My Beloved, who just got a major promotion & I went to Austin for her annual company meeting and Christmas Party. The party was "and spouse . One of the "benefits" about her being out at work is that I get included in these sorts of things. This is both a blessing and a curse.
I am not interested in clothes and fashion. I'm a librarian at a poor school so I wear very casual things to work and jeans and polo shirts around the house. Clothes keep me warm in winter and cover up the parts that haven’t aged well in summer. We do not attend church so I haven't needed "nice" clothes in years. The bulk of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores and garage sales, with my 2 main criteria being “does it fit” & “is it machine washable”.
I'd planned to wear a pair of velveteen pants and silk shirt and a velvet vest. We joined some of the company folks for breakfast who were also in Austin for the meetings and festivities. I took one look at the quality of the clothing they were wearing (all men) and decided the outfit I had would not do at all.
Everyone on my Betsy-Tacy list-serv always raves about Nordstrom. I decided to venture forth to the one in new upscale mall (they just entered the Texas market last year) in search of something to wear.
Turns out the Ladies of Betsy Tacy List are correct. Nordstrom is everything they said and more.
I called to find their hours expecting to hear a recorded voice intoning:
"Welcome to Nordstrom's, for Spanish press 1, for hours press 2, for directions press 3, if you know your parties extension please enter it now”. Instead; a real live person answered the phone. Said person was not in India, they were in Austin. I did not have enough time to take advantage of their personal shoppers so she suggested I come in and ask a salesperson for help.
I wandered into ladies clothing, found a saleslady and said "dress me".
Once she got over the shock of encountering someone as fashion impaired as myself she rose to the occasion. She spent over an hour with me, she got a top from here, a skirt from there and finished it off with the perfect jacket. By the time, we were finished I’d spent a lot of money but I had fabulous outfit. She personally took me to shoes, purses, lingerie and makeup and helped me find just the right things. The only reason we didn't visit jewelry is because that was the one thing I already had. In fact; I brought my necklace with me and told her I wanted something that went with it.
I asked for makeup suggestions (I am also makeup impaired). She consulted a colleague and they decided Trish McEvoy was the brand for me. Down to cosmetics I went. They were right – even though my newly opened Nordstrom account now has a rather large balance – the experience was worth every penny.
Nordstrom is perfect for someone like me who does not like to shop and does not follow fashion. Here in Houston we had Foleys (which is now Macy's). You can’t find anyone to ring up your purchase, much less offer assistance and fashion advice. We have one Nordstrom in Houston, in a mall I loathe due to traffic but I'll deal with it the next time I need something other than kaki pants and a polo shirt.
I sent the store manager an e-mail telling her how impressed I was and received the most delightful ( and personal ) e-mail in response. It is so refreshing to realize that there are merchants out there who still subscribe to customer service.
My Beloved was delighted with the result. I meet the wife of the President of the company and the first thing she said to me was that she really liked my top and that she had one almost like it that she'd bought for her son's wedding – at Nordstrom no less!.
I am very glad I braved the doors of the mall. Now I had better have a good month on Amazon so I can pay for it all!