Dressing Room Diaries: It’s All Soft

Dressing Room Diaries: It’s All Soft

The dressing room was one of the most opulent, clean and well-stocked I have been into in years. It made the dressing room at the local Nieman Marcus look pedestrian. Ice cold water, tissues, and aromatherapy are my idea of a welcoming dressing room. Oh, and clean carpets and scrupulously clean mirrors. Way to go, Soft Surroundings!

If you’re new to dressing room diaries, it’s when I go into stores and try on clothes so you can see how they look on a woman larger than size 2 and older than 25. For reference, I’m 5’4″, weigh 147 lbs and am an inverted triangle. I have large shoulders and straight hips. This was not a good hair day for me and pulling my turtleneck on and off made it even worse.

This classic white shirt is a beautiful cotton sateen with a touch of spandex. I’ve never tried one of their shirts before and am impressed. I’m wearing 10 misses, which fits perfectly so it runs true to size. They don’t have petite but they do have plus up to 24 women. The pants are a ponte knit pull-on style in a subtle python texture. They resemble faux leather to me. Don’t ask me why they call them a foil print because I don’t see it. This is the petite medium which I think is too short so I bought the regular length.

This velvet jacket with 3/4 sleeves was being tried on by every woman who came in the door. I was lucky to snag this medium which is too large for me. Two men bought it and had it wrapped while I shopped. It’s a gorgeous black with red, has pockets and would dress up jeans or go all-out glam.  I would wear it over a knit top in a deeper color with jeans or black pants.

These black pants and gold pants are a pull-on ponte knit. They’re a mini-bootcut with a wide stretch waistband. I’m wearing a petite medium which is too large and too short on me.  I prefer a bootcut to cover the top of my shoe or boot. They’d be great for the holidays with a black cashmere sweater and suede shoes for a comfy party look or dinner out.

This cape is pretty fabulous.

It’s an easy to toss on, poncho shape with faux fur collar and cuffs. It’s not bulky but feels substantial because of the collar and cuffs.

I put my own clothes back on, then spotted this awesome sweater. It has a richly embroidered hem and back which makes a dramatic statement. This is a misses in small, which is too snug on me over this turtleneck. It also comes in petite and plus.

As I passed the register I noticed these Parisienne Faux Fur Blankets. They are unbelievably soft and such an amazing price, I bought two! One for the back of the couch and one for the end of the bed.

The entire store felt warm and cozy…like I was in someone’s home. It’s a small store, so the selection is limited and makes me wish we had a larger one nearby.

Have you shopped inside a Soft Surroundings store?

Thanks for reading ladies and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.

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  1. Michele
    December 13, 2019 / 4:30 am

    There isn’t a Soft Surroundings anywhere near me, but I love to browse their catalogs. The few times I took the plunge and ordered, I ended up having to return the items. Sizing seems to be inconsistent, so I no longer order because of having to pay for returns.

    • Susan
      December 13, 2019 / 7:26 am

      I have exactly the same problem. Wish there was a store near me!

  2. naniscah r apperson
    December 13, 2019 / 4:32 am

    I have been getting your e-mails for for about 4 or 5 months.
    I am and always have been a fashionista
    I am just under 5′ so the most important thing that I have learned from you is column dressing
    Thank you
    I have thin and challenging hair as you do
    however, I have found amiracle producy
    hair ritual by Sisley forvolume
    I bought it at Nordy’s 1 week ago
    It is amazing
    Merry Christmas

  3. Lezlie Davis
    December 13, 2019 / 4:34 am

    I’m dying to know what you took home! You look amazing in all of it. This is my favorite Dressing Room Diaries EVER!!!

      • Lezlie Davis
        December 14, 2019 / 4:26 am

        Those look great!

  4. Paulette Levy
    December 13, 2019 / 4:47 am

    We have no Soft Surroundings anywhere nearby. I gave seen several if their catalogs but never shopped . No reason just nothing jumped out saying “buy me”!
    You do look really nice in several outfits here! Maybe time to take another look! Thank you Jennifer !

  5. Janet
    December 13, 2019 / 4:51 am

    What fabulous pieces! It sounds like this store has got it right when it comes to customer service! I don’t understand why stores expect us to want to try on clothes in filthy, small, poorly lit dressing rooms. Make an effort to get our business!

    I do not think we have a Soft Surroundings store in Canada, at least not that I’ve seen. If there was, I would shop there.

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2019 / 7:35 pm

      Tacky, dirty dressing rooms will never encourage me to buy clothes.

  6. Cheryl
    December 13, 2019 / 4:56 am

    I agree with Lezlie, the last item with the stunning embroidery on the back suited you! I enjoy your DRDs, so fun and helpful.
    I have been to a Soft Surroundings store on more than one occasion and they are always very elegant and spotless! A pleasure to visit. Too bad there is not one closer to my home! I have found lovely pieces for both everyday and special occasion wear.

