Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Charlotte Russe Revisited

First in our weekly Wednesday staff guest posts! Please welcome Kati today as she explores Charlotte Russe in Manhattan Mall.

I haven’t been to Charlotte Russe since I used to shop there for hot tops as a fifteen year old. Good for a wear-it-once-and-get-tired-of-it blouse here and there, I didn’t think very highly of the store back then. So it was with some strong prejudices that I stopped by the Manhattan Mall location last night, on special assignment from Fashion Herald.

First impression: I almost fell over in shock when 3 store associates welcomed me with genuine smiles and greetings. The store was cleaner than I expected, and even more well organized (an area where other discount stores often fall short). Still nervous about trying on teenage hot tops, I set out to find some more respectable pieces.

They had several different printed ruffled shirts, paired with detailed sweaters. The halter tops I tried hung strangely at the bottom; a problem that might have been resolved with a smaller size. However, I really liked the lacey inset detail on the black sweater.

Ruffled print shirt $19.99, and both ruffled shirts

Black sweater detail, $22.99

I tried a couple of dresses, but could hardly focus on the clothes when I realized this was the dreaded annual event –the Spring Reveal of my long lost bare legs after months tucked under layers. After adjusting to the blinding white light coming from my legs, I saw the way cute Oxford-style Shirt dress I had on. Thinking I’d love to wear this on the Fourth of July, I almost bought this for only $26.99! Then I remembered that is 6 MONTHS away. I also liked the more structured dress, and could see it adapting to different seasons with the right accessories.

Oxford dress $26.99, oxford dress detail

Structured dress, $29.99

They have an entire wall devoted to denim, so I tried a pair of denim leggings. And was shocked… I loved them! They were only $29.99 and could not have been more comfortable. The soft acid-washed tees are 50% off of $8.99 right now. Which is about 80% less than I pay for similarly distressed V-Neck Tee shirts at another retailer (American Apparel).

Denim wall, acid-washed tees, $8.99

All in all, I was surprised with the amount of stuff I actually liked. Charlotte, my dear, you defied my misconceptions! And not a hot top in sight…

Charlotte Russe
Manhattan Mall, level 1, 33rd & 6th Avenue


Dream Sequins said...

I like to go into that mall and go to mainstream stores like Charlotte Russe. Sometimes there's an unexpected treasure to be found... and at good prices! :) You look lovely in those dresses!

kimmy said...

I think the structured dress is such a cute work outfit for many! Looks great on you. Also, what did they replace the Steve and Barry's with???

WendyB said...

I totally want someone to describe me as "cleaner than expected."

Tricia said...

DS - Exactly!
i even found dresses there when i was pregnant,and when i really didn't want to spend $$ on clothes.
kimmy - square one - really inexpensive shoes and coats, i think!
wendy - i wish i could say that to you, but you were just about as clean as i thought you'd be. :)