1. Say “Hello” to the Fierce Diva (male or female, but probably male) in the gelatinous hair style. S/he will be carrying a bunch of other shopping bags in the crook of their elbows, like this. The Fierce Diva will also be tan and in sunglasses, hot pants, lots of jewelry, and will be listening to Rihanna on an MP3 player. Join them.
2. Wear a gas mask to avoid all the cologne/questionable odors.
3. If you live in a densely populated urban area like Chicago, LA or New York, accept the inevitable fact that when you go inside, it’s going to be a hot mess. Brace yourself.
4. Buy underwear based on how they will make you look in your new Grindr pics/locked pics on Manhunt.
5. Bring a friend who you think is in serious need of a makeover. Take a friend there who is trying to be more fashionable. The first time I heard about H&M was when the faaaaabulous Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy talked about how great it was for fast fashion deals, #2003.
6. Plunge yourself in various states of public nudity in order to try stuff on in front of the mirror because you just can’t be bothered with the fitting room. Fight people for the one mirror on the whole floor.
7. If you do make it to a dressing room, take advantage of the fabulous lighting to take photos of yourself and upload them to the social network of your choice.
8. Look at the price of something and get upset when it’s higher than what you expected. “$79.99, for this?” Buy it anyway.
9. Understand that the shirt fits the mannequin the way it does because it is pinned in the back. What are we, idiots? Why are they trying to trick us? Just make the shirts FIT THAT WAY TO BEGIN WITH!!!
10. Buy ten of everything because it’s so cheap — socks, bracelets, t-shirts, underwear. Realize how quickly $4.99 and $9.99 add up.
11. Dodge sales people when they come at you on the floor. You know they’re just doing their job, but you would really like to find a bra in peace.
12. Find a pair of jeans you REALLY want, feel a pang of anxiety when it’s unclear whether they currently have it in your size. Go through the whole pile, inspect each pair for your size — even the one’s that aren’t clearly ticketed. 34×32, 38×32, 32×30, gaah!
13. Stand next to a sales associate and mess up a pile they just dutifully fixed. Feel guilty and say “I’m sorry” because you used to hate when people did that when you worked at the mall.
14. Be a person dragged into the store against your will and get restless. There’s no place to sit for bored boyfriends.
15. Accept that the things you get there will look cute but they might be a little bit…off. The zipper might fall off at some point, the hem isn’t quite right, but whatever, they were $20, so.
16. If you live in a big urban area, get excited about the new designer collections to drop. Lanvin x H&M, Margiela x H&M, Karl Lagerfeld x H&M. Yaas!! Show up on the day the collection drops, wait on line. Know the designer capsule collections look cheap, fight people for some anyway.
17. Get gift cards for people here. Everybody loves H&M.
18. Overhear a conversation about a stranger’s sex/romantic life. Become really interested, stealthily follow them around.
19. Sneak your boy/girlfriend into the dressing room with you. Whatever you do in there is between you and the security cameras :p
20. Never go after the holidays. All that’s left is the mess nobody wants.