Through extensive study, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of shopping malls fall into two categories: super posh and decrepit.
The decrepit malls aren't much of a concern, as you probably don't want to be in one anyways. However, if you do need to enter a decrepit mall, might I suggest a handy can of mace and some steel toed boots? It's all about the accessories, baby.
However, the super posh malls are both places you might actually want to go (they have the best kids play areas, after all) and require a different approach to have the proper image of yourself projected onto the masses of humanity.
And Adrianna is totally ready to walk you through it today.
Start with the clothes. You cannot consider stepping foot into a super posh mall without wearing a so-matching-it-hurts name brand outfit. Gymboree can almost be thought of as affordably adorable if you buy it in the off season when it's on super clearance with coupons. Also, check Ebay, some parents consider those outfits collector collection worthy sets and then try to sell them as such but most people still only see them as baby clothes and therefore aren't willing to pay the envisioned $50 for a used 2t cotton jumper, and you can sometimes snag barely used outfits super cheap. Sadly, adult outfits aren't as easy to come buy on a budget, but if you make your kids so well coordinated they could pass for the newest branch of the Korean Army, nobody will even notice your personal lack of designer jeans and overpriced sweaters.
Next you need some fancy headgear. Adrianna picked this particular hat out herself from our dressup clothes bin. A headband with a fake flower the size of her head would have also been a good option for her. For you, there's nothing like some super fake blond highlights to make you look like a super posh mall natural. I'm pretty sure they sell it in a can to spray on your head in the Halloween section this time of year.
No trip to the mall (or Target, for that matter) can possibly happen without a fancy drink in one's hand at all times. Star Bucks is the true classic, but fancy smoothies or other brands of coffee are also acceptable. Adrianna looses slight points with a reusable water bottle, but it's matching of her hat is almost enough to redeem it.
Finally, the credit card. It doesn't matter if you actually have money to spend or any intention of buying shit, you just need to look like you're buying shit and waving a credit card around is the easiest way to do that. Might I also suggest bringing an old Gap bag from home with your kid's extra outfit and diapers in it? You'll look like you are a main feature of that posh mall, without doing any actual spending. The Victoria's Secret bags are quite sturdy as well, so long as you don't mind the bright pink nature of them screaming SEXY UNDERWEAR from a mile away when you're really just using it as an extra diaper bag.
Yep, with a little prior planning you can totally blend into the posh mall atmosphere like a natural mall rat. Even when you're not.