Thursday, August 2, 2018

Feeling a Spark of Joy at MM Lafleur

It seemed an eternity since I’d felt a spark of joy while shopping for clothes. Despite my love of fashion, I’d fallen into a rut, purchasing the same things from the same retail establishments, somewhat drifting from season to season never quite feeling fabulous when I looked in the mirror.  Perhaps my ennui has been related to my mother’s illnesses and death. Maybe the constant turmoil at my company since the announcement on July 1, 2015 that we had been acquired by another multi national insurer contributed to my fashion funk. The realization that it is unlikely I will ever fit into a size 8 again unless I give up wine, pizza, cheese, olives, bread and pasta no matter how many yoga and pilates classes I attend led to my feeling apathetic about my professional attire combined with the inability to find quality travel friendly clothes appropriate for the corporate environment that didn’t look frumpy, stale, ruffle enhanced or bland.  My regular haunts - Nordstrom, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Garnet Hill, Brooks Brothers - left me uninspired. 

But I kept noticing advertisements popping up on my FaceBook feed from with reviews from professional women singing the praises of the office appropriate clothes available online. While not a subscription service per se, will have a personal stylist send a Bento Box of curated items for the customer to try for 4 days and only pay for the items she decides to keep. While I am a fan of subscription boxes for makeup and fitness attire, I was hesitant to give a try without knowing how the clothes actually fit. And,  I didn’t want to get stuck with a Bento Box of clothes that I hated with the knowledge I had a limited time to return the items I didn’t want to keep. 

I’d considered Nordstrom Trunk and actually filled out the online questionnaire and talked with a stylist before deciding (after reading some reviews) that his service was unlikely to fulfill my fashion needs. I have friends that love StitchFix. But I wasn’t sold on that option either. I loved the clothes I scouted on the website; however, the clothes are not inexpensive and it seemed risky to pull the trigger. 

As I as contemplating giving it a go, I noticed that there is a brick and mortar location for MM Lafleur in Philadelphia, which coincidentally, I was scheduled to visit this week. All I had to do was fill out the online questionnaire and make an appointment. I scheduled my visit for 5:30pm at Liberty Place on Tuesday evening. When I arrived I was offered a glass of Prosecco, introduced to my stylist Annie, and shown to a private dressing room where Annie had selected a variety of items for my to try based upon my questionnaire and clothes I’d mentioned I’d like to try.

When I scheduled my appointment I identified a couple of dresses and a particular style of pants I’d admired. However, I was stunned to discover that all of my preconceived ideas were wrong for me. Instead of the dress that I just knew would be perfect, I found that separates that I’d completed disregarded as “not me” caused me to say “WoW” when I looked in the full length mirror. 

The quality of the clothes is excellent. There is a broad range of sizes from 0 Petite to 24. Most of the pants, dresses and skirts are form fitting, but flattering on women of all shapes and sizes. While trying on Pippa pant,the Oshima pant, a striped boat neck top I never would have considered and the Dietrich fashion forward jacket that has a versatility I could not have imagined, I felt fabulous, striking, professional, relevant, and able to leap tall buildings with a single bound! 
Before I left my appointment I ordered the Rampling Top, the Rowling top, the Pippa pants, the Oshima pants, the Greenpoint skirt and the Dietrich jacket feeling on top of the world. By the time i reached Tulula’s Garden where I was meeting some colleagues for dinner, I was singing the praises of and encouraging all of my friends to give it a try. 

MM Lafleur does have pop up stores in major cities. I highly encourage any woman lusting for high quality professional clothes that are not run-of-the-mill to give it a try. I am sold!


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