41 In Series/ Shopping Tips

The Where I Shop Series: Shopping for Classics at Chico’s

Taking my Chico's striped jacket to the film festival

Taking my Chico’s striped jacket to the film festival

 

Chico’s has been on my radar more than usual lately. There was the fashion event at Chico’s in Napa that I attended and wrote about (Finding Fashion to Love at Chico’s). Then there was the Sunday when I was with my friend Marj who asked, “Can we go to Chico’s?” My “yes” turned into a style transformation shopping trip  (Anatomy of a Transformation) where Marj got a style update and solutions to the nagging feeling she had that “there’s nothing in stores for women our age.” It was so exciting for me to create outfits where I saw Marj’s presence and power and leadership come to life. She has plenty of all that, but her new outfit combos brought those qualities front and center. What joy!

Let’s talk about me next. Could I find fashion in Chico’s that would suit my style which is fairly classic with a touch of spunk? You’ll find out the answer to that, but first I want to define clothing introverts and clothing extroverts.

Some clothes are introverts; some are extroverts

Brightly colored, heavily embellished clothes and clothes in wild prints are the extroverts of fashion. Think of  a clown at a birthday party for kids: bright colors, wild prints, embellished with oversized bows or gargantuan buttons on a shirt. That’s an extrovert outfit! Dial it down from there and you probably know people who love to wear bright colors, wild prints and jeans or jackets with lots of embellishments. I get really excited when I see women dressing in outfits that are put together with extrovert clothes. They pull it off with ease.

Solid neutral colors, minimal details, little or no pattern in clothes would be the introverts of fashion. Extrovert clothes in outfits bring the party while the introvert clothes are quiet and reflective. They are like partygoers who will find that one someone to talk to in the corner out on the balcony for two hours.

Okay, why am I telling you all this? It’s important to understand your style and know what kind of clothes will help you define your style. Maybe you need extrovert clothes. Maybe you lean more on introvert clothes. When you understand where you are on that spectrum you can develop style radar. When you enter a store you can block out what doesn’t suit you and zone in on what does suit you.

Pretend you are getting off the escalator at Nordstrom in Corte Madera. If you love extrovert fashion, you’d find it in Etro, Ted Baker, and Missoni. If you like introvert fashion, you’d find it in Armani, parts of Lafayette 148 and Hugo Boss. Make sense?

 

Enjoying polka dots from Chico's

Enjoying polka dots from Chico’s

 

Adding some favorite necklaces to my polka dot jacket

Adding some favorite necklaces to my polka dot jacket

 

Adding bangles and my bee watch to my wrist

Adding bangles and my bee watch to my wrist

When I think of Chico’s …

…I think of extrovert clothing. If I stand in the entryway and look out over the floor of the store the first things I see are extrovert clothing pieces. I see lots of bright colors and patterns and clothes with embellishments. Being that fairly classic girl, I could wonder, Is there anything here for me? Will anything suit me? If I give myself thirty to sixty seconds worth of focus, I can start spotting introvert clothes.

On a recent shopping trip I zeroed right in on polka dots and stripes. I mean, what could be more classic than polka dots and stripes, right? I love my black and white polka dot jacket and my navy and white striped one. They make my insides swoon.

On this same shopping excursion, I found myself attracted to an embellished jacket. It’s a tribal jacket. The colors aren’t bright; I like the pattern. It isn’t wild; it is empowering. I tried it on and felt like a Warrioress. Since purchasing it and wearing it there’s this thing that happens that I never expected: Every time I wear it I get compliments. Men and women alike stop me and talk to me about it.

 

My mostly introverted Chico's tribal jacket

My mostly introverted Chico’s tribal jacket

 

Love how my necklace adds to my Warrioress vibe in this jacket

Love how my necklace adds to the Warrioress vibe in this jacket

 

It’s a lot like another jacket I bought several years ago from Chico’s. I call it my Prada Chico’s jacket. The ribbon detail at the neck reminded me very much of a Prada jacket I’d seen. I loved the colors in it – neutral white and taupe and blue. Again, compliments galore. When I’m in high end stores and sales associates rave about it I have a little private chuckle. I’m sure they think it’s an expensive label. I do have an actual Prada jacket that I paid a good fortune for that never gets that kind of attention.

