And so I marched into the department store to try on dresses. Like a growing number of global consumers, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done so—I even bought my wedding dress online. De Bijenkorf was quiet. Blissfully so. After the double onslaught of rain and the crowds lining Amsterdam’s streets, it was as if I were entering a cathedral, albeit one consecrated to a retro kind of consumerism. Like all the best cathedrals, it even had its own fragrance. The ladies’ department (my status as a “lady” being a question for another time) was curated by someone with an actual design sensibility, rather than an algorithm trained to offer me Instagram’s fake news in fashion form. A limited selection of items makes for fast shopping. Instead of sifting through an infinite number of items online, I quickly spotted, tried on, and purchased a dress...that I’ve worn multiple times since.
— Read more in The Forgotten Glories of Department Stores at The Atlantic.