Saturday, August 4, 2012

Incognito: Making Shopping Fun Again

Shopping is one of my least favorite past times. I know you wouldn't guess this because I'm always rocking new shoes, purses, jewelry, hair and make-up, but I do not enjoy going into a store, digging through their merchandise, and waiting in line to be treated like cattle by the checkout lady. I also have a hard time finding local places that I like. I have spent the last few years buying a lot of my things off of the internet. The problem with buying off the internet is that you are never truly sure what you are getting and if it is going to fit you once you get it. Locally, we do not have a lot of places to choose from that are not chain stores. There is nothing wrong with buying a cute dress at Target til you show up to a party and two other girls are wearing the same thing. I recently had this happen to me and remembered why I do not buy clothes from Target, no matter how cute or cheap they are. That being said, there is one local place that I know I can always go when I am looking for something special, unique and reasonably priced.
Incognito has been a Royal Oak staple for 30 years. I have watched the coming and going of many great places including The Cat's Meow, Cinderella's Attic and quite a few record stores. Through all of this, Incognito has changed and adapted to continue to be an intricate part of this down town strip. Their windows are forever changing and drawing you in and this store feels more like a boutique you would see in N.Y.C. instead of a smaller city like Royal Oak. They feature clothes and accessories for men and women and are one of the only stores where you can walk in and walk out with a new look from head to toe.

It is hard to believe that this store started in Chicago in 1979 as a wholesale sunglasses retailer. Their first ads were featured in Rolling Stone and Cream magazine. Two years later in 1982, they opened the location here in Royal Oak and expanded the store from just sunglasses to shoes, clothes and other accessories (rings, bracelets, necklaces, purses, scarves, magnets). This store was around when I was just a wee little lady dreaming of rocking 6 inch pumps and a great pair of wayfarers, and is still here for me now that I am old enough to finally do so.
When it comes to shopping I want to get in, get what I want and get out. I want good service from a staff that cares about me and what I need, and I want a decent product for a good price. Most importantly, I want something that you cannot get at every store. I like to be the girl rocking a different look and style and there is no better place to get something stylish and a little different. Incognito is the only place in the area that carries Jeffery Campbell shoes. They have the biggest selection of Toms and Doc Martins that I have ever seen and they have the most unique jewelry and sunglasses selection of any store in Michigan.

Over the years I have bought a number of different things from this store and have never been disappointed in a purchase. I have two sweaters I bought off the clearance rack about 8 years ago that are not only timeless, but after 300 washes, still look amazing. I attribute this to the owners and the store manager, Angie Yaldo. They buy good products and only put out things that they think are worth your money. They basically hand pick everything that comes into the store and goes out on their shelves. When you walk around the store you can see that the employees wear the items that they are selling and are proud to be working for Incognito. You are always greeted upon entering, and when you want to try on shoes there is always someone to help you get them. And when you're ready to checkout, they even make sure that this is done promptly and friendly. You are not treated like cattle but instead it feels like a fancy experience in a store where the business revolves around the customer.
They feature a large collection of Detroit inspired clothing and items including the Made in Detroit and Detroit Hustles Harder lines. In fact, this year during Arts Beats and Eats, Aptemel clothing (the creators of Detroit Hustles Harder) will be doing a trunk show in the store. This would be a great time to stop in, see what kind of new window Angie has come up with, and see what kind of special items DHH has to offer.  

We walked around the store and took lots of pictures to show you what we are talking about and we also got the inside scoop on what's going to be hot for fall. They are in the middle of their summer clearance sale and will soon be getting in all there new looks for fall. Angie promises a lot of boots for the new season. She says that boots and stacked sneakers will be all the rage and they will have a large supply for you to choose from. I don't know about you, but I am always looking forward to seeing what Jeffery Campbell will do next. His shoes might be on the pricier side, but they are so well made and comfortable that they are worth every dollar- I say this from personal experience.  

Store hours are from 11-9 Monday through Saturday and 12-7 on Sundays until after Labor Day when it'll change back to 12-6. They can be found on facebook, on twitter at and on instagram @shopincognito. 

We plan to keep checking out the new merchandise and bringing you the latest this store has to offer. It is my favorite store in all of Michigan and I wouldn't want to shop anywhere else.  

Thanks so much to the manager Angie Yaldo for walking us around, giving us the history of the store, and letting us play dress up for a little bit while we were there! You bet your ass that Christie, Becca and I all bought ourselves a little something during this interview. I can't stop wearing my Marilyn Monroe-esque cat eye glasses- it was something that this blonde always wanted! Another great Incognito find!


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