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Retail Tales
by Alana Sprague

I’m attending an evening wedding on St. Patrick’s Day and I need a something new to wear.

My first shopping stop was Absolutely Fabulous, located in the front section of Afternoon Delight at 218 University Ave. They specialize in Canadian designer clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry. They carry men’s and women’s clothing, and also have a hair salon and esthetics studio on site.

I had a dress in mind, something from the Soul Shepherd Collection. It is a sleeveless chocolate brown, gold, rust, and moss green floral printed stretch velvet. Its V-cut neck dips down to the empire waist which has a satin ribbon detail that may be tied or wrapped several different ways around the bodice. It stopped at that perfect spot just below my knee. I knew there would be no one else with a dress like this and it was 50 per cent off. I loved it but decided to try on a few more. Next was a silver brocaded knee length dress. Although it was beautiful, it didn’t compliment my body and the rough brocade material would have made for an uncomfortable night. The sales person had one more suggestion. There was a dress at the front of the store, very sexy and stylish, that she felt might be something I would like. The only catch was that it was maternity wear, something they had just recently starting carrying at the store. I was open to the idea. The dress was a black halter style, satin ribbon empire waist, knee length dress and the instant I tried it on I was in love. It was figure flattering, which every woman, pregnant or not, loves.

My second stop was Just Us Girls located at 100 Queen Street. They have added a café at this location and I like the setup of the store. It’s bright and open with quotes in pink on the walls. Their prices were on par with Absolutely Fabulous, and they also had deals on end-of-the-season items. I discovered that they carry designs from Canada, Australia, and the USA, and that all the shoes they carry come from London. They stock a variety of stylish blazers, slacks, jeans, dressy shirts, cozy sweaters, leather boots and shoes.

I was only able to find two dresses, neither of which were what I was looking for. The first was a floor length black dress with lace detail on the bottom. It had rouching through the center of the dress which for any woman self-conscious of her mid-section, can be figure flattering. The second was a knee-length tan lace dress; very pretty but a little too casual for the event. I was a disappointed that I wasn’t asked if I needed assistance until I had been browsing for almost 10 minutes. I did find a shirt that was on a rack of items marked down 75 per cent. The shirt is from the Canadian designer Sweet Soul and is a chocolate brown floral print, with full-length sleeves and v-neck. It’s a little sheer with rouching along the sides which really makes it a slimming fit. The V-neck, sleeves, and bottom of the shirt have soft jersey knit cuffs. I tried it on and was very pleased.

I made my purchase at Just Us Girls and decided the black halter dress at Absolutely Fabulous was the one for me. The only thing left to do is find a date for the wedding who is as sexy as my dress.

Tip Of The Month: Shop with a friend you trust. Sometimes it’s easier to make decisions when you have someone along who isn’t afraid to be honest.

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