BY ROSIE PIGA PIZZO
You often hear the complaint that there just isn’t anywhere to shop for clothes if you’re a woman of a “particular age”—which in Bloomington means, older than a student.
That’s not entirely true—there are a handful of local stores, the most venerable of which is Tivoli Fashions. The shop has graced the south side of the courthouse Square since 1987.
Owner Cheryl Nichoalds carries everything from career to casual to special occasion fashions. “I don’t do anything that’s too trendy. Anything you buy here will be in your closet for a long time, and it will always look appropriate,” she says. The lines she carries include Yansi Fugel, French Dressing, and Geiger (“the best boiled wool in the world,” she says).
With customers ranging in age from 25 to 90, Nichoalds specializes in helping them select seasonal wardrobes. “People will call me and say ‘I’m coming in for my spring wardrobe,’ and I will make a dressing room for them,” she says. “I love to make people look and feel good in their clothes.” Customers also seek her advice to find the right fashions to take on vacation.
Clothing sizes at Tivoli range from 4 to16 in misses and petites, and prices range from $48 for a pair of chinos to $400 for a three-piece Pendleton suit. “My merchandise is unique,” claims Nichoalds. “I carry a limited supply, so you won’t see people all over town wearing the same thing.”
Nichoalds started Tivoli Fashions nearly 40 years ago in Bedford. That store closed in 2003. The Bloomington store continues to enjoy success. “I have good, loyal, local customers and a good tourist rate,” she says. “I’m on my second generation of loyal customers.”
To what does she owe this loyalty and the store’s longevity? “I’m a no-pressure type person, and I think it’s important to be honest with people if they come out of the dressing room and ask how they look,” explains Nichoalds. “I will tell them the truth. I think customers really appreciate that. And if they don’t look good, I don’t look good.”
Tivoli Fashions is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and Saturday, and from 10 am to 7 pm Friday.