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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

H&M comes to Columbus

Last night my husband and I and several of our friends attended the Grand Opening of the new H&M store in Columbus, Ohio's Easton Towne Center. It was a was an exciting and well run event complete with red carpet entry, DJ, full bar service, and h'orderves. The place was packed and everyone seemed to be stocking up as if they just lost everything in a house fire. The thing that impressed me most about the event though was the staff. I was asked several times if I needed help and I saw many staff members assisting customers as if they were personal shoppers. Also the store never looked like a mess which is amazing considering the masses of people tearing through it. So bravo to you H&M!

The men's entrance upstairs and the woman's downstairs

the men's front window

 The woman's front window and entrance

 the DJ's pumping out their sweet tunes

 my husband paying our bill and my very strong vodka and cranberry

my husband with our purchases

For women the main trend was most definitely sweaters! They had so many different ones it was hard to choose. I saw lots of oversized sweaters, sweater dresses, cowl neck sweaters, button up or tied cardigans, and sweaters with puffed shoulders. Some were thin and some were thick and everywhere in between. They definitely had a sweater for everyone! I purchased a cream colored cowl neck sweater dress. It is a nice classic piece for my wardrobe that I intend on belting and wearing with tights or leggins and boots. The color choices seemed to be mostly neutral- blacks, grays, browns, tans, pale pinks, but with a splash of cobalt blue. The selection of evening wear was really impressive but unfortunately I didn't have a reason to buy anything that fancy. The evening wear consisted of mostly short body conscious dresses many with ornate bead work. Definitely worth checking out if you have a formal event to attend. The selection of tights was also really strong. I actually bought several pairs including sheer black tights with polka dots and a thick wooly gray pair. They had every color from basic black to ravishing red and every thickness from sheer to sweater weight. If you are in the market for a new winter coat H&M is the place! They had a huge selection of coats which were mostly under $100. I spotted many different styles- military, pea coats, fur hooded parkas, and some more feminine designs in lots of fun colors.They also had some great pieces for work. I really liked the soft, drappy suit jackets- not as stiff and boxy as a traditional suit jacket but just as professional. I also saw some very nicely cut slim leg dress pants, and an impeccably structured camel colored pencil skirt with a thin brown belt. As always H&M continues to be leader in the denim world. They have great fits and washes at price points like $19.99 and $29.99- incredible! I actually picked up a pair of stiff dark wash skinny jeans that were on special for only $10! Large necklaces and patterned scarves were the hottest accessories for fall. I purchased a ruched leopard print scarf considering that leopard print is huge for fall!

For men the selection was equally as impressive if not better. Lets just say my very fashion savvy better half was in heaven! As exciting as it is for us women to have an H&M in town it is ten times more exciting for the metro males of Columbus. Women have plenty of cool places to stock our closets but our poor men are so limited in their shopping choices. One of the trends we saw was pattern. Lots of plaids, and stripes. Mixing prints also seems like a major trend for men right now- wearing a pattered tie over a plaid shirt or a plaid shirt under a striped sweater. I am excited about how H&M seems to be pushing guys out of their comfort zones to try new ways of mixing up their favorite pieces. Even the basic black and gray pieces were handsomely accented by pops of bright color. Other points of mention are the size selection and the accessory choices. H&M is one of the few if not the only store around that carries XS for men. Fitted clothes on a man are very fashionable right now and now smaller guys can have that look too. They also had a vast accessory selection with everything from leather cuffs, to suspenders, to winter gear, and even underwear. Like in the women's section the men's outerwear was definitely noteworthy. They had an abundance of great on trend styles including military, pea coats, fur hooded parkas, as well as classic suit jackets, and heavy button up V-neck sweaters. Many of the looks we saw were accessorized with scarves and not just thick winter scarves but also thinner cotton styles too. Scarves can really put that finishing touch on a man's outfit. 

My only disappointment was in the number of really stand out pieces available for women. Much of the store consisted of pretty basic pieces in solid colors. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did leave me a bit underwhelmed. There were some patterned pieces but I guess I just didn't see much that I hadn't seen before. That was my only criticism though. There were plenty of solid fashionable clothes at super reasonable prices! Overall, H&M is a great new addition for the Columbus, Ohio shopper! 
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