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After an appointment today at my optometrist, I browsed my favourite mall in my home town looking for some great deals on end of the season merchandise. Did I find any summer clothing that I liked? Not really – but I did come across a store that looked like it was new to the mall. Little did I know that today was their grand opening!

I walked into the store to have a brief look around and I was surprised by the selection that the store has. They carry sophisticated clothing in the medium price range; at full price their: jeans range from $70 to $118, basic tank tops or tees from $19.90 to $29.90, and sweaters from $40 to $60. This store is definitely at the higher end of my student budget but at first glance the pieces look like they will last me several years and many pieces are classics. Luckily for me the pieces I were interested in were on sale.

My Experience:

The staff of the store were very friendly and almost helpful to a fault (though at the time I did not know that they had only opened for the first time an hour before). The floor and dressing room associates both remembered my name after only telling them once, they were fast to get me different sizes, and they asked me several questions about my personal style.

Overall, my experience in the store was a pleasant one and I found the store to be very clean and well organized. The clothing overall were good quality and seemed relatively worth their higher price tag.

What I Tried On:

Here are some of the pieces that I choose to try on today – I bought four out of the six pieces I tried on. Sorry for the camera flash in the reflection – my eyes were dilated with drops so I was not able to review the photos until I was home later today. Also, please excuse the messy hair – my appointment was 8 am so I was not able to style my hair this morning.

LOVE Stripe High Neck Blouson Cami and Stella Low Rise Legging (not available online)

EXPRESS top

I fell for the print of this camisole but the cut of it was just not for me. My shoulders are the widest part of my silhouette and I tend to avoid pieces that would further accent my shoulders or make them appear wider. Even though this was not for me, the satin lining too the shirt made it feel so luxurious.

These are the thickest pair of denim jeggings I have ever worn – they feel exactly like denim to me and they fit me like a glove (I choose a regular fit). At 40% off their original price of $69.90, I could not pass these up. The only downfall I can find to these is that they are low rise which means I will have to make sure I always wear a belt with these to avoid expose too much when I sit down. Next time I am looking for jeans, I will definitely look at EXPRESS first.

Fitted Knit Inset Mesh Tee

EXPRESS top sheer panel

This top would be perfect for a girls’ night out or for date night. It was very well fitting and I loved the mesh shoulders and yolk which is what drew me to the shirt. I was not a fan of the mesh siding because it meant I would have to wear a bandeau (to cover my bra) which I would be constantly adjusting.

Elbow Sleeve Lace Layering Tee in Soft Ivory

EXPRESS lace top

I have been looking for the perfect lace shirt ever since seeing Audrey’s (of Putting Me Together) Lace Tee Recap. While this shirt is very see through (that is a yellow bandeau under there) it is still very versatile. I can wear it as is by layering a nude or white cami underneath or by adding a coloured cami for a pop of colour. I love this shirt because it is very thin which means that I can wear it in warm weather without any discomfort! I resisted the temptation to buy one in more colours but if these tops are still available in the spring, I will pick one up in a bright colour.

The Convertible Sleeve Portofino Shirt in Love Stripe and Lavish Purple

EXPRESS portofino

According to the sales associate, the Portofino Shirts are the stores best seller in the United States and I can definitely see why. Chiffon shirts are in almost every store but the ones at EXPRESS feel thicker with more secure stitching then other shirts I have tried.  EXPRESS had an entire wall dedicated to their Portofino Shirts with at least fifteen different colours and patterns to choose from. I picked one up in the same Love Stripe as the camisole that I tried on earlier because I love the print and in a Lavish Purple because I love purple for fall.

I left the store with quite a dent into my clothing budget for the rest of 2013 but I feel that the four pieces I bought are definitely essential to my fall wardrobe. I plan to do very little additional shopping for the next few months other then buying items to fill in my wardrobe holes or replace a few worn out essentials.

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