During this Wednesday’s Michigan Avenue shopping/errand Voyage in the Rain, I needed to buy a gift for a girlfriend of mine. I checked out the typical stores, shops and what not and remembered a place called Mark Shale. Mark Shale is in the 900 N. Michigan Avenue (aka Bloomingdale’s building), 4th and 5th floors. If you thought this store was only for your mom and dad, think twice.
I always thought Mark Shale was an older, more expensive store. Don’t get me wrong, the products are top notch, but you’ll recognize many of the brands from your normal department store shopping. I needed a dress for my wedding shower and remembered a gal pal telling me how much she liked shopping at Mark Shale. This gal pal is in her 50s, but when she said, ‘They offer lifetime alterations on their clothing’, I thought,’ Wow, I need to check out this store.’
I hit Bloomie’s, Nordstrom, J Crew, Ann Taylor, etc, but nothing looked like the kind of unique look I was going for. I walked into Mark Shale and immediately noticed a collection of dresses that were carefully chosen by someone. There weren’t many sizes in each style, the price points ranged from moderate to expensive and the feeling of the store was comfortable. I spotted a Design History dress that looked like a Missoni dress and fell in love with it. Here’s a picture of the ensemble (shoes courtesy of Nordstrom, they were fierce but WOO, taller than what I usually wear – ask for Reggie when you need help. He’s a terrific guy, I knew him back when he worked at Marshall Field’s and this time around, he talked me into these Cole Haan Brown Suede Mary Janes with built-in Nike Air cushion).
I went back to Mark Shale and picked up a gorgeous scarf for my girlfriend. The shopping experience is laid back, there is a seamstress on site, and the selection will surprise you. They have everything from scarves to hats to party dresses. Take your fella with you and he can peruse the Men’s side of the store, then relax in one of Mark Shale’s cool seating areas.
The ‘tip’ in this post is about selecting your clothing stores and looking at them as partners that will help build your wardrobe over time. I’m not saying to ONLY shop at one store, but heck, given how competitive things get these days, I’d rather shop at a place with a range of choices without feeling claustrophobic or harassed by a sales person.
Oh, after I bought my dress, I got a nice letter from the President of Mark Shale, thanking me for shopping and introducing me to the company. A nice touch. You can also shop online at MarkShale.com. Originated in Joliet, Illinois, Mark Shale has the following retail locations:
900 N. Mich Ave
Elston Avenue Outlet
Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri