Retail Project Part 4, Boutiques & Conclusions

This is the fourth and final installation of a series. You can catch up by checking out:

Endless Knot

Grade: A+

We moseyed into Endless Knot and were greeted by Sidney and Teresa. They knew exactly which of their dresses fit our very specific criteria (reminder: fit & flare day dresses, mini, with pockets) and began making a dressing room for Pam…and then they started making a room for me.  They were great! If a size wasn’t on the rack, they found it for us in backstock. They even pulled out some dresses for us that weren’t on the sales floor yet.

I think we spent about 45 minutes browsing the small store before we began trying on – and I’m pretty sure we tried on at least half the merchandise.  We had a fantastic time trying dresses on, swapping if one didn’t fit right on one of us, and chatting with the ladies in the shop.  Pam and I both ended up purchasing several items – including day dresses with pockets! We both left happy!

My lovely experience at Endless Knot salved the deep disappointment wound I received from Macy’s.

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Sassafras

Grade: A

Sassafras is a fantastic little boutique directly across the street from Endless Knot. Everything in the shop is hand made by local designers and beautifully unique.  Amy, the woman who owns the store, frequently has fun events to showcase the designers.  Unfortunately, Amy wasn’t in the day Pam and I popped in, but the woman who helped us was very nice and helpful.

At this point in our day of shopping, we had both already found the items we were looking for and I had already spent way beyond what I felt my budget should have been.  So while I found a dress that I really loved, I could not justify another purchase that day (except maybe more tea). Pam, however, did find a really awesome skirt that fit her perfectly! Also, it was adjustable. Also, the pattern was amazing. Basically, it was a magical skirt.

Some Conclusions

Nordstrom

Nordstrom shoe buying experience was amazing. Mark A and Andres B should both get raises.

My impression of the high couture dresses – they beautiful, but not my style. As a lindy hopper with a very large behind, I can confidently say that I have a niche dress style…and apparently its not couture! I also wasn’t particularly thrilled with the level of service for the price of the product, however I think that was an anomaly. I’d shop the department again with Pam any day to give it another chance.

Macy’s

I’m still heartbroken over how sad our experience was here.  If Bob Hope got his dress with pockets at Macy’s, we’ll never know.

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Boutiques

 

In someways, going to Endless Knot may not be a fair testament to all boutiques as it’s literally a block from my condo and I’m in there often enough that the entire staff knows me by name and exactly which pieces I’d like.  But I guess that’s what I like about it – it’s the easiest, most personalized experience in my price range.

Pam said she enjoyed Endless Knot, and while she wouldn’t likely go there on her own, she’d definitely join me on any future excursions!

Overall

The day was ridiculously fun. I had an amazing time with Pam – we spent the majority of the day laughing.  Something we observed about the whole day is that both of us purchased more by browsing a variety of stores than we would have had we shopped online for specific items. But by making a day of it, and by making it social, we both ended up with boots, dresses, and a variety of other things.  Interesting…

What’s Next?

Now I think I’ll try a different challenge – one of abstinence.

For the next three months (starting November 1), I am going to buy nothing for myself at all – save for necessities.  Necessities are defined as personal care items, groceries, etc. Necessities are not clothes, shoes, hand bags, coats. Essentially, nothing related to fashion. If I destroy my yoga pants, sure, those can be replaced – but I won’t go looking for another pair just to “have” them.

Why abstinence from shopping? Because I want to see the other side of consumerism. I want to see how I do when I can’t shop for inspiration or to make myself feel better. I want to look in my closet every morning and be excited to wear the pieces I already have.  That freedom I experienced when I weaned myself off of Anthropologie – I want to experience that freedom on a grander scale.

Who knows, maybe I’ll fall flat on my face. But it’s worth a try.

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