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Monday, October 24, 2011

J. McLaughlin

Good for North Hills! Kane Realty must be doing something right because they just snagged another well-known small chain to move into North Hills, and I think it’s a great fit. J.McLaughlin has plunked down a small store next to Francis King Stationary, and near one of my favorite eatery's, Vivace. Good for both Kane Realty and brothers Jay and Kevin McLaughlin for realizing North Hills in Raleigh would be a perfect market for them.

With the recent announcement of the closing of Tyler House (one of my personal favorites for clients), I really began to look to see who could fill the gap. No, I am not going on the record to say that this new store will do that, but it is sure good to have them here. I have already stumbled in and met the manager, the lovely Erin Wallace, and her few sales associates. I remembered I had been to another store in Florida with my mother this past spring, and my mother mentioned she had gotten some her favorite sweaters at the store.

So, I began eyeballing the racks and then proceeded to gently rifle through to see if there was something I could potentially buy for clients. Let's start with the quality....yes, I mean, yes, and yes again. I am not seeing made in China. The colors and patterns are bright and often something I had to squint at. I love me some bright, but I am not seeing how orange and yellow will translate for fall here. Blue and yellow maybe but in a belt buckle pattern, I am just saying. The black, browns and grays in the spandex henley seemed most on the mark.

My favorite item by far was a chocolate suede skirt with a flattering waist and body style. It was mine for the taking, as I knew my client would be thrilled. I continued to make my way through the store, and I noticed that they carry at least four different body styles of dress. The wrap, the a-line pullover, the classic shirt dress, and one called the Panama. I'm liking that there is a style to fit most every body type, but tall women beware, it may not be for you.

The sweaters also grabbed my attention for both men and women. Again, the attention to detail and the quality was wonderful. I also got the feeling of what I often see some other boutiques stores do. Only put out X amount of sizes and styles and keep the rest in the stockroom. I hope that doesn't end up being the case, because I think most shoppers don't think to ask if their size isn't there. I know space is sometimes an issue, but there are a lot of shoppers that don’t think to, or simply won’t ask for a larger size.

Moving on to accessories…I am all about a nice leather tote. As I was checking out with Erin, I kept glancing at a beautiful soft yellow bag. I was almost afraid to ask to have it taken off the high shelf above. One or two things would happen. I would ask to see it and try it on my shoulder and try and justify the purchase or I would squirm at the price and wait until the end of the season. Needless to say, I behaved! Other items I could have easily wrapped up and carried away were some wonderful rich colored silk and cashmere scarves, belts that would have added a touch class to any outfit that needed some panache, and lastly, dynamite small clutches! The store does have a distinct client feel and if you haven't figured that out with this blog than maybe you need to go see for yourself. I expect when word is out, many shoppers will flock in droves. In the meantime, since the store manager said they aren't big on advertising, saunter on by and let them know I sent ya!

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