Friday, July 15, 2011

Chic Essentials + My Neighborhood = Love

In my most recent quest to balance eco-behaviors with my shopping, I’ve found the Essential shop around the corner. It’s true. I like my comfort zone so this little find is perfect for me and worth a visit from all of you.
Chic Essentials is a luxe boutique offering everything from sunhats and handcrafted jewelry for the summer to well designed skinny
jeans and bejeweled Haivanas for forever.

Ideally situated on the main street of
small town USA, on my first visit to their new location, (the store just recently expanded into a larger space due to demand), I was brought pieces and suggested outfits all while working with the amazingly friendly shop stylists. When one of my choices, a gorgeous linen tunic, by Conrad C. Collection. had popped it’s button,
the in store tailor not only sewed the button but offered to bring it to me. This is what I am talking about when it comes to top notch service at a store.
Add this type of luxury to your life by frequenting shops that exemplify the high standards that you deserve while shopping. It’s almost as if the customer today is never right. How sad because we used to always be right when it came to shopping & service. The colors are vibrant, alive and the store is intimate yet very highly organized. I cannot shop in mess so boutique shopping works best for whatever type you think I am.

There is not too much to weed through as they layout allows the shopper to take in exactly what is being offered up. No deception needed. The sales rack, which is always located in the back of the store is not chocked full of fashion randomness, rather it’s a culmination of a few leftover essentials from the previous season. Stock up there, always!!

Every shop these days is calling themselves a boutique. They rent a big space with showcase lighting, have cute marketing items and sale very low quality items at crazy markups to try and make it all work. This is not fair especially when it comes to fashion. Unfortunately, this seems to be the new tactic these days. I’ve traveled quite a bit and shopped in boutiques from South Texas to the South of France and even those inside of Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom offer the personalized services that epitomize what a boutique should be.

A friend just recently had
her bikini altered at Nordstrom. Life doesn’t get more luxurious than that now does it?? Adding to the ultimate personal shopping experience, Chic Essentials employs staff with an in depth knowledge of the boutiques brands, sizes and colors to the t. Shirt that is. Actually knowing what you are selling is rule number one. How do so many companies miss this?

Here are a few tips on finding a true boutique

1. Quality clothing

Think lined jackets, classic pieces and natural fabrics. Less polyester and uber-trendy designs. Boutique pieces will cost more so keep this in mind when shopping. Quality is king but we must shop wisely.

2. Welcoming environment

If the staff thinks that they are too good to cater to you in a boutique then they don’t deserve to be called that so don’t shop there.

3. Highly knowledgeable staff

There is nothing I hate more than a wanton worker behind the desk. Work is the hey word here. Most shopkeepers go straight to Market themselves so brand awareness is key here.

4. Personalized service

These are boutiques and they should be catering to you. This could come in the form of cucumber sandwiches, champagne, water, AND/OR private viewings, unique item suggestions and outfit creations that are budget conscious.

There are a few boutique highlights but Chic Essentials is my close to home favorite. At the rate these gems are popping up there is bound to be one close to your home soon if not already. When shopping at boutiques, remember that the convenience, style and excellent fashion advice are not found at larger more commercialized shopping outlets. Stick close to home and seek out your own unique boutique. Like Chic Essentials, they need no gimmicks or tactics to bring the customers in. They sell themselves on experience and true boutique services. This is Uncommon Fashion.
(photos are all mine. Taken @ Chic Essentials)