But that brings me to my final point.

When you put a look together, it’s not the price point that makes an outfit work. You make it work when you stay true to your style and put it together in a way that says YOU.

 

My pretend Prada jacket is from Chico’s

 

Oh wait, there’s one more jacket that’s whispering in my ear, “Talk about me! Talk about me!” My other jacket purchase on this latest shopping trip is a denim blazer. Gosh I love this style! Again, the blazer is a more classic design. The dark denim is perfect for my lifestyle. It’s pretty much an introvert piece, don’t you think?

 

Love my denim Chico's blazer

Love my denim Chico’s blazer

 

So the next time you go into Chico’s, especially if you’re someone who favors introvert clothes, go through the racks. You’ll find what you’re looking for. Just sidestep the extrovert clothes and keep looking. And those of you who prefer extrovert clothes, well, this store will serve you well.

So tell me, what’s in your closet? Extrovert clothes, introvert clothes or a mix? I’d love to hear about it!

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 18, 2017 at 3:26 am

    I love all the jackets you feature. I’ve hesitated to buy 3/4 sleeve jackets but I never thought about wearing them over a long sleeve piece as you do. They look great and can get far more wears that way, given temperatures in the midwest. I’ll be getting myself to Chicos to look for some introvert jackets now that you’ve given me a way to be able to wear them now. Thanks for all you do!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 10:25 am

      You’re so so welcome! My clients took a while to warm up to that 3/4 sleeve jacket style but they love it now. And I like to layer either long sleeved or short sleeved pieces under them depending on the weather. I like the look too! Thanks for your share!

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    April 18, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I tend to gravitate towards the extrovert clothing, but I’ve found we really need both in our closets!!
    I was just laughing this winter because I found that I wore my grey turtleneck the most of any piece in my closet—yet it’s not exciting or unusual. But it’s that basic that goes with everything!!
    Chicos has always had some fabulous jackets…and jewelry!! That’s why I keep going back—it keeps my happy!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

      I think also in my formula that I like 80% introvert clothes and maybe 20@ extrovert clothes. So maybe your formula is the opposite. And your gray turtleneck was the introvert piece. Just as an example…

  • Reply
    Eileen Ternullo
    April 18, 2017 at 7:05 am

    My favorite pieces are the ones that make me look good, enhance my coloring or my shape, like a great frame for a piece of art. I call some decorative pieces, “conversation” starters, I wonder if the introverts use these as a way to interact or attract conversation? Do I want compliments on my clothes? or me? You in orange took my breath away! and that’s a compliment I would love to have! Thanks for your insights, Eileen 🙂

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 10:14 am

      You bring up such great points! I love your descriptions: creating a great frame for a piece of art, clothes as conversation starters, or decorative pieces. I dress for my own pleasure but it’s awfully fun when I find out it brings pleasure to others as well. I love the smiles on faces when I compliment someone on their outfit, their looks or a specific piece of clothing they’re wearing. They smile and sometimes say, “You just made my day.” And thank you Eileen for the compliment on wearing orange! It’s still something that takes a little courage on my part. So actually, your compliment gives me a little more courage! Thanks, Eileen!

  • Reply
    Penelope Chandra- Shekar
    April 18, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I identify as an introvert but perhaps oddly gravitate to extroverted clothing choices. Perhaps I would like my clothes to do the talking? As for Chico’s, I do shop there but wish they had more natural fabrics.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 10:06 am

      I think it’s a really interesting thing about clothes as extroverts or introverts and whether introverts lean on introvert clothing or extrovert clothing and vice versa. I’ve seen all combinations of. The great thing is that we really can use clothing as ways to communicate for us. That’s the beauty of choice!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    April 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Great post on defining style. I love the black/white sneakers in the first picture. Where are they from?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Hi Cynthia, they are by AGL. I’ve had them for a few years. Still love them!!

