Good Clothes Open All Doors

Professional Clothing Help

Personal Shopper ServiceTwo female singers recommended Fran Spitale and her staff at Nordstrom’s in New Jersey. 201/843-1122.

Fran loves singers and I always leave feeling good about myself. There is no sales tax in New Jersey and Fran doesn’t seem to have trouble working with my plus-sized physique. She makes me look terrific and I leave feeling ready for anything. I’ve tried other ‘personal shoppers’ at department stores and been treated like oversized garbage. Too humiliating.”

One time I brought in a suitcase full of clothes to Fran and she helped me figure out why they weren’t working and helped me find pieces to pull my professional wardrobe together. She also told me one of the gowns was a bit outdated but we didn’t find anything better there. I don’t like to buy gowns there or casual clothes, but when I’m stuck on other professional clothing choices, I call Fran or her staff.”

Direct bus service is available from George Washington Bridge Bus Depot, New Jersey Transit #173 to the Garden State Plaza. This bus comes right into the mall. Bus service is also available from Port Authority. Take NJ Transit #163 to ShopRite Supermarket in Rochelle Park, then a 10-minute walk to the store from their parking lot.


I get my gowns at the outlets in Secaucus, NJ. There is one which used to be called ‘Heros’ but has another name now. You can get beautiful jeweled gowns, tops, chiffon skirts, etc., for very little. I got a blue beaded gown there for $150, and a seafoam green sequin column dress for $59. It needed a lot of work but I love the ‘ooohs’ I hear when I walk onstage.

Everywhere I go to sing, I go shopping at any outlets. You never know what you’ll find. I keep a fund just for the purchase of gowns. I have bought gorgeous gowns at the Nordstrom’s outlet near Salt Lake City, in outlets outside of Washington D.C., and in the garment district in New York.

A few months after the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, the resale shops are bursting with great buys. You just have to keep your eyes open and be ready with your needle and thread for sometimes tedious work to bring bargain gowns up to snuff.

My latest gown was done by the costume department head at an opera company I worked for. I found her working on wedding dresses between shows and just asked.