Sunday, October 23, 2011

El Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés is my Nordstrom substitute for the year.  It's a little different, but all the basics are there: nice clothes, nice shoes, narrow shoes, watches, purses, makeup, etc.  Plus, the customer service at El Corte Inglés is pretty good.  The fabulous customer service at Nordstrom is what continually draws me back there, aside from their clothes, of course.  El Corte Inglés is a department store, but it's little different - keep reading.

 I've decided to write about El Corte Inglés, because people are generally confused about what kind of store it is until they see it.  El Corte Inglés is the only store of its kind that I've ever encountered.  It's like a department store, and then some.  You can buy everything there.  If you're into "one-stop shopping," El Corte Inglés is for you - you can buy your whole life here.

At El Corte Inglés, you can buy designer clothes (carolina herrera, yves saint laurent, etc.), normal clothes, designer shoes, make up, watches (lots and lots of watches), purses (longchamps, etc), airline tickets, rental cars, real estate, food (grocery store), food (gourmet grocery section), food (for lunch in the cafe), any electronics/technology (cell phones, external hard drives, computers, TVs, etc.), books (there's a whole bookstore section), and more.  They are even rumored to sell peanut butter.  You can also buy art supplies (paint, brushes, etc.), textile things (fabric, ribbons, more), and notebooks, binders, calendars, and anything you would expect to find at Walgreens.  Oh, and jewelry too.  At some stores, you can get off the metro and go into the store without even going outside!  So, El Corte Inglés falls somewhere between Walgreens and super-Nordstrom.  Anyone would agree that that's a pretty big range.
Chanel makeup at El Corte Inglés
Festina watches at El Corte Inglés
You don't want to know how much this shirt costs.
Usually, a Corte Inglés store has multiple entrances, and often it has multiple buildings.  You have to make sure you go into the right one to buy what you're looking for.  The prices are usually higher than elsewhere, but the quality is also usually better.  There are security guards at every entrance, and also wandering the floors, but I think that's normal for most stores here. 

El Corte Inglés - Shoe Department
The shoe department in El Corte Inglés is the closest thing I've seen here to Nordstrom's Salon Shoes department - in style, quality, and price.  As you may or may not know, the "narrow foot curse" runs in the family, which basically means that we can never buy the cheap, cute shoes in random stores, because they literally fall off our feet.  I'm optimistic about finding shoes that fit at Corte Inglés, but haven't tried yet because shoe shopping is always so discouraging.  I'll keep you posted.  Aren't these shoes cute?  They don't come narrow, so it doesn't matter.

Today at El Corte Inglés after the Desigual Friends event, I tried on some fascinators in preparation for my upcoming trip to London.  FYI, this is called a fascinator, not a hat.  I think you'll agree that it lives up to its name.
Possible captions for this photo:
1. I'm officially ready for my trip to London.  Harrods, here I come!
2. The fascinator? Yes, this happened.
3. I love shopping so, so much!
4. Welcome to my life.  This picture sums it all up.
5. I finally found a look I can't pull off...or can I?
6. I cropped out the salesperson who was laughing at me.

El Corte Inglés "Las Meninas" Ad
Another thing I appreciate about El Corte Inglés is their cultured advertisements.  This one, "Shopping is an Art," was modeled after "Las Meninas," a very famous painting by Diego Velasquez.  "Las Meninas" hangs in the Museo del Prado just down the street.  In this ad, they've changed the people so that they're wearing El Corte Inglés clothing, which resembles the original clothing in the painting.  All the elements are there - the painter doing his own portrait, the Infanta Margarita, the people around her.  Well done, Corte Inglés!


  1. Hi! How are you? Please say hi to Izzy and Ollie for me. :)