8:58 PM CST, December 23, 2012
Just skip down Michigan Avenue or any mall thoroughfare and you’ll discover an abundance of retail establishments, boutiques and upscale shops featuring women’s apparel. But where can you specifically find a variety of options to smartly strut into a New Year’s Eve celebration? Where can you discover the perfect party dress?
Concentrating on the following five categories, Chicago Shopping, looked through several Chicagoland shops to find the best possible retailers for outfitting you for a New Year’s shindig.
Re-wearability: This category is looking for frocks that can be styled for many occasions and/or dressed down for work.
A Variety of Price Points: If you are in the market to splurge or require an ensemble that is more budget-friendly, these stores fit the bill. Literally.
Variety of Styles/Sizes: An assortment of sizes and trends available to fit your taste in trends and personal physique.
One Stop Shop: Beyond the dress, these shops can adorn you from head to toe with accessories, shoes and the occasional cape.
Return Policy: Flexible or Final Sale? Every retailer has their preference.
Nordstrom at The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
(Other locations in the Chicago area include Oakbrook, Woodfield and Old Orchard.)
Variety of Styles/Sizes and Price Point: With an array of styles from edgy and avant-garde to classic and conservative, Nordstrom hits the variety mark by offering price points to fit any budget and sizes range from petites to plus sizes. From $49 and up in the BP department to featured designers such as French Connection, starting at $178 to Sue Wong, starting at $488. Whether you are hunting for a cost savvy dress or a long-term investment piece, this global retailer offers the customer a plate full of options.
Re-wearability: With the number of choices at Nordstrom, it is easy to find a dress that can clearly transition to any special event or day-to-day (business or casual) meeting.
One Stop Shop: Exclusive departments at Nordstrom service each fashion category with their eclectic medley of jewelry, handbags, hats, scarves and unmentionables.
Return Policy: Ask a Nordstrom.com Live Chat online customer service representative about returns and they will quickly tell you the, “primary goal is to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.” They will also go on to explain that if you have a return to make, Nordstrom will usually take the return. The receipt is helpful during the transaction and the refund will go back on to the original credit card. If the receipt is not available, the funds will be issued to a Nordstrom gift card.
Jobella Vintage and Consignment Boutique, 310 Campbell St. (upstairs), Geneva
Variety of Sizes/Styles: A West Suburban vintage consignment shop, Jobella acquaints customers with some contemporary styles but is mainly known for their vintage collection. Sizes vary as the boutique stocks what is handed over by willing consignees. 1930/40’s gowns, tailored 1950’s a-lines and modern styles.
Rewearability: Clothing selected to be sold at Jobella is one of quality and longevity. If a vintage dress is well-kept and cared for, the stitch and seam are in it for the long haul.
One Stop Shop: Shoppers will also discover vintage hats, handbags, clutches and jewelry, floor length capes from the 1940’s. Past inventory at the store has included classic Hermes silk scarves, a vintage Halston couture dress and an Oscar de La Renta couture gown.
Price Point: $30 and up.
Return Policy: All sales are final.
Claudia’s Closet LUX Boutique and Consignment, 217 W. Main St., Saint Charles
Variety of Styles/Sizes: If you are attending a formal NYE event and are in need of an evening gown, Claudia’s Closet in St. Charles gives extravagant party attendees a vast selection of colorful, sequin adorned and tulle boosting dresses. Sizes vary based on inventory.
Re-wearability: Some of the gowns at Claudia’s will require you to attend another special event; however, at a fraction of the actual retail price, your consignment purchase not only gives you glamor, but is an eco-friendly alternative to buying new. Some samples of what you might find at the store include Cassandra Stone, Jovani and Tony Bowls formal gowns.
One Stop Shop: The store also stocks accessories, shoes and handbags worthy of complimenting a formal gown.
Price Point: $29 - $269
Return Policy: All Sales Final.
Anthropologie, Block 37, 108 N. State St., Chicago
(Anthropolgie also has locations peppered all over the Chicago area including Chicago Avenue, Southport Avenue, Geneva Commons, Oakbrook Center, Woodfield Mall, Old Orchard Mall and Highland Park.)
Variety of Sizes/Styles: Known for depth, texture, bold patterns and unique embroidered garments, Anthropologie’s collection of eclectic designers and assorted dress styles are suitable for shapely and slender women. The pieces are available in all standard European sizes, petites and U.S. sizes zero through 14.
One Stop Shop: Pins, charms, hair accessories and leg ware are just some of the accessories from Anthropolgie.
Rewearability: Pieces from Anthropologie can be elegantly dressed up or casually dressed down and can even be styled from season to season.
Price Point: From $118
Return Policy: “All Anthropologie merchandise is unconditionally guaranteed,” according to anthropolgie.com. A customer service representative at Anthropologie further related that, “If you would like the amount returned to be refunded to your credit card, customers will need to provide the original sales receipt. Returning items with no receipt? You will receive the item(s) last sale price, which will be issued to you on an Anthropologie gift card.”
Special Occasions on the Avenue, 2 North Batavia Avenue, Batavia
Variety of Styles/Sizes: Designers like Suzi Chin, Adrianna Papell and Cachet line the racks of Special Occasions in west suburban Batavia with vibrant emerald greens and bold plums, detailed beading, long and short hemlines.
Re-wearability: While some dresses are best suited for formal events, Special Occasions does carry options that can be worn for afternoon gathering or paired with a casual shoe for any work wardrobe.
One Stop Shop: Fur shrugs are just one accessory you might find for top-to-bottom styling, others include earrings, bracelets, necklaces, decorative headbands and cocktail rings.
Price Point: $150 - $400
Return Policy: Sale merchandise and formal gowns, final sale. Regular priced merchandise returnable for store credit within seven days of purchase.