  7. Laurie
    December 13, 2019 / 5:07 am

    I am lucky enough to have a Soft Surrounds store near me in Fairfax, VA. I agree, the ambiance in that store is so relaxing and customer friendly. I really like their in-store makeup/skincare boutique. The very best make-up experience I’ve ever had in a store was at Soft Surroundings.

  8. KatMar
    December 13, 2019 / 5:08 am

    The white blouse fits you perfectly! Why is it that I so love the white blouse look on others and somehow dislike it on me? The gold and black pants are very cool looking. I am in LOVE with the faux fur-trimmed cape. Talk about making an elegant entrance. Swooning . . .

    Yes, the effect of the dressing room experience is so vital to how we see ourselves in clothes. I do often wonder why dressing rooms, in general, are so plain and boring, like an afterthought, with inadequate lighting and many times dusty with clothes still there from the last person, sometimes even laying on the floor.. I mean, isn’t this where we make our real and final decision to buy or not to buy the clothes we are trying on? If I had a store, I think I’d pay detailed attention to better lighting, decor, and comfort. If we feel good and the fit is right, we are more prone to by that item.

  9. Pamela Lutrell
    December 13, 2019 / 5:08 am

    Most people know I am a huge Soft Surroundings fan! Visiting a store is an experience everyone must have and also make an appointment with the beauty expert for your visit! It is so much fun. I am so glad to see you feature them here, Jennifer!

  10. Lisa G.
    December 13, 2019 / 5:16 am

    Loved this DRD! The stores are a feast for the senses. Love that last cardigan. I agree that we love to hear which items you actually purchase. Can you post a closer pic of the “foil print” pants? Thanks!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2019 / 7:40 pm

      I will share a closer look at them soon. I bought them

  11. Laurel
    December 13, 2019 / 5:18 am

    I learned of Soft Surroundings a few years back from my SIL and then again when you featured their Metro leggings. I hadn’t been in a store until we found one in Scottsdale on vacation. Like you, I found it to be a wonderful experience. Besides the great products and friendly staff, the dressing rooms were large, clean, and well lit. I came out with more than I planned. 🙂 The closest one to me is about 2 hours away, so I really wish they had free shipping. I find I have to try on most things to find the right size. Lovely items in this DRD, and happy to see you visit this store!

  12. Cyndi
    December 13, 2019 / 5:24 am

    Love everything you featured! Is this a new store? I get their catalogs but didn’t know they had a brick & mortar – Galleria or The Fountains? Looks like they have a good Petite selection. Those throws❤️❤️❤️

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2019 / 7:47 pm

      This store is in Walnut Creek

  13. Cindy T
    December 13, 2019 / 5:49 am

    The Verona sweater coat is absolutely stunning!!

  14. MRSBEN2
    December 13, 2019 / 6:28 am

    Have a Sister IL who is well into Peacocks and would absolutely love the cardigan you featured so shall definitely tell her about it. As to Soft Surroundings unfortunately I don’t think there are any stores located in Canada; but their ambiance certainly sounds like a wonderful shopping experience and very reminiscent to those in large Department Stores that I recall as a child when shopping with my Mother. -Brenda-

  15. Katrina
    December 13, 2019 / 6:35 am

    Soft Surroundings is a favorite for me. But TRY ON their things, as some appear too loose in my sizes. I’ve ordered from the catalogue & had to return items that were too big. I do love their quality & style. YES on their lovely dressing rooms! Beautiful fabrics!

  16. Terri
    December 13, 2019 / 6:48 am

    I took one look at that faux fur throw and had to have it. The price is great, and I got free shipping. It’s backordered, but it will be a wonderful pick-me-up when I get it sometime in February.

  17. LynnDee
    December 13, 2019 / 6:51 am

    I’ve loved Soft Surroundings for years but only from catalogs. They always seem to “get me” I didn’t even know they had brick and mortar stores. From your description, I’m missing a great experience and there are so few if those in retail anymore!

  18. Phyllis Hughes
    December 13, 2019 / 6:55 am

    There are no stores near me, but I get their catalog. I have come very close to ordering from them more than once. However, being very short and very busty, I make most of my clothes, so know I would have to do alterations. I’d rather make a garment from scratch than alter one. But the catalog is an awesome source of inspiration. I hold onto them for ideas for garments and styling those garments. Thank you for DRD.

    I am tempted by that cape. I may have to go take a look at it again. Not much alteration required for a cape.😊

  19. Nicole E Reed
    December 13, 2019 / 6:56 am

    I visited the Soft Surroundings store in Palm Desert when we vacationed there, and was so impressed. I love their style and they were so well stocked. If you don’t see your size, just ask, it may be in their stockroom and a helpful customer service person will be happy to get it for you. That velvet jacket looked amazing on you. What a great selection of holiday clothes!

  20. Linda Lennon
    December 13, 2019 / 7:14 am

    There is a new Soft Surroundings store in Palm Desert right near Talbots, J Jill, Anthropology and Williams Sonoma. Be still my heart! My friends are raving about SS but I’m saving the experience for after the holidays when my mind is focused on my new retiree wardrobe and I can shop for myself without the guilt.

  21. Jacie Bond
    December 13, 2019 / 7:42 am

    Sadly, in Canada, there are no Soft Surroundings Stores nor do they ship to Canada. That being said, I discovered the store on El Paseo in Palm Desert last March. It was exactly as you describe it! The dressing room amazed me with its calmness and opulence. Service was excellent. All personnnel were incredibly knowledgable, not intrusive, made suggestions – hmm – softly. I bought two items there and could have bought many, many more. It is the first and only store I had found that caters to the more mature woman in a most fashionable and comfortable way at a reasonable price point including the exchange on the US dollar. On my first visit, I was astounded at the number of women and men and almost all purchasing. It will be my first shop to visit in February when we return to the desert. This store truly is a winner!🇨🇦

  22. Eileen
    December 13, 2019 / 8:17 am

    Thanks for showing us SS, I didn’t know there was a store. I have had one interesting experience in a Nordstrom, when I hired a stylist. I was there for one hour, and water, pastries, and coffee was offered to me! But mostly I would like a vacuumed floor, clean mirror, great lighting, natural if possible, a three way mirror, spare shoes, and pins!

  23. Dianne
    December 13, 2019 / 8:39 am

    That was such a fun, festive blog!
    I don’t think we have Soft Surroundings in Canada 🇨🇦
    You looked great in it all!
    The white shirt was perfect.
    I also loved the fancy pants.

  24. Nina
    December 13, 2019 / 10:44 am

    I am so happy to see you at Soft Surroundings for Dressing Room Diaries! I have shopped there for a number of years. Always a pleasant experience, and their mail order is great too! I really like that the corporate office provides a fresh flower arrangement to each store every week or so, and their stores are always spotless and welcoming.
    I love the choices you have shown us in your post. You look great in everything, as usual! I particularly fond of the long black sweater. I could get a lot of wear out of that here in the northeast.
    I am usually a petite in their clothes, at 5’2″‘, however, I often take a regular XS in their tops as I am long-waisted. I have two of their throws, and have given several as gifts…the recipients love them!
    Thanks again for all you do, and Happy Holidays!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2019 / 7:50 pm

      Happy Holidays, Nina

  25. Lois Williams
    December 13, 2019 / 11:04 am

    The physical store sounds just lovely; I’m just not a Soft Surroundings devotee. I have a friend who would love the clothes you showcases today but I’m more a classic, preppy type. At almost 6’ tall it’s hard to miss me to begin with…Carol Channing just came to mind she could pull off that flamboyant look with such aplomb…alas I can’t.
    Great fun to see your selections, dressing room diaries is a favorite of mine!

  26. Joanna
    December 13, 2019 / 11:47 am

    We don’t have Soft Surrounding stores in Canada. I like to try clothes on as I vary from a small to medium in tops and am particular about my fit of pants. I’m not even sure if they ship but know returns would be a cost to myself.
    The gold & black pants would be sharp with a lovely black top and heels. Love them!

  27. beth byrd
    December 13, 2019 / 12:39 pm

    I visited a nearby Soft Surroundings a month or so ago … I felt like royalty. Their customer service is top-notch.

    The store was just beautiful — and I’ve never seen such lovely dressing rooms. There was absolutely no pressure for me to purchase, which I really appreciated. It was a great experience and I will return.

    How amazing — I did buy that exact classic white shirt … isn’t it great?

  28. jmp
    December 13, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Love, love the Verona weather coat!!

  29. Penelope
    December 13, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Interesting pieces. I too love soft but can’t tolerate flappy, floppy or bulky clothing. I prefer streamlined, classic shapes and fabrics that move with me.
    I really like your ideas on how to wear those fun black and gold pants.

  30. Julie
    December 13, 2019 / 4:02 pm

    Have visited the Missouri store and it is truly beautiful and inviting! I loved that the beauty products had their own section.I just wish I could afford more!

  31. Sarah iltis
    December 13, 2019 / 4:09 pm

    I just bought two ivory faux fur throws for Christmas gifts. Online they are back ordered but I phoned around to stores and found them. Thanks Jennifer. Also, my favorite lipstick is now Tarte in salt lyfe as recommended by you. Love the dressing room diaries.

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2019 / 7:55 pm

      I’m so happy you found them!! SO glad you like Salt Lyfe as much as I do

  32. Kay
    December 13, 2019 / 4:32 pm

    Soft Surroundings has excellent sleepwear.

  33. Holly L
    December 15, 2019 / 10:30 am

    I enjoyed your trip to Soft Surroundings. I especially loved those black and gold pants.
    There is no store near me, so I’ve shopped from their catalogs and online with them for several years. I’ve always been more than pleased with the items I’ve purchased, but sure would enjoy shopping in a store and utilizing one of those gorgeous fitting rooms!

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