The Mister recently took me to Chicago to celebrate my birthday and a "labor day weekend show".  While in Chicago we stayed at one of my favorite hotels there and did some great, yet limited, shopping.  I may share some of my shopping stories later but for now we will focus on where I had the most "luck".  

After working in retail most of my professional life, customer service is really number 1 for me.  If the service is poor I won't stick around to shop.  If the service is great, I will give almost any store a try.  Do you know what I mean?  There are stores that just aren't right for me whether it be my age or size or whatever but, of the stores I choose to shop it's the service that determines if I stay long enough to look around.  We visited one of my favorites first.  I was in the mood for some new shoes and this store is  known not only for shoes, but also for it's service.  I was looking for a particular brand and style.  I had to approach a sales associate which is not typical of this store.  When I inquired about the shoe in question she pointed to "where they would be if we had them".  Guess what I did next...well I typically would have exited.  But, I tried one more time....this time I got a different denial "nope, that doesn't sound familiar".  I replied that I had seen them on their website, after her shoulders shrugged,  I left.  

We traveled on.  The next stop was Loft.  Loft is a store I either have a ton of luck at or can't even find a scarf.  This time was awesome and it started the minute I walked in the door and was greeted.  The service was fantastic which caused me to try stuff on (key to making a purchase).  I was treated with respect, and had fun and some laughs while there.  It was a great experience overall.  I bought some great pieces for fall and never would have bought as much had it not been for the sales associate.  I thanked her personally before I left the store as she did not take care of my purchases, someone else did.  Folks in retail always hear the bad but don't hear the good often enough :)  

So on to the shopping and what I got (or as the folks haul).  What caught my eye initially was a pair of cropped pants in the window that looked stunning....really. I immediately walked in, asked for that pant and chose them to try.  Here is what I bought:

A few things about each piece...

1)  The back button sweater.  The color is a lovely shade of gray, which for me is a great neutral.  The sweater is lightweight enough I won't sweat to death in it but truly says cooler weather.  It will be to layer or wear alone.  It will be great dressed up with pearls and a skirt or casual with a pair of distressed jeans.

2)  I don't remember the official name but this is a long sleeve tee "ramped up with style"  It's again gray (okay it's my new obsession).  It's long enough to wear with a lot of different bottoms.  Again, this piece can be worn alone or layered.  It can also be dressed up a bit with the scarf seen in the haul :) 

3)  You guys this skirt!  It's a great knit material.  It's got fantastic detailing with the buttons in the front.  The minute I put it on I had tons of ideas swirling in my head for what I could do with this single piece.  Dressed with tights, a turtleneck and my chunky Mary Janes.  Tights and high boots and a sweater.  Sheer hoisery, dressy Mary Janes or my SJP Carrie heels and dressy sweater or silk blouse, Long sleeve tshirt and booties and tights, or as pictured with a denim shirt and tights and brown boots....on and on.  

4)  The scarf...the picture does not do the colors justice.  There is a vibrant persimmon type shade in this scarf paired with the shades of wine in this.  It's beautiful.  It can be worn simply with a sweater, jean jacket or would look great with a camel blazer.

5)  The star ...the black pants.  I have already worn these.  The material is wonderful.  It's washable (yay) and soooo comfortable.  The cropped length is great year round with so many shoe choices.  (Including those shoes I was searching for at the fancy store).  I can't say enough good things about these pants.  Worn with a denim shirt and loafers for fall or paired with a beautiful silk blouse for New Year's Eve...both will work.  Win!

The best part of the whole deal...ALMOST all of it was 40% and I earned the infamous Loft Cash to spend later.  Go ahead, get out there and shop.  Shop wisely - get versatile pieces you can wear lots of different ways and more than one year.  Have fun!  Reward great service with a sincere thank you!  Have fun!  As always, if you need advice or tips don't hesitate to contact me.