Saturday night nostalgia: The way we used to shop

They were different time: Image: National Archives of Australia - 5394890

There’s no question that life, and the way we live it has changed over the past 60-plus years. 

In many ways it’s great; we have more modern conveniences that help us in our day to day tasks, and everything we need is at the click of a button. 

But it can’t replace the experiences we had, so let’s take a trip back down memory lane to the way shopping used to be. 

We went to actual bricks-and-mortar shops, for one

Online shopping is very convenient, and phone-order shopping before that, but there’s nothing like feeling the fabrics, trying the clothes on, and actually seeing everything in person before purchasing it.

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Shopping was a special occasion

These days people wear their workout gear and trackie-dacks shopping. Do you remember when a trip into the city to do a spot of shopping was a big day out, and we got dressed up and really made a day of it?

We knew the shopkeeper by name

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And they knew yours, too.

We didn’t get our bread and milk from a big multi-national.

No, we stopped in at the milk bar (before it closed at 5pm) to grab our bread, milk, and newspapers. And maybe a pack of smokes (hey, they were different times!).

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Choices were limited

There were no big Westfields like you see today. There was the dress shop, the grocer, the fruit shop, the baker, and the shoe shop. While choice is great, there’s a lovely simplicity in not being overloaded with choice.

The products were good quality

Clothes were locally made, and excellent, lasting quality, not mass-produced, sweatshop rubbish. And if they didn’t fit properly, the tailor would fix that.

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You could get your shoes fixed

It’s a small thing, but don’t you remember when you could take a worn or broken pair of shoes to the cobbler and have them fixed (among the other many talents the cobbler had)? These days, we throw everything out and just buy new ones.

What are your best memories of the way shopping used to be?