The Black Friday experience these days is as diverse as suburban residents themselves. And at many malls and stores, teens dominated the day.
They started their shopping as early as Thursday evening and continued through the night in search of fashionable finds worth skipping sleep.
Some made it an early, early morning at the megaplex of Woodfield Mall, shopping for cool clothes at 2 a.m.
Others dragged their moms out on multiple excursions, beginning Thanksgiving and reigniting the next morning.
For adults, Black Friday shopping could mean buying a fancy used car or making a traditional mall run with relatives.
And for one mindfulness enthusiast, the day was about encouraging others to toss the consumerism and take a deep breath of meditation.
For those who slept in, here's a snapshot of the Black Friday scene across the suburbs.
Hittin' the mall
Several teenagers who began their deal-hunting excursion about 2 a.m. at Woodfield in Schaumburg were pleased with their purchases as they took a break six hours later. That was encouraging to the mall's director of marketing and business development, Heather Lloyd.
"I would say we are seeing the younger generation carrying more shopping bags this year, so that's a positive sign," Lloyd said.
Jason Nieves, 14, of Arlington Heights was so thrilled with the two-for-one camouflage cargo jogging pants he got at PacSun for $64 that he donned one of them as he continued his Black Friday at Woodfield.
"Got the little zips on the bottom," Jason said. "It's a little skinny, you know, but I'm walking to fit with it."
Alexandra Lugardo, 14, of Mount Prospect said one of her favorite finds was a pair of discounted pants for $108 at lululemon -- known for yoga-inspired technical athletic apparel -- in the wee hours.
"That's a good deal for lululemon because they're usually a lot more, usually like $160, and the line was out the door," she said. "It was crazy."
For 14-year-old Pat Bujak of Mount Prospect, the top purchase was a half-price Champion hoodie from Urban Necessities, which set him back just $40.
Shopping in stages
Black Friday began at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for Kathi Day of Aurora, her 15-year-old daughter Emily Day, and Emily's friend, 14-year-old Leland Pan of Aurora. The trio hit Westfield Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora for half-off deals at trendy clothing retailer Garage.
The next day began at 7 a.m. in downtown Naperville, where the group didn't have to fight large crowds to stop in Ulta, Pandora, Sephora and Francesca's Collections. And that was after snagging their favorite deal of the day -- 30 percent off an oversized sweater and a knit winter hat -- at a second-story boutique called Homegrown Honey.
The final stop later Friday was a trip to buy Leland some golf gear like pants and polos.
Between stops at lululemon and Anderson's Bookshop about 9 a.m. in downtown Naperville, Erin and Tim Sinnaeve of Aurora decided to pamper their dog, Griffin, a 7-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Their purchases? Sweet Potato Dog Chewz and Soft Bakes Cookies & Crème Bites, both meat-free.
"We're vegetarians, so we don't eat meat," Erin Sinneave said. "And neither does our dog."
Long night's day
Four pooped teenagers from St. Charles sprawled on a bench at 10:30 a.m. at Geneva Commons with bags from Tilly's, American Eagle, Hollister and Bath & Body Works. They'd been at the mall since 4 a.m.
The best deal, Riley McArdle said, was at Bath & Body Works, where she and friends split a buy-three-get-three deal and chose six scented candles.
Nearby, shopper Nichole Hutcheson had ditched the relatives who couldn't keep up during a spree that began at 2 a.m. at an outlet mall.
"I had to drop them off at home," Hutcheson said with a laugh. "They could not hang."
Her shopping buddy, Ashley Villarreal of St. Charles, said the early start still left time for family priorities Thursday.
"We're not cutting our (Thanksgiving) dinner short to go shopping," she said.
Some shiny wheels
Tom Stessl of Homer Glen had been researching for a few months and talking for a few days with a salesman at Bill Jacobs BMW in Naperville before stopping in Friday to head home with a new ride -- a certified used 2014 BMW 3 Series 328 XI.
An Amazon shopper for his holiday gifts who purposely avoided the malls and stores Friday, Stessl said he was happy with the $20,500 deal he got on his newest car, a step up from his Pontiac G8. The car's color is described as Orion Silver Metallic, though Stessl admitted it takes on a gold tint in the shade.
"It looks different," he said of his car's slightly unusual hue. "It's nice."
Packing in tradition
In the Gurnee Mills parking lot, Julie Goss of Milwaukee and her family tried to close the trunk of her SUV during another stop on a marathon experience that began in Kenosha at 9 p.m. Thursday.
The group got a hotel for the night but only stopped there for about an hour before making a Starbucks run and heading out.
"We haven't been to bed all night," Goss said. "I don't think we could fit, like, another purchase in this car."
Also trying to maximize shopping time were Lori DiPaolo of Arlington Heights and Renee Carrao of Round Lake Beach, who paused for a restful 45 minutes of sleep in their car. That came during a day that included a 6 a.m. stop at Kohl's, for $100 worth of goods at a cost of $22, and a later journey to Gurnee Mills.
"We do this every year. It's our tradition," DiPaolo said. "We've got it all planned out."
Shopped out? Breathe in
Inside the Athleta shop selling activewear for women in downtown Naperville, Hinsdale meditation instructor Suzanne Wychocki set up cushions, switched the music from "fast-paced" to "relaxed" and offered instruction on 1- and 5-minute meditations. She got few takers on a day dedicated to a move-it-or-lose-it mentality.
"I think everyone is kind of in a hurry," she said. "They're focused."
• Daily Herald staff writers Bob Susnjara, Susan Sarkauskas and Doug T. Graham contributed to this report.