Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma

Bundled under the American  Chico’s FAS, Inc. brand umbrella are three stores that I enjoy shopping: Chico’s (originating on Sanibel Island in Florida in 1983), White House Black Market and Soma. Soma is currently only available in the United States but Chico’s and White House Black Market have retail locations in large urban centres across Canada.

Chico’s came to Canada and it’s only within the last year or so that I’ve become a fan of their fashion—certainly not everything they carry, but their pants and blouses are wonderful. When I first started going into Chico’s’ stores in the United States many years ago I was put off by their jumbled merchandising and abundance of sparkles, fringe and polyester. After looking a bit closer and trying some of their fashions, I was impressed. I used to think it was like Le Chateau for grownups with hip, current fashion, but their basics are lovely too.

Their sizes are a bit confusing as they have a weird system ranging from 00 to 3+. They’ve just recently started translating their weird sizes into comparable American sizing, i.e. 10, 12, etc. They also have some petite sizes and at 5’3″ their petite size 1 pants fit me perfectly with no hemming required. Overall, I’ve found their pants, capris and shorts to be great and the basics like oversize white shirts and blouses are far less expensive than the more prestige brands. I wanted to buy the Eileen Fisher hip-length denim jacket but balked at the $278.00 price tag (which has since been put on sale). I got one very similar and exactly what I wanted at Chico’s for less than $100.00 on sale.

White House Black Market‘s The Slim Ankle pants can’t be beaten. They’re made of fabric that’s sturdy and resists wrinkling. They fit beautifully and don’t require pressing after every wear; they just fall into place.

Soma is not available (yet) in Canada but if you’re ever in the U.S. go into one of their stores in the mall and load up on lingerie friendly to boomer bodies and tastes. They have a frequent shopper incentive program, offer $10.00 trade-in on old bras and regular promotions with great prices. Their on-line shopping experience is excellent. I’ve ordered items for delivery to a U.S. address with great success but I must caution that I’ve never ordered for shipping to Canada as it can sometimes double the cost with out-of-country shipping costs, Canadian duties and taxes and exchange rates making it less attractive.

Happy shopping mes très chères.


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