Shopping at Governor’s Square Mall in Tallahassee

    By Janet K. Keeler

    The names of Florida’s governors change with regularity as voters send them to the state’s capital for four, maybe eight, years. But since 1979, Tallahassee’s main shopping mall has kept that title without nary a vote cast.

    Governor’s Square was the first two-level mall in northern Florida, opening the same year that disco peaked (Bee Gees, Chic, Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor ruled) and the Pittsburg Pirates won the World Series. Maas Brothers was one of the anchor department stores, which in 1991 became Burdine’s, which became Macy’s in 2005. (Today, SearsJCPenney and Dillard’s join Macy’s as anchors.)

    One thing you can say about Tallahassee is that the city is constantly changing. New legislators, new laws and new political parties are part of the landscape here. As is the ever-revolving student roster at Florida State University, which ups the city’s 190,000 population by 42,000 when classes are in full swing.

    There are lots of places around town to buy Seminole tagged T-shirts, hoodies, hats and tailgate accouterments. Look for all that at Lids and Champs Sports. Even the department stores carry a decent selection of garnet-and-gold clothes. Lots of folks in town, students and otherwise, wear their FSU allegiance on their sleeves, or maybe on their cars. As you drive around town, you’ll notice a large concentration of garnet-colored cars and trucks.

    So the college thing is covered in many ways and places, including campus bookstores, but what about legislators and lobbyists looking for classy duds to get their points across? Macy’s and Dillard’s are fine places to start, and there are some other stores to cruise through for business ensembles that suit both men and women.  There are about 100 stores at Governor’s Square offering a multitude of choices for just as many shopping needs.

    Trendy slim-fit suits by designers Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein are just a few of the brands whose collections fill the racks at Macy’s. Dillard’s adds to that Michael Kors and a selection of tuxedos. There are plenty of black-tie events in a town known mostly for football uniforms. Shoppers can peruse traditional business wear at JCPenney and Sears, and some of the mall’s other stores, too.

    Max Alterations, an in-mall tailor, will shorten pants or sleeves, or let out seams as needed. This is a convenient service because shoppers can drop off work and then pick it up at the end of the day if time is on the tailor’s side. 

    A lobbyist or legislator in a rush to make it to a formal gala should pop into the Corner Barbershop for a shave and haircut (likely more than two bits). Between the barber and the tailor, even the highest ranking officials are covered at Governor’s Square.

    But that’s for the men. There are female legislators, lobbyists and other government types in need of professional clothes. The anchor stores are the places to start browsing for on-trend business wear. Watch for classic ensembles from Anne Klein, Ted Baker, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Tahari.

    Beyond the department stores, shoppers with an eye for contemporary sophistication should stop in at Loft. A variety of jackets can add versatility to the Little Black Dress and take it from the house chambers to a housewarming party.

    Talbots sells classic suits and contemporary mix-and-match pants, skirts and jackets. Forget the boxy look of women’s suits from yesteryear, Talbots puts a new spin, with detailing and attractive cuts, on jackets in a range of colors.

    The doings of the government can be stressful for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. City Day Spa offers comfort with a full menu of services including Swedish and deep-tissue massages, plus body scrubs and wraps. All shoppers, legislators and constituents, could use a little pampering, no matter their party affiliation.

    That’s the strength of Governor’s Square. It is non-partisan for sure.

    When you go…
    Governor’s Square
    1500 Apalachee Parkway
    Tallahassee, FL 32301
    850-877-8106

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