Affordable Clothing and Other Reasons to Shop at Rainbow Shops

I love fashion and that’s why I stop by Rainbow Shops at least twice a month.  It appears they get new stock in at least once a week and the person who’s assigned to unpack it performs the task in front of the store as she greets each potential consumer who steps into the door.  They sell women’s and women’s plus clothing, including lingerie, accessories (jewelry, makeup, shoes, scarves, sunglasses, socks and more) and girl’s clothing.  They also sell school uniforms for both sexes.

While I prefer to shop at Macy’s, Express, Bebe’s and Ross, none of them are conveniently located up the street from me.  Once, I couldn’t find an outfit for a job interview scheduled for later that day; I went to Rainbow Shops and found the perfect dress that cost me $6!  Budget-oriented, I notice they always have items on sale on the racks in the back and whenever I get a free moment, I stop by to see what’s on them, as well as to browse the new apparel.  This way, whenever there’s an event such as a free local festival, I’m always set to go!

Rainbow Shop’s Foothill Square site and inside/outside Eastmont Township Mall site.

None of their merchandise, including jeans, dresses, sweats, suits, jumpsuits and more, cost over $40.  Their garments are made of cotton, polyester, mesh, embroidery, spandex, rayon and other fabrics.  Rainbow’s apparel has been featured in several magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen and on the Instagram pages of stars.

While they boast about being “the ultimate purveyor of must-have looks in fast fashion” (https://www.rainbowshops.com/about-us.html, 2/20/18), I’d say they offer classic and professional styles as well. And, they carry styles for all ages and ethnicities.

Per their website, “Rainbow is an international store with over a thousand locations.”  I mostly frequent the location at the Eastmont Mall on 73rd and Bancroft but can’t resist stopping at the site at Foothill Square (both in East Oakland.) I used to stop by the one in Emeryville before it closed a few months ago.  I find the different stores carry at least a few different items and it’s worth the drop-in.  The next closest neighborhood location is in Richmond’s Hilltop Mall, 17 miles away.  There used to be another Rainbow Shop in Eastmont Mall, just two doors down from the other.  It closed within the last six months and is now under construction to be a blood bank (look out for my upcoming story about Octapharma.)  

“Octapharma Coming Soon”

The Eastmont Mall’s is located on the outside of the mall, next to Gazzali’s Supermarket, with no entrance from inside the mall.  Their hours of operation are from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturdays from 1 p.m.- 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

 Inside, to the left, is the juniors/women’s clothing with the shoe department behind it, then jewelry.  To the right, the plus sizes and behind it, the children’s section, then lingerie.  The makeup is  in the center of the back of the store, in front of the cash register counter, with the fitting rooms next to it.  Rainbow offers layaway, sells gift cards, and accepts EBT (Califonia’s electronic benefits transfer) cards in stores.  There’s plenty of mall parking and there are 13 buses that will get you there too.  

Author sporting Rainbow outfits

I’ve signed up for their emails that I receive at least once a week.   Because I’m between two sizes, I don’t buy from online.  However,  shipping is usually free for purchases over $50 and you will get 10 percent discount off  your first purchase if you sign up for email.  As previously mentioned, I enjoy more expensive clothing, therefore, while I like Rainbow’s fashionable styles, sometimes I just admire them and am inspired by them, but prefer to find a similar or exact style elsewhere.

Unfortunately, I do have a few complaints that I’m hoping others won’t experience:  1.  You have to check  your bags, 2. You can only take three garments in the dressing room at a time, and 3. You cannot try on or return lingerie.  You have to walk past all of the merchandise to get to the counter where there’s normally a short line to leave your bags.  I remember the days when the guard at the door took your bags and gave you a number.  They usually have at least five people working, have cameras, and sometimes a guard present.  It makes me feel like a criminal and sometimes I just want to protect my items!  I usually carry my laptop with me and merchandise I may have purchased from other stores within the mall.

You are carrying 1.5 outfits into the dressing room and you have to get dressed in order to trade out and; you have to get your merchandise off the rack yourself.  Lingerie fits differently depending on the brand, cut, and sometimes what looks good on the hanger doesn’t look good on the person.  I still recommend them.

Other Facts About Rainbow

They are headquartered in NYC.  They target consumers with salaries under $50,000.  They accept returns and exchanges other than lingerie.  You can get your gift card balance from their website.  They accept Paypal and all of the major credit cards.  They ship internationally.  They’re on the following social networking sites:  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat and you can download their app from Google Play or Apple Itunes.  They have great reviews on their website, Yelp and Influenster.  You may find coupon codes on websites such as Ebates and Coupon Cabin to be used on their website.  You can contact their customer service department seven days a week!  

Other Reasons To Shop At Rainbow

  • You want to feel good  on a blue day and need a place to walk through for a “lift me up.”
  • You need some exercise.   Rainbow stores are large and dense.
  • You care about your appearance and wanna look fashionably good!
  • You’re not a materialistic person but when you like something, you like to be able to purchase it.  
  • You need clothes and want to like what you’ve purchased.
  • You want inspiration to do your hair, fingernails, makeup or to go somewhere.
  • You believe in the saying – what is there to life without a little joy? If a $5 t-shirt makes you happy, that’s a small price to pay. 

About Tonya Shipp

Tonya Shipp is a mother of two and avid supporter of education and development. For the past ten years, she has been freelancing and working through staffing agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area but recently began as Program Aide at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency. She obtained an associate’s degree in the social sciences from Laney College and is one class shy of receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She also served eight years in the Army Reserves before being honorably discharged. She volunteers regularly at the events and offices of non-profits. Having experienced extensive periods of homelessness, unemployment and being without dental coverage is a strong advocate for the poor. View all posts by Tonya Shipp →

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