Last month (yes, I’m a bit behind), I spent quite a bit of time in the Phoenix valley and of course, indulged in a bit of retail therapy at a few local malls (I even tried out the new Premium Outlets mall in Ahwatukee!).
I had the opportunity to visit two area Nordstrom lingerie departments in the same week, and I found them to be quite different.
Chandler Fashion Center
My first visit was to Chandler Fashion Center. I really didn’t know what to expect from Nordstrom – I hoped for good things and held my breath.
Upon entering the lingerie department I was immediately greeted not by one, but three friendly and approachable ladies offering to help me locate sizes or help in any way. I perused the racks and was pleasantly surprised once I got past the usual suspects of Chantelle, Wacoal, and Natori – to find Freya and Fantasie in styles and sizes I hadn’t had access to before, as well as Elomi (which I’d never found in a department store before).
While I was on my knees digging through the Elomi racks for an Hermoine (yes, you know a review is coming), Saleslady#3 sized me up and pronounced I knew what I was doing, but insisted on starting a dressing room – and once again asked if I was finding my size because they had more stock in the back.
Finally ready to give up my search, I excitedly grabbed everything I could find in or near my size in Elomi and allowed the ever-efficient Saleslady#3 to do her job.
Nordstrom is where I was able to try the Freya Patsy styles, which unfortunately did not work for me. I also tried Natori in G/H cups (I never see Natori H cups at Dillard’s in Tucson’s Park Place Mall). Finally, I got to try an Elomi Hermoine…which was pretty much everything I’d expected it to be and a bit more.
The best part of the visit was of course, Saleslady#3 – because she was very good at her job. She came into the dressing room to deliver an Hermoine in a different size, and she stayed to chat about my selections – we discussed the Cleo Jude I was wearing and our mutual fit challenges. I can honestly say she knew what she was doing, and I’d trust her with my boobs any day.
While I was in the dressing room I overheard the other salesladies working with customers and I thought the staff was well trained, friendly and efficient.
Overall, I had a great visit at Nordstrom in Chandler. I was pleasantly surprised by their selections – plenty of bras in larger cup sizes and bands up to a 38, and longer bands in Elomi. I do admit I forgot to ask the smallest band size they carry. I look forward to visiting Nordstrom (and hopefully Saleslady#3) again the next time I go through Chandler.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
After my Nordstrom Chandler visit, I had high expectations for the Scottsdale Fashion Square store.
First off, I noticed the department didn’t feel as welcoming as Chandler. It was well staffed – there were three or more salespeople working; however, most were rather enmeshed in conversations with each other.
The stock looked the same at first glance, as Chandler; however, once I started digging I found a few differences. Scottsdale carries Panache and Cleo, whereas Chandler does not. This was great news to me until I realized the size selections were geared to smaller band and cup sizes all around – I only spotted a few 38 bands and few cups over a U.S. G or UKFF – mainly in Elomi, and a few scattered through Panache and other Eveden brands.
The sales staff did ask me if I needed assistance, and if they could locate other sizes in back. Unfortunately, this is where their attention ended, and I had to ask for a fitting room once I’d made my selections. One salesperson actually walked past me without offering to open a fitting room for me, as I was checking rooms.
I did luck into a Panache Porcelain T-Shirt Bra, and was pleasantly surprised by the fit. They did not have my size on the floor, and unfortunately I was a bit exasperated with my experience (and assumed, which I shouldn’t, that they wouldn’t have my size in the back), so I didn’t ask the sales staff for help once I was in the fitting room.
I did overhear one salesperson working with a customer in another room, and it seemed to be going well.
Overall, the selection was good if you are under a 38 band and in the typical U.S. cup sizes. If you wear a 38 band or larger cup size, this is probably not the Nordstrom lingerie department for you.
In Nordstrom’s defense (if not stocking bras in sizes many women need is defensible), I didn’t see one band over 36 or cup over a DDD at Neiman Marcus. And if you want an idea of what was happening at Neiman Marcus…well, that’s where the very nice salesperson described the bra gore as “I call it the rise, you know, right there (pointing to the gore area).”
Overall, Nordstrom is a good bet if you’re looking for a Phoenix area department store that carries bras from Eveden or Panache. I do recall Dillard’s in Chandler did not carry either the last time I checked. There are independent lingerie stores in the Phoenix metro I haven’t had an opportunity to check out.
Have any of you had good experiences at Phoenix area lingerie departments or independent stores? I’d love to hear about them.
As always, I welcome (and hope for) input from my readers and fellow boob bloggers! Please comment on this post or drop me a line at info[at]widecurves.com.