Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

August 31, 2006

Club Monaco - Bargain Sales Rack

Club Monaco
1111 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10021

This retail chain is my favorite basic tops store - I LOVE the sales rack! For me, even though this chain is actually Canadian, it mushes into the same Euro mold as the Mexx, Zara, and Armani Exchange types. The look is long, lean and minimal, with not too many prints and mostly monocrome shades. Club Monaco is pretty reasonable in price - cheaper than A|X, and about on par with Banana Republic full priced. However, unlike either of them, CM discounts sales items quite agressively so there's quite a decent selection of styles and sizes on the rack. The sales clothes are not just the Bad Ideas and come in more than just extra huge or extra tiny.

While Club Monaco doesn't have a petite's section, I have no size problems with the extra small knit shirts. I love the t-shirts, and I stock up on them when the sales are going on. Curiously, like H&M, I find that the tops seem to be proportionally smaller than the bottoms for the same numerical size. This should be particularly weird coming from me, as I'm pretty sure I'm smaller on top. While the tops are a bit longer than I ideally would like, they're still a real steal at this price and quality! I typically pay around $9, and sometimes $5, for a plain 100% cotton T-shirt that's well made and isn't baggy on me.

In trying out pants or skirts, everything is huge on me (and too long!). Unlike the shirts, these Ursula pants in size 0 are just way too big and long. While some people like very, very low rise pants, I don't - especially when I get a baggy butt since they're not meant to be that low! Like the shirts, the pants are quite a decent price on sale at $49, but originally $119. But these pants are a lost cause for me even with alterations - the back pockets would be so close together after getting the waist and seat taken in that I'll just have one weird looking pocket hanging out behind me!

Club Monaco helpfully mentions that alterations are free in the fitting room - but is it only hems? Unfortunately, yes. When I asked, I learned that the alterations policy was typical - free hems only if you buy the items full price. If you need more work done, tough, as the tailor won't do it - and if you buy it on sale, you'll have to pay about $10 for the hem. Still, if all you need is a hem (which, is never the case for me), my general policy is let them do it - even if you pay. Since it's the store's merchandise, if the tailor screws up, you won't be paying a dime for any of it.

All in all, I do like the merchandise and plan to visit the store's sales rack often when I need new shirts. As generally the case, if you're going for a better sales selection, hit any location that isn't as well trafficked.

Ribbed Tank: 7" strap to strap, 21" underarm, 30" waist, 13" to waist from shoulder.
Plain T-Shirt: 13" shoulders, 29" underarm, 25" waist, 13" to waist from shoulder.
Ursula pants in size 0: 34" inseam, 29" waist, 36" hips, 7.5" front rise, 13" back rise.

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Blogger Rebecca said...

Unfortunately we do not have Club Monaco here. I would be very interested.

(I love that you post measurements!)

August 31, 2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I try to actually post measurements for everything I wear, since saying "oh, it sort of fits me, or is baggy on me" only goes so far for gauging size for (dare I say?) more normal-sized people!

I just wish there was a system in place similar to Zafu's for clothes in general! Wouldn't that be something?

August 31, 2006 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Club Monaco's sizes are WEIRD. Back in 2000 or so, their smallest size was a 2, and it fit me perfectly (except for length, of course). A few years later, they introduced size 0, and now, size 0 is a tad big. I think I have to start buying vintage now. I'm probably a size 8 by 1950s terms.

September 14, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Club Monaco is no different than most clothing vendors...size inflation is happening everywhere!

September 14, 2006 5:50 PM  

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