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Thursday, September 1, 2011

VIP Shopping with Penningtons

Sorry for the delay in telling you about my VIP Penningtons event.  I am sure you can understand that the life of a VIP can get very busy :)

I should start by saying it has been sometime since I have been shopping in a Penningtons store.  I check out what they have online regularly but actually visiting a store - it really has been awhile.

Penningtons invited a number of local Plus Size Bloggers and customers to the Heartland store in Mississauga for a new shopping experience and to be "Styled to Surprise".  

I would highly recommend you make the trip to Mississauga to visit Ester (Store Manager) and her staff at the Heartland store.  They knew their merchandise and were eager to help, but not "too" eager - if you know what I mean.

I was greeted with a refreshment and let loose to go shopping.  There were appies, a DJ, a make-up artist, stylists and a fireman.  Hmmmm, curious right?

While shopping I was asked if I had been to the fitting room to see the surprize.  My response was, unless it is that fireman waiting for me in the fitting room, I am in no hurry.  (Sorry honey, he was a fireman dressed in fireman gear!)


It was firemen in the fitting room but not like you think (or wish).  The big reveal was an innovative mirror that when you stood on a mat it would prompt a video scenario to start with two firemen appearing in the mirror with you. They flirt, offer you champagne all the while your reaction is being captured electronically, ending with you having an option to share it all on Facebook.

I did find it odd, why would I want to share my shopping for clothes with someone I haven't seen since Gr. 3? (insert sarcastic tone now, "Thanks again Facebook for reconnecting us!") Conveniently, while I was in the fitting room there were a number of technical glitches so I never had to step on the mat.  When I shop for clothes, I shop alone. I grab my pieces, try them on, and I don't leave the fitting room unless I need a different size.  

Typically I don't have my hair or make-up done, I don't have the right shoes, I leave my socks on when trying on dresses - the process is not a pretty one.  I would rather the first time my friends see my new clothes be when I have completed the entire look.

Maybe I am just showing my age, not sure, but if this is something you might find fun go check it out.  The "mirror of men" will be at the Heartland store for 3 months.

Now to the good stuff: shopping!  Penningtons very graciously gave us $150 to spend that night and with the extra 20% off New Arrivals, my fashion math calculates that to be $180 in new clothes.

I was honestly Styled to Surprise when I started shopping!  Previously, Penningtons wasn't on my go-to-list for clothing.  While I have found pieces there in the past, I would often find a cut or style I liked but would wonder why they would use such an unflattering pattern or colour.

It was obvious they have worked really hard to change this perception.  I found the clothes to be younger, flattering and stylish.  One of the reasons I started this website and blog was out of frustration and not being able to find stylish clothes.  With the largest plus size chain stores all being owned by the same company I felt our hands were tied.  I do believe they have heard our cry for something different.

I now see Penningtons as a company who offers on-trend clothes without being too trendy. 

I think I am your average 40+ (eeks!) woman who just wants to have clothes that are fashionable and flattering.  I am not in my 20's, I don't have to or want to wear "off the runway" styles; you will never see me in purple skinny jeans.  (Oh boy, never say never!) Silhouette is more important to me than wearing a designer name.  I also expect to get a season or two out of my clothing purchases.  I really think Penningtons hit the mark on all accounts.

Their Fall styles offer a good jumping off point.  The styles work such that that by adding accessories and mixing and matching you can create a unique style of your own.

I usually wait until late September/October to go shopping for Fall so shopping this early was a treat.  I had my pick of styles, colours and sizes.  On my third round in the fitting room I wondered why I hadn't shopped in August before!

Everything I tried on fit, I actually had so much stuff I consulted with the stylists Giselle and Sebastion to help me weed down my purchases.  It was honestly the best shopping experience at Penningtons I have ever had.

I left with 2 dresses, a sweater, jeans, a top, and a tank for a total of $260, minus the $180 I had to spend, it only cost me $80.  I love everything I bought and got two thumbs up during my mini fashion show for "the dude" and my MIL (Mother-in-Law).

I will share my purchases with you later.  When I went online they didn't have everything listed and I didn't think the pictures did them justice.  Not to mention I have been droning on and on in this blog post.

I will end this post with a suggestion to check out Penningtons.  If you haven't been there for awhile I think you will be "Styled to Surprise"

Happy Shopping!

P.S.   Thanks to Penningtons and Melissa, the event coordinator.  I appreciated the invite, the clothes and all the hard work that went into the event.

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