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?
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.
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.
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?
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!