  • Reply
    Ruth Essex
    April 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Love this article. I think I would probably fall into the extravert category however there are times when I want more of a hug from my clothes and will consciously chose a more introverted style to meet my mood no my needs for the day.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:27 am

      It’s a fun way to think about clothes, isn’t it? I love your personal observation!

  • Reply
    Barbara Kraus
    April 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I had noticed what I considered a style change in your clothing lately. More color and bolder prints. Even though stripes and polka dots are classics, the ones you pick have been bold. Same with the bright orange and the yellow items. I love them on you. They convey a certain energy or zest. But I would never have considered them introvert pieces-and I think I still don’t. 🙂
    I do get that they lean more classic than a lot of Chico’s clothing.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

      You make a great point! I’d say the striped jacket is bolder than a striped jacket could be, for sure. I think of the style of that yellow jacket as introvert but the color makes it more extrovert. I love the point that Spags makes about her clothes being introvert but the colors being extrovert. That’s also a great way to look at this. I’m glad you brought this up!

  • Reply
    Barbara Kraus
    April 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    As for the lessons from the post, I think finding my sweet spot is the challenge. A little too something and it’s too much, not enough and it’s a little too basic.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

      A GREAT point! So the challenge is holding out for the piece that’s just right. Thanks, Barbara!

  • Reply
    Geralin Thomas
    April 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Oh Brenda, this is a wonderful post!

    Some of your wardrobe wisdom reminds me of another of your posts. I call it your “flower-power post” (you like tulips + I like zinnias) http://www.brendakinsel.com/a-simple-style-exercise-to-define-your-personal-style/ )

    It’s comforting for me to think of wardrobe pieces as introverts and extroverts or friends, acquaintances and strangers.
    Personally, I’m drawn to colors of “fresh produce” for my own wardrobe pieces and Chico’s seem to have a few pieces for everyone every season.

    As always, much gratitude for sharing what’s on your radar.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      So so true! Great memory! I can see your fresh produce wardrobe. Delicious!!! I always love hearing from you!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Geralin, shortly after I read and responded to your comment, I went to my closet and a “fresh produce” colored scarf fell into my hands. I looked at it and thought immediately of you! It’s a handprinted scarf, done by a friend of mine, but I’ve never worn it. Maybe it needs to live with you! Let me know, I’d be happy to mail it to you!

  • Reply
    TGCHI13
    April 18, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Everything I’ve tried from Chico’s (other than my favorite knapsack) looks too big and sloppy on me, but I think you are smaller than I am (height and weight). How do you do it/what am I doing incorrectly?

    I have the I same issue when I try to wear Eileen Fisher’s clothes, and I am baffled.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

      I think it’s a matter of being open to the exception which means trying on lots of things. I have some boxy items in my wardrobe (by choice) but mostly I favor trimmer cuts. However two things are changing: my body and fashion itself. My body is happier when things aren’t clinging. I like that Tribal jacket for instance because it stand away from my body enough to not bring attention to any rolls that are living in my midsection. It gives me confidence. The other thing is that volume is a big fashion trend right now. We’ll have to see how well it’s embraced. I still think that you can wear something with more volume if you are sure to keep one part of your outfit more fitted. In Eileen Fisher, try going down a size or two or three to get the fit that works.

  • Reply
    Spags
    April 19, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I love this post! I had never understood this before but you are so right, clothes are introvert and extrovert. My clothes are introvert in style but extrovert in colour. I am really coveting that tribal jacket you have, what a great find!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Wow, I LOVE that observation of yours! That gives me thoughts about my own wardrobe. What I think about when you say that is wearing classic styles (introvert) like a blazer, a trouser, etc., and looking for them in turquoise, orange, and berry. Okay, I’m going to be on the lookout. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    April 19, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I am drawn to extrovert styles yet land somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Since comfort rules…introvert pieces ground most outfits like Jodie’s grey turtleneck. I just bought some unique or interesting pieces (extrovert nods) that will merge well with some comfort classics. Changes in the Seasons encourage me to branch out even more and clearly embrace my extrovert side. Interestingly enough, I think the Style continuum of Introvert to Extrovert stays somewhat aligned to actual testing results such as Myers Briggs types. I fall in the middle of Introvert and Extrovert as tested. Honoring interpretations– I feel I have more fashion freedom by leaning both ways.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:17 am

      I love that! I had Meyers Briggs typing done — gosh, maybe thirty years ago? I was an ENFP. (Does that sound right?) but my E (extrovert) and I (introvert) were awfully close so maybe I too have leanings to both extrovert and introvert clothes. I see myself as more introvert than extrovert and I wonder if that’s changed over the years. And yet, my style evolution is pushing me to wear bright colors more often. Of course, that means bringing more bright colors into my wardrobe!! I always love your perspectives and would LOVE to see those unique and interesting pieces!

  • Reply
    Dianne
    April 19, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Love all of the clothes that you have featured, they are so pretty. I like Chico’s but a little expensive. I have never bought anything but I was told that their clothes last, which is good. The problem I have is the staff at the Chico’s near me, they are not very friendly nor seem to want to help unless they think that you can afford it by appearance only. This is crazy. I receive their catalogs and love the clothes.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Dianne, one thing about Chico’s is they are always having sales. I bought a dress there a few years back that was so discounted and it was very fun to wear. When I’m shopping for myself, I tend to like to not be bothered by sales people. I need to hear my own thoughts. Sometimes it’s great, but that’s just my shopping style. I love learning product information and sales associates can often supply that to my delight. Shopping experiences are all so unique. You might go in again and just do some research without adding the pressure of buying anything. Follow your own strong thoughts about your style and let that take the lead. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Pat
    April 19, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Well, Brenda…. I feel as tho we had a personal consultation regarding shopping at Chico’s. On my way to the Apple Store yesterday I stopped by Chico’s and did my usual color visualization walk, but then I remembered your suggestion to “roll up my sleeves ” and start sorting through the racks….you are right, there are cute clothes for classic introverts, like me. I just have to dig a little more and choose carefully

    You are the best! Thank you for sharing your passion and desire to help all the women in your life look their best. You are appreciated more than you know!
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 20, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Pat this is fantastic!!! And that is exactly the point I hoped to get across about getting in and looking deeper! I know this professionally. I remember setting up a shopping trip with a client years ago and the day I met her at Nordstrom she said, “I was here last night and there really isn’t anything here, Brenda.” I smiled. And then I helped her find a fabulous wardrobe in Nordstrom. We had a big laugh about it afterwards.
      Personally, the trick for me when I’m shopping on my own is to do the same thing as I do professionally: Have patience and do the search.
      I LOVE that you found things, just love it!!!
      I appreciate you!!!
      Yours faithfully,
      Brenda

  • Reply
    Alex
    April 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I really appreciated this article. I consider myself to be more of an introvert with clothing, and I have been thinking about how to make my wardrobe evolve in a more interesting direction, while remaining true to myself. I went to Chico’s because I wanted to see that tribal jacket that you have in your picture. Long story short, your article nudged me a out of my comfort zone because I could visualize myself wearing this jacket with jeans, so I bought it. I know I never would have even considered looking at something with this much embellishment without having read your perspective on introverted/extroverted clothing – thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Wow, how cool is that? I’m planning on wearing my tribal jacket tomorrow and I’ll think of you, Alex. I’m glad you gave it a shot. Thanks so much for sharing your great story!

  • Reply
    Sybil
    April 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I love Chico’s and your jackets look fab on you. You put it all together very well for your coloring and clothes “personality”…very chic. I have a heavily embroidered jean jacket from CHico’s that is nearly 20 years old and it is VERY current . I save my favorite Chico’s “hero”” items for years. I also have a pr of heavily embroidered flare jeans from the 90’s that are again “hot” and a velvet and sequined vest. I really advise friends to KEEP the pieces they love even when they sort of go out of fashion cause they WILL come back again. I love to combine the more ïntrovert items like your denim blazer which I bought too with wilder things like a hot orange top or bottoms to be a mix of ïntrovert and extrovert. The orange is a bit too clownish on me without the calming influence of the blazer even though orange looks good with my blonde hair and light skin. You are right, CHico’s has hero pieces galore, but also black, cream, navy blazers, core wardrobe pants etc etc. THanks so much for the article and photos…you look REALLY stunning.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 3, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks so much, Sybil! I love hearing about your hero pieces and how you mix the introvert pieces with the extrovert pieces. I think I’m moving more into that world of wearing the two together. It’s fun to hear how you do it!

  • Reply
    Audrey
    May 19, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Brenda – I liked the Chico’s clothes featured by you so tried the website and was delighted to discover that most items were available in petite size and that shipping to UK was availables; hereit is difficult to find petite clothes and those available are usuallyl the most basic designs with few choices of colour or pattern and I was so tired of being told that at my height I could not wear tunics (rubbish since though I am only five feet tall my legs and torso are well balanced all I needed was the correct length). I waited until my first order arrived before leaving a comment – I am so happy with the items (including the striped buttonless cardigan that appeared in one of yourblogs they fit they are the correct proportions the waist and pockets are where they should be. Thank you so much.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      I’m so very happy for you, Audrey. Yay! The Chico’s in Napa, just one town over is about to carry petites. That’s such a great idea. Getting that proportion right is so important. I’m happy, happy, happy that this is working for you!

  • Reply
    Denise Lampron
    June 8, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Excellent article, Brenda. I appreciate that you are encouraging women over 50 to celebrate themselves and their style. Thank you. Chico’s is a terrific place to begin the celebration — lots of color and choices, especially for high contrast ladies and ladies that like bright color. Your 3/4 length jackets are fabulous over your long sleeve tops. Looks terrific and solves the problem of warmth. Very creative and keeps the eye engaged. Your AGL shoes are rockin’.

    Enjoyed the conversation around introverted vs. extroverted dressing. As I age, I find I want to push the envelope a bit with romantic and dramatic styles which tend to read extrovert, yet I still feel I’m honoring my introvert personality. And some days, I’m so darn grateful to be 65 and fully alive that I don’t care if I’m a bit extroveredt in my outfit. Feels great. I earned it, right?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      You earned every bit of it, Denise! I’m finding this more and more with my clients too that they’re moving into style choices beyond where they started. Of course, I also think the fact that fashion has gotten so casual is one reason but I think the other reason is: If not now, whey? You’re right about Chico’s. I’ve spent more time there for myself than I ever would have imagined. But I do tend to find the classic or introverted pieces more to my liking. And I’m glad they have so much selection so you can find what suits you. Just loved hearing from you!

  • Reply
    Tracey J
    June 26, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Brenda, I just discovered you via Lisa from Amid Privilege, and I want to tell you, you are completely gorgeous and amazing. I am turning 50 this year, love clothes and have a similar style ethic as you – mostly classic pieces, understated, classy, practical bit a bit of sass on the side. I look forward to savouring all your posts as I work through them. I just think you encapsulate femininity, class, style and fun, and I am inspired. Bless you and your work. Much love, Tracey, Brisbane , Queensland Australia.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Wow, this is such a lovely letter! I love the description of your style. And I’m so flattered by what you said about what I’m encapsulating. I could use those words as my style words! I’m so glad you discovered me via Lisa. The world is just getting closer and closer. Xo

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 24, 2017 at 9:29 am

    BRENDA l just loved how you describe introvert and extrovert, this description help me understand my dressing style and muy frustration because i consider my cloth like introvert but i would like to be more extrovert, thanks for helping me to understand what is happening when I choose my cloth every morning

    • Reply
      Brenda
      September 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Glad you found that helpful! I really like looking at clothes that way. Glad it’s helping you!

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