out the 21 under-$100 shoes that Lauren Caruso wears over and over!

More from In The Know:

Shop these 3 can’t-miss handbag deals from Coach Outlet before they sell out

5 stylish long-sleeved dresses to add to your fall wardrobe

The best Labor Day sales on clothes and shoes going on now

Ready for fall? You’ll want to wear this $30 corduroy shirt now and all autumn long

The post 5 mall stores that I still secretly shop at all the time appeared first on In The Know.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting