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THIS PAGE: DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS, CENTRAL WEST END, SOUTH CITY/COUNTY, AND NORTH CITY/COUNTY
PG. 2: CLAYTON AND MAPLEWOOD
PG. 3: LADUE/FRONTENAC AND UNIVERSITY CITY
PG. 4: KIRKWOOD & WEBSTER GROVES
PG. 5: METRO EAST AND WEST COUNTY & BEYOND
DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS
Downtown continues to evolve, with stores like Charm Boutique and Salt of the Earth moving westward, but a number of longtime staples—Levine Hat Co., Boxers, Beverly’s Hill, and The Fur & Leather Gallery—remain, and there are some stylish new kids on the block. Among the most visually striking is CLR-MNSTR Collective, a boutique/art space along Wash. Ave. Owner Tricia Thurman stocks the shelves with trendy men’s and women’s fashions, and the walls are lined with pastels and paintings. (Also, don’t miss the location’s monthly art and fashion shows.)
In downtown’s Mercantile Exchange building, check out The Collective for a sampling of St. Louis stores: Ivy Hill, Byrd Style Lounge, and The White Rabbit. It’s a forward-thinking business model with forward-thinking fashion. DNA, which opened in June, offers shoe consignment—a novel idea for sneakerheads—as well as hats, hoodies, and T-shirts. In midtown, Epiphany Boutique sells flashy dresses and heels. Inside Union Station, check out Vauje, Mary Collins’ new store that sells locally made Vauje Vixen jewelry. And there are ample other jewelry options downtown, including Vinciguerra Jewelry, Kessler Mroz Jewelry, and more.
CENTRAL WEST END
As the one-time home of Kate Chopin, William S. Burroughs, and T.S. Eliot, the Central West End embodies bohemian chic. So it’s only fitting that 10denza—a boutique specializing in fashion and art—is situated in the heart of the CWE along Maryland Plaza, in the shadow of The Chase Park Plaza. The boutique’s owner, Chris Lanter, scans the globe for the trendiest of goods: George Gina & Lucy handbags, MSTR watches, Bookman bike lights.
Among the other fashion gems along Maryland and Euclid Avenue are Ivy Hill, Hillary Dutcher’s boutique, selling Big Buddha totes and Wai Ming dresses; Mary Jane’s, Lori Harris’ girly-girl boutique with Seychelles heels and skinny jeans; Moris Fashions, where Brian Smith and Michael Pagel specialize in menswear, notably made-to-measure custom suits and shirts; and Adriano Goldschmied, a store that’s stocked with designer denim. Along McPherson Avenue, across from Philip Slein Gallery’s new location, you’ll find The Silver Lady, Lori Shifter and Jeff Weintrop’s longtime jewelry store, as well as Libby’s, a boutique that dubs itself “The Picasso of Women’s Clothing.”
Farther east, check out A Taste of Luxurie, located slightly off the beaten path, near The Gaslight Theater, and offering a layaway program. And it’s worth making a detour for the CWE’s oft-overlooked consignment stores, Dazzle Me Twice and Borough Vintage: The former is Marty London’s residence-turned-retail spot that specializes in discounted designer labels, while the latter is Dawna Sturdivant’s all-things-vintage locale, with Apparel Doctor Alterations & Tailoring also inside for any necessary repairs and Christiane’s Handcrafted Jewelry located upstairs.
You spent all of that energy shimmying into skinny jeans—now it’s time to indulge. Order the chocolate fondue at Bissinger’s. Or if chocolate’s not your thing, savor the Vanilla Cakewich cupcake at The Cup.
The South Side’s become the unofficial booster of our fair city. Need proof? Get down to Cherokee Street, where brothers Jeff and Randy Vines sell shirts with ingenious neighborhood-centric art for everywhere from Fox Park to the Central West End, as well as insider phrases like “High School? Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at STyLehouse. Then there’s longtime staple Retro 101/Cherry Bomb Vintage, where you can occasionally find Anne Klein and Gucci purses for a fraction of retail, and Ruth’s Vintage Clothing, a corner store packed to the brim with used hats, shirts, and more.
Elsewhere in South City, along Morgan Ford Road, there’s The Vintage Haberdashery, a consignment and costume shop celebrating its 30th year in business. Finally, drive farther south, to Sappington, and you’ll arrive at a nationally recognized resale haven, Women’s Closet Exchange, where owner Sue McCarthy ensures the boutique’s always packed with gleeful finds like Manolo Blahnik heels and Fendi handbags. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop into Clique next door and Purple Cow, a boutique filled with “recycled clothing for kids” that’s run by McCarthy’s daughter Laura Maurice. And Robinson Diamonds & Fine Jewelry is a trustworthy longtime family business.
Young entrepreneurs are playing the part of retail pioneer in the region’s northern reaches. Florissant native Andrea D’Angelo runs Andrea’s Boutique, near her father’s auto shop. Beyond selling affordable vintage pieces and accessories, D’Angelo deals in paintings (her own). And Ebony Chanel Wilson lived up to her name by bringing a fashionable addition to Old North’s Crown Square: Therapy Boutique, which deals in colorful rompers, dresses, and other women’s apparel. And farther west, in Earth City, you’ll find Bronx-Diba-Luichiny Fashion Footwear, a shoe oasis that’s worth a stop the next time you’re visiting Rams Park.
After closing their mall locations in recent years, siblings Kyrle Boldt and Joni Ridgway reopened Splash near Clayton High School. (Where better to sell threads for the younger set?) The once-surfer-inspired store still carries swimwear, but it’s branched out to everyday attire as well. Byrd Style Lounge has also evolved: Last July, owner Julie Stotlar switched the boutique’s inventory from new duds to upscale secondhand. (Also noteworthy: Social Club, Byrd’s monthly couture-and-cocktails get-together.) Other consignment stores are just a stone’s throw away: Dos Resale Boutique (focusing on clothing for teenagers and young women), The Village Consignment Shop (selling furs, eveningwear, designer clothing, and more), and ScholarShop (benefiting students via The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis).
At St. Louis Suit Co., you can find two-for-$30 dress shirts—convenient if you spill while grabbing lunch at the Chipotle beneath the store. Or consider menswear store Savile Row, which opened its new Clayton location in late September. And women looking for business attire might consult Karen Morrow at Doncaster Studio in Clayton.
For those who prefer to dress down, there’s Blue Moon Activewear, stocked with hard-to-find workout clothes (ALO, lucy, prAna) and accessories (ToeSox, Manduka yoga mats). Margaret’s offers swimwear for the warmer months, as well as lingerie for special occasions year-round.
Dotdotdash, a kids’ boutique with its own in-house brands, is conveniently situated beside Oh Lolli Lolli Itsy Bitsy Candy Shoppe in the DeMun neighborhood. (Save the sugar high for after the shopping.) Beyond selling kids’ T-shirts and onesies, Alyson Garland’s store offers comfortable clothing for Mom.
At The Boulevard–St. Louis in nearby Richmond Heights, you’ll now find more than P.F. Chang’s, Maggiano’s, and Soft Surroundings, