I really wish someone had bought the Casual Corner chain a couple of years ago when it was going out of business. Although I am still wearing some of the clothes I bought at a great discount when all the stores were closing a couple of years ago, I would gladly give them all back if the store were still here.
I admit, Casual Corner wasn’t a vanguard in the style world. But you could count on them for professional looking clothes. I started shopping there in the late 1980’s when I became an on-air reporter for first radio, and then television. They had a great layaway policy: if the clothes you were buying went on sale, you got them for the sale price as long as you kept up your payments and got your clothes out on time. I put whole wardrobes on layaway for the spring and fall seasons. I got to pick what I wanted, they had my size, it all coordinated — how much easier could it get?
You could always count on Casual Corner for a professional suit or separates. I’ve always had a hard time buying suits since I am different sizes on the top and bottom — like most of America. While some CC suits were sold as a set, almost everything came as separates but it all still looked like a suit.
If you had an important event coming up at work, like a visit from a corporate bigwig or were just tired of the shirt you had to go with your navy blazer, you could ALWAYS drop in to Casual Corner and find something.
The sales people at every store I shopped at whether in Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem or visiting a mall on vacation, were helpful and knowledgeable. When I was a news anchor in Wilmington, the Casual Corner store manager used to call me when she got in an outfit that looked like my style. My mother and husband could drop in and ask them what I would like for my birthday or Christmas — and they always got it right. And I wasn’t telling the sales associates to make me up a wish list. It was something they just noticed if I looked at something or if they had something they thought would look good on me or went with something I owned.
And generally at Casual Corner, if you were a size 8, all the size 8 stuff fit you. No surprises. No changing room trauma with you being a 10 in this, a 6 in that so that you had no concept of where you were on the body scale.
And their accessories! I still have all my Casual Corner pins and quite a few necklaces. I’m not wearing my pins much anymore since I don’t always wear a blazer like I used to, but I just can’t part with them.
Now when you need something special for work, it takes so much longer. Stein Mart is usually a good option, but not a surefire hit the way Casual Corner was. I know there’s Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft for some of my coworkers — oh, and Banana Republic — but their clothes seem to be cut on the skimpier side to me. And I am on the ampler side now, truth be told. Talbots is a good option, but holy cow, the prices! Even the sale stuff is expensive!
I want my Casual Corner back!!