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BUD’s Belfast Uke Drop-ins

BUD’s—Belfast Ukulele Drop-Ins is a group of local Belfast area folk who are learning how to pla [ ... ]

Island A Cappella chorus

Island A Cappella, PEI’s only female chorus singing four part-harmony in the barbershop style, is  [ ... ]

Just Fabulous

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.

Ready for Winter

Retail Tales
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.

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Some Upcoming Events

The Children Act

September 27–October 4
City Cinema PG, language warning
Dir: Richard Eyre, UK, 105 min. Emma Thomps [ ... ]

Miracle Man

Tomáš Kubínek brings his unique show to Summerside October 3
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Projections on the Plaza

Until September 29
Confederation Centre Plaza The public is invited to enjoy two outdoor film screen [ ... ]

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An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]