Retail Therapy Has Its Own Reward

The economy may not be in the best shape it’s ever been, but you wouldn’t know it Saturday at Christopher & Banks shop in the Meriden’s Westfield mall.

The women’s clothing shop hosted its seasonal Spring Fashion Show. Customers modeled the clothing line, and according to Jen Page, store manager, some were recruited as recently as the same day.

It’s a very clever marketing strategy as it accomplishes several objectives. By bringing activity to the store, returning customers are offered the opportunity to try styles they may not have otherwise purchased by modeling the apparel.

The guest ‘models’ are treated to perks of gift bags for their part in representing the Christopher & Banks brand, in addition to the sale discounts that are in effect during the event.

As anyone can attest to how important it is to be able to find quality clothing with a sense of style and that fits well is like finding a prize. Women come in all shapes and sizes and a store that recognizes that is one that quickly becomes favored.

“I love shopping here because the clothing is arranged by color,” said Remona Perry “Not only does that make it easier for me to find a put together look, but the customer service is great. If I’m looking for something specific the sales staff are more than willing to assist.”­­

I had asked if I could photograph the show because I shop at Christopher & Banks and thought it would be fun. Sadly, the day before the show my beagle of 12 years was euthanized and I wasn’t sure how I would follow through with the promise I made weeks earlier.

What never fails me is photography’s power of being in the moment. I loved seeing every age represented and looking so pretty!

By fulfilling the assignment I couldn’t help but to get caught up in Jen Page’s enthusiasm as she described each outfit the models wore right down to the embroidery on the pant pockets. The models walked the ‘walk’ along an emulated runway defined by flowers that were placed on the floor.

I was still sad over the loss of my furry friend and I kept thinking of him as I approached the store. If you haven’t been to the Meriden mall Christopher & Banks is directly across from the Gentle Jungle pet store. I couldn’t help but notice the puppies inside. I was more interested in people though, instead of pets.

The energy of the event was contagious and I felt grateful for that.

I always thought retail therapy was about spending money, but in this instance, surrounding myself with positive energy was the perfect way to be in a good place, which has its own reward!

While I didn’t make any purchases following the show I noted Christopher & Banks is having a sale – and it’s worth knowing about for a return trip – when there will be less of a wait. Mostly everyone who participated in the show were shopping smart – a sale is hard to resist!

Judging from the long lines at the register – at least the local economy was doing just fine!




Prom and Whose Emergency Is It Anyway?

Alright I know the job of a parent is to make sure the lunch gets packed. But at what point does lack of planning on your kid’s part constitute an emergency on you, the parent?

Case is point – the high school senior prom – a well anticipated event by every graduating student. Tuxedos and gowns are the evening’s fashion and maybe a boutonniere and corsage among other traditions.

For some unknown reason, traditions haven’t been the cornerstone of my family. My son’s girlfriend who is so beautiful, is also a non-traditionalist. Both Jenna and Connor have the notion of outfitting themselves with found fashions. Jenna got lucky a few weeks prior, and secured for herself a dress that she described as a perfect fit – with colors of blue and purple undertones.

Using Jenna’s gown as the inspiration, Connor’s outfit started out with a suit jacket from Goodwill Industries. A light blue ready made bow-tie, supplied by Jenna was what I thought he’d wear. That was nixed in lieu of another bow tie, which Connor has been tasked with learning how to construct. As I write I’m not clear where the second bow-tie originated.

That’s where the ’emergency’ aspect evolved. By Wednesday evening prior to Saturday’s prom, Connor still had not located pants to go with the funky blue jacket bearing tarnished brass buttons. The couple had frequented Goodwill during the week to no avail.

While I had Connor’s ear captive, I pleaded, why not wear a tuxedo?  “We want to be different than everyone else,” said Connor.

While I can appreciate individuality, I also recognized Connor still needed pants! We ventured to  Savers hoping to find the ‘perfect’ pants. Did I mention that Connor is stick thin and finding anything in his size just might be challenging? This is three days before prom and counting….

We walked through rows of dockers and hundreds of horizontally hung slacks (to air out?) to find nothing. After “settling” for a pair of new dress slacks from J.C. Penney’s, and trying to persuade Connor to go with the flow of conformity, the emergency quieted down. Connor’s resolution to be a unique pair is his choice.

My mental angst for him to have a fun prom evening, I realize is mine alone. He doesn’t care if he is dressed differently than everyone else in the ballroom. What he cares about his girlfriend’s happiness with him on her arm, dressed in a suit pieced together one element at a time.

Stay tuned for prom photos to follow!