You Like My Dress? Gee, Thanks, Just Bought It . . . at CVS

Margaux DelGuidice-Calemmo

I love a good trip to the drugstore. As a full-time working mom of a toddler, my neighborhood CVS is without a doubt my happy place where I can one-stop shop for everything from toiletries to press-on nails, kombucha, and healthy (and unhealthy) snacks. There is something incredibly soothing about browsing the aisles, surrounded by remedies that promise to cure what ails me, during the agonizing and uncertain times of COVID-19. Sometimes I'll even get a friendly wave from the pharmacist.

Turns out, CVS is good for more than my daily errand run - it's an untapped fashion mecca. My obsession with buying clothes there took hold during lockdown, but officially began three years ago when I popped in to pick up a greeting card on my way to a barbecue. Situated right by the checkout line was a rack of tea-length dresses in bright colors that would work as a bathing suit cover-up or with a denim jacket and espadrilles for a low-key night out. For the $10 price tag, I felt like I had nothing to lose. I ran home and changed into the cute and comfortable "CVS Special" for that gathering, and it was so well-received, I wore it to work the following Monday too. I'll admit, at first I felt a little strange wearing something that I purchased at the same place where I buy toilet paper and dental floss, but the compliments were overwhelmingly positive. Nobody could believe I found a chic dress at CVS. I was hooked.

In the midst of the pandemic, the drugstore was one place I was permitted to visit.

Since that fateful day, I have bought several dresses at CVS, including one I wore to a celebratory dinner for my 40th birthday. The prices are always reasonable, ranging from $7 to $20. (I've never spent more than $25 on a single piece.) Every spring, I check out the new selection of dresses at the CVS stores in my area and buy one or two to last me through the summer and into the fall, often pairing my finds with ankle boots and leggings. Once fall arrives, I pass the dresses along to my nieces to wear the following summer so I can re-up my stock. This year, holiday shopping was made easy when I gifted Lildy clothing from CVS to friends and family who always eye my wardrobe with envy and a bit of disbelief.

This past year, I've expanded my CVS wardrobe to include tunics, cardigans, and leggings. In the midst of the pandemic, the drugstore was one place I was permitted to visit to retrieve medication. Although I was terrified to leave my house, once I arrived at CVS, I took advantage of its clothing displays spotlighting Lildy loungewear and activewear, with comfortable yet stylish hoodies and leggings that were perfect for working remotely. In the fall, when I returned to my teaching job for in-person learning, I headed straight to CVS to purchase some elegant cardigans and flowy tunics to freshen up my professional wardrobe.

The sheer convenience of having access to stylish pieces after doing a massive closet clean-out during quarantine was pretty great. And having the ability to try clothes on in the privacy of my own home, without the hassle of online returns, was a bonus. If something does not fit (a rare occurrence), I can easily return it the next time I have to run out for some toothpaste or tampons. Now, when someone asks me where I got my cute outfit, I proudly tell them, "CVS," with a smile and enjoy the look of shock and admiration I receive in return.

Ahead, see how I styled my favorite CVS pieces and shop them for yourself - you won't regret it.