by Alana Sprague
Let me begin by making a confession. I am a shop-a-holic. For those of you who don’t think this is a real problem, I am here to tell you that it is. This is an issue I have been working on, trying to help myself by helping others. Is there anyone out there in need of a shopping partner?
I recently started a new job. I received a nice little bonus and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it—shop. I had things I needed to get in preparation for winter—warm wool slacks for the cold trek to work, new denims for casual days and nights spent dancing, long sleeve shirts, and cozy sweaters for chilling in front of the fire. With these items in mind, I headed to the Charlottetown Mall. Walking through the entrance of the mall made my pulse race.
I headed to Dynamite and was greeted by the store manager as I entered—always nice to be recognized. It had been a while since my last visit so I felt a need to reacquaint myself with their wares. I am never disappointed by the selection at Dynamite. They have an excellent variety of casual and dress clothing. The music in the store is great too, but it would be better if it was turned down a notch or two. Feeling the need to yell at the sales person to get their attention is a pretty good indication that something needs to done about the background noise.
The first thing I tried on was a pair of straight-legged dark wash denims with a nice embroidered detail on the back pockets. I’m tall, so when purchasing jeans I look for something that has a longer inseam and these jeans fit like a glove. The best part of all was that they were marked down from $40 to $25, just the bargain I was looking for. I paired the jeans with a satin kimono-inspired wrap blouse—bronzed gold with a red and tan sunburst pattern. It was beautiful! Asian inspired clothing is very “in” this season and this was something I had been looking for. This style is one that you can dress down with a pair of denims or dress up with a nice pair of tweed slacks or a skirt—very versatile. I also picked up a pair of brown pin-stripped wide-legged dress pants and a brown tweed lined skirt that was only $10. I have yet to wear the skirt but at that price I couldn’t leave it behind.
I have found that over the last few years stores have made an effort to have clothing that fits more to the average size woman. Nothing worse than trying on a size 9 that is actually a size 6, making you feel much larger than you really are.
Purchases in hand I headed next door to Smart Set, hoping to find something to compliment the dress pants purchased at the last store, perhaps a sweater or long sleeved shirt. Smart Set always has great discounts on end of the season items so I headed to the back of the store. I did find a white cotton wrap blouse I had been eyeing and it was now priced considerably less the original ticket price. After excitedly trying it on I realized that it looked better on the hanger than it did on me. I made a few more selections to try on—a rib knit scoop neck sweater and a few cotton shirts in a variety of colors. Smart Set is great for finding simple cotton shirts in many colors and styles. They look great under a suit jacket or paired with jeans for casual day at work or on the weekends. I have purchased many of these types of shirts in the past but today I decided to pass. Sorry Smart Set, no luck this time, but I will be back.
Exhausted, I headed for the exit. I’ve worn my new satin kimono wrap blouse in many different situations, paired with nice slacks at work, paired with my dark wash denims when out for drinks with friends, and I always feel stylish and sophisticated. I’m looking forward to my next shopping adventure.
Tip Of The Month: Try it on. This will allow you to see how the clothes look and fit, and will prevent you from having to return the item when you get home and realize it doesn’t fit or wasn’t for you.
The Buzz welcomes our new shopping columnist, Alana Sprague. We can’t afford to buy her clothes, but we will pay her a little something for writing about it.