Francesca's Style

Don’t let anyone dull your inner sparkle!

A few weeks ago I decided to take an afternoon shopping trip to my local Penningtons located in North East Calgary to return a pair of pants that I purchased a week earlier then re-purchase because they had since gone on sale and to check out some new items. It was my second time visiting this location in Calgary and was surely to be my last!

When I arrived I started browsing and found a cute gold sequin top that I knew I had to have for my next post. I picked out my size, tried it on, then went to the cashier. The kind Sales Associate greeted me with a smile and asked me how I was doing. I pulled out the pants and said “I’m good, I would like to return these pants and re-buy them to get the sale price and buy this top as well”. Immediately after saying this a woman close by blurted out “You can no longer do that, Penningtons has changed the return policy so no one can exchange for a cheaper price”. I looked over at her, she was walking away as she said this and was on a cordless phone at the same time. I was a little shocked at her lack of professionalism for blurting something out like that in front of other customers and 3 other Sales Associates that were standing behind the counter. I said to her “Well I’ve done it before and have never been told I can’t”. She then said “Well this is a new policy” as she continued to walk away.

I returned the pants, got my money back and asked the Sales Associate “Is that the manager?” She said yes, I responded “That is very unprofessional behaviour, she can’t tell a customer they can’t return something the way she did, you can tell her I said that….I hope you do”.

I walked out frustrated and must admit that after the 20 something years of shopping at various Penningtons locations across Canada I have never experienced such rude behaviour. I decided to head to another Penningtons to complete my purchase and check with them on the return policy. When I arrived at the other location I searched for the gold sequin top and pants, found them and headed to the counter. As the Sales Associate was processing the transaction I told her about the experience I just had at the other location. She showed me the price adjustment policy and confirmed that in my situation it could have been returned and re-purchased since it was originally purchased at the regular price.

Usually I ignore rude behaviour and just move on but because the Manager tried to call me out, in front of Sales Associates and other customers, on something that she had no right interrupting, got me discouraged. This type of behaviour is uncalled for, it makes customers uncomfortable, creates a bad example to other employees, and characterizes Penningtons customer service in a negative way. Like I mentioned before, in all the 20 plus years I’ve shopped at Penningtons I have never left feeling so unappreciated, unhappy, and frustrated like I did that time. In my opinion Manager’s need to lead by example, listen to the customer, refer to the policy and follow proper protocol when dealing with situations like this.

This experience will never discourage me from shopping at Penningtons because I love Penningtons! I’ll still proudly say “I got it at Penningtons” whenever someone comments on my outfit.

My closing remark on this experience is this: To all the beautiful curvy ladies reading this post, don’t let anyone dull your inner sparkle….especially during a bad shopping experience!

Okay, the opinionated criticism is put to rest…..onto the fabulous fashion!


When I first saw the gold sequin top I was hypnotized! The shimmer, shine, feel, and statement this top made got me hooked, I had to have it for my next post! This top is fabulous, and it comes in Black too! I haven’t purchased the black one yet but will be buying it soon! You can find the top here.


I chose my new favourite liquid legging from Addition Elle (found here), Michel Studio Swing Blazer also purchased at Addition Elle (find it here), Louis Vuitton Métis Monogram bag (find it here) and these ankle booties from Call it Spring Shoes in burgundy (Now on sale! Find them here).




I was very undecided on the type of shoes that I wanted to wear for this post, I really liked the burgundy ankle boot but I was also in love with my new sneakers, also purchased at Call It Spring shoes (now on clearance! Find them here) and decided to wear them both, even if it is with a blazer, gotta break the rules to make a statement! The sneakers are comfy, bright and have a little bit of gold detail that matched my gold tone hoop earrings.


Even though my shopping experience was less than perfect I will never stop loving Penningtons clothing…it’s been with me through everything including girls night out, dinner with relatives, holidays, good dates, bad dates, endless hugs from ex’s and tearful heartbreaks too…so no matter what Penningtons, I’ll always love you!! 😛

Photo credit: DreamStrong Photography