FAIRFIELD — With a wide selection of special-occasion dresses, suits, hats and shoes and very reasonable prices, Fairfield’s Napadashery is a hidden gem celebrating 48 years of business excellence, 40 years at its Fairfield location.
The Texas Street storefront window is beautifully decorated and draws in passers-by, as well as shoppers who have known the store for years. Napadashery offers multi-generational options, fair pricing, beautiful clothing, shoes, hats, accessories and a very helpful owner, all of which makes the store a Fairfield shopper’s treasure.
Owner Marge Block knows quite a bit about fashion.
She grew up in the retail clothing business. Her father was a small merchant in San Francisco, selling western wear.
“I had to beg him every Saturday to let me work in the store,” Block said. “I wanted to be in business and he wanted me to get an education.”
As a compromise, Block received her teaching credential, teaching elementary school for two years. The dream of owning her own business wouldn’t die, however, and while teaching, she opened a men’s clothing store that grew to five locations, switching to women’s wear 40 years ago.
“I’m known for my dresses,” Block said. “Everything from cruise wear to party dresses to mother-of-the-bride or groom.”
The secret to her success? She buys right and discounts everything from 30 to 60 percent. Going to New York every other month on buying trips, Block connects directly with the manufacturers, which allows her to offer a variety of designer fashions – brands such as Jax, Rafael and Ignite Evenings.
Lucy Nixon, a longtime customer from Vallejo, has been shopping at Napadashery nearly 20 years. She comes to the Fairfield store because she finds that many places don’t have dresses for special occasions or for church. Most have a lot of pants, but no choice in dresses.
A girlfriend told Nixon about Napadashery, and once she discovered the store, it became a regular destination.
“Marge has an eye for fashion,” Nixon said. “She knows what looks good on your particular body type. There are so many dresses and suits. I love them all. I love her hats. I get lots of compliments when I wear outfits from this store.”
Nixon believes the secret to Block’s success is that she is honest.
“If you don’t look good, Marge will tell you,” Nixon said. “She doesn’t just try to sell you something. She is caring and she is genuine.”
Block sees new customers in her store every day, some from as far away as Fresno and Redding. Her stock changes often, with new fashions almost every day. Customer service is key. Since the economy is bad and people are struggling, Block asks customers how much they feel comfortable spending and will suggest items within the customer’s budget.
“I would hate for them to be disappointed because the dress they love is above their budget,” Block said.
Napadashery carries sizes 6 through 24, with the target customer age 30 and older. Dress fittings and alterations are offered at a nominal fee.
“As long as they still have a sense of style and have fashion sense, we can help them find something right for them. We don’t do dowdy,” said Block.
“The truth of the matter is, I have a wide selection of clothing at very hard-to-beat prices,” Block said. “I can make every woman look wonderful and feel good about herself, no matter her size.”
Reach Domini Williams at 427-6981 or email@example.com.
Address: 814 Texas St., Fairfield
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday