Charming Charlie

Greetings Fashionistas!
Monday was Valentine’s Day…a pretty depressing thing if your only relationship is a Will & Grace type where “Will” has a new boyfriend. What is a girl to do? Chocolate is always enticing, and frankly would solve all the world’s problems if didn’t create a bigger one by making our butts grow larger and skinny jeans grow smaller. Flowers continuously brighten up a dreary day except when they are a gift to you, from you. So what is the next best therapy? Retail! Monday night proved to be better than expected when I stumbled upon a newly opened store after work. I’d watch the site go from trees and deer to a sprawling strip mall complete with an Apple store and a quaint coffee shop.
I have never paid much attention to this particular shopping center. Most of the stores in the strip mall seemed random and quite frankly, Macy’s, Express, AND the Starbucks with the hot British guy are right across the street…why bother with an unknown wanna be? But on that night, I was looking for a change, something to bring me happiness. I made a rash decision and “accidentally” cut off the romantic couple with googily eyes next to me as I floored the accelerator to make the light. A red sign complete with curly Q’s caught my eye. The shop, entitled Charming Charlie, could not have been more than a few months old, but it was like Grand Opening to me. A demon had been unleashed inside of me.
It was as if the gods of single women on Valentine’s Day were looking out for me… Rock Star parking and my wallet full of money to boot! I walked up to the new store and pulled the door handle (which are two C’s I might add). I walked inside and was overcome by the colors, the purses, the bling, and the pure awesomeness in front of me. I was expecting a Limited Too, but got a more accessories heavy Forever XXI with a bit of Claire’s and Parisian boutique mixed in. My eyes glazed over as they took in the amount of amazing goodies in front of me.
The store is organized by color and contains every accessory known to wo-man. This store carries everything from shoes and dresses to traveling makeup kits and sunglasses. I felt as if I had walked into an issue of InStyle Magazine. Every “it” item or fashion trend that the magazine had informed me would be this season’s next big thing could be found at this store…and for a fourth of the cost! Purses were no more than $30-40 while statement necklaces and chucky bracelets ran about $15-18… and they even looked like the genuine Michael Kors they were imitating! Every item I saw, every article of clothing I tried on, was surprisingly of good quality. There are times I walk into Forever XXI and try on a $20 sundress which feels like the crepe paper that moms used to stream about the house for every birthday party I attended as a kid. Not so with Charming Charlie’s! I purchased a leather jacket, faux of course, for $30. Although my bank account didn’t drain like it would for a real leather jacket, I didn’t feel like my standards had either.
As I browsed the store, I began to recognize accessories and clothing that resembled those worn by the actors in Gossip Girl. I could actually pick out a dress that was identical to the one Serena Van Der Woodson wore two episodes ago. There were Blair Waldorf skirts, Jenny Humphrey tights, and Vanessa Abrams accessories. I could write a whole other article, complete with pictures, comparing the clothes worn by the CW stars that would cost in the hundreds of dollars and the articles in Charming Charlie that would cost you hundreds of pennies.
With the ability to spend $50 and walk away with a cute hobo purse and a pair of ankle booties or a sparkly top and two cocktail rings, my Valentine’s Day started to seem less depressing. It seems that poor college students don’t have to sacrifice fashion for meaningless things like rent and food! (or need a boyfriend to give you red roses for that matter!) ?
Charming Charlie is a chain store with locations in 23 out of 50 states. I highly recommend this fantastic store to anyone who needs to put a smile on their face, whether single or dating, Valentine’s Day or Thursday. Visit the website for further details, locations, and store hours.
My only regret about the store is that it had too many cute things for my bank account to handle, even at these prices! Alas, I’ll have to wait another two weeks till payday… but I’ll be back! Maybe I’ll see you there ?
~Girl in the Pink Shoes


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