No matter how diverse Lebanese clothes shopping rituals are, the horrors are often the same. From our unrivaled salesclerks who have inspired the nationwide bestseller ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Intrusive Shop Assistants’ to our world-famous bargaining abilities, we Lebanese surely know how to hit’em fashion stores with class.

1. The SSA (Salesperson Stalking Army)

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The fundamental pillar of clothes shopping in Lebanon is to have Shop assistants invade your private space by the time you walk in and follow you around until you leave. The smoothly assertive SSA invasion particularly intensifies if your confused shopper self happens to throw in a question/random comment about any of the items. You’ll basically end up with a dozen salesclerks vigorously debating the pressing international issue of whether the back of a shirt suits your figure or not. Take it easy on the masses, people.

2. The Perpetually Confused Drama Queen

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You’re likely to bump into a minimum of one impulsively insecure shopper during a regular trip to the fitting room. Usually a girl, this type of shopper basically cannot and will not buy anything before securing a comprehensive set of justified opinions about it from half the people in the shop. The spectacle becomes particularly compelling when swimsuits are involved.

3. The Underwear Section Complex

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So you’re one foot inside the underwear section and everyone around is already looking at you as if you’ve just been convicted of organ trafficking or something. So taking your time to pick clothes is perfectly normal but taking your time to pick the stuff you wear underneath is not? Note: underwear-only shops are pretty much your only awkward stare-free alternative.

4. The Lost Boyfriends Club

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The club mostly consists of a bunch of disoriented guys strolling around the women’s section in a heroic attempt to appear half as interested in the new summer collection as their girlfriends.

5. The Hormonally Challenged Boyfriend Turned Vogue Editor

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As the Lost Boyfriends Club is often too loaded to accommodate the entire male population in a particular store, those left off are usually the ‘trying too hard’ few. A boyfriend in the latter category will interfere in every single detail of his girlfriend’s fashion choices, always making sure to voice his amateurish style tips as loud as all the nearby voices combined. This horrendous practice is most prevalent in new couples.

6. Compulsive Bargaining Disorder

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Lebanese people’s Fruit & Vegetable market-type bargaining is often carried out to clothing. The goal is always to get the most glamorous items in the cheapest possible price (does not apply to designer handbags, of course). No wonder online bidding on clothes and accessories is proliferating in the country.

7. The Runway Illusion

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Lebanese female shoppers are always prepared for a casual shopping-themed photoshoot, mostly made up of mirror selfies live from the fitting room. Rules of the game include loads of makeup, putting on random curve-hugging dresses and trying out weird hats they’ll never buy.

8. Sale Season Malfunction

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The sale season environment is closest to a World War II movie. Just like the mutilated bodies of victims, last season items are tragically scattered around shop sections, in no humanly decipherable order. And if you ever happen to find your size or manage to rip off a desirable fashion piece before your fellow sale enthusiasts, you’re the lucky one. One good thing is that this would be the only instance where the SSA ceases its stalking activities (well unless they’re trying to direct your attention towards the section that is not included in the sale).


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