THE RUNDOWN: Topman

By now, you may be tired of hearing about Topman. The Chicago flagship store opened last week, and has been all the buzz around this store since long before that. Good thing we’re on a need-to-know-basis. Here’s what you need to know:
Personal shopping. Free. This is the only place we’re aware of in Chicago that’s offering a service where you can come in, plop down in a room that feels like your (more) stylish apartment, and be given the star treatmentโ€”for no extra charge. We caught up with one of the personal stylists, the always lovely Mel Muoio.
Here’s what she told us. If you decide to use a personal shopper, you get:
  • First dibs on new items.
  • That includes designer collaborationsโ€”if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • The right to reserve items.
  • Invites to special events. (And let us tell you: The British know how to throw a party.)
  • But most importantly, a style-savvy friend who’s not just out to make the sale, but to find what actually works for you. (Because if you don’t like it, you can take it back.)
On their card, it says: “This service is free with compliments of Topshop.” Ah, so British. In an industry where service and relationships are increasingly rare, this is a refreshing prospect.
The real estate is prime. On the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pearson Street, you get to see the city at its most scenic and commune in the ritual of downtown shopping.
But we’re not just talking about the store. With something like 55 styles for fall/winter 2011 that are specific to Chicago, there’s no need to worry about looking like the masses. Did someone say Barbour jackets? Somewhere in Logan Square, Jeff is reading this right now and fainting.


On Seth: Lavender block stripe shirt courtesy of Topman.
Granted, Topman isn’t for everyone. You may have to sift before you find something that works for you. But we’re finding that this anglophile’s haven has enough to satisfy both the experimental among us and, occasionally, the more classic.
(See below.)

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mistersavvy - So if I decide to have a personal shopper help me, would they look down on me if I only bought one, cheaper piece of clothing?

Seth J. Putnam - Yes sir, syntax only. I didn’t do much shopping over in Britain (and I trust you on all things British, anyway)โ€”but I suppose the hope here is that despite it being an English-owned company, this store is American-operated.

The hope, anyway.

glen - “On their card, it says: “This service is free with compliments of Topshop.” Ah, so British. In an industry where service and relationships are increasingly rare, this is a refreshing prospect.”

- Ah, if only I could express how wrong this is. If there was one thing, seriously, just one thing that I could pick that the Americans do better than the British, and not just better but far better, it would be red meat.

But if there were two things, customer service would be 1B. The British suck at it. Really suck at it. Like, REALLY suck at it. It is very cool that they are offering that service there, but they don’t offer it here (that I am aware of) and you don’t really get that anywhere here without paying an arm and a leg for it. And even then it will come with an attitude. What I am trying to say is that the statement “ah, so British” is very far off base. Don’t let your Anglophilia fool you.
Although, re-reading your paragraph, maybe you were talking about the syntax on the card? Because that is a bit British. But the service is not.

Rant over.

glen - This comment has been removed by the author.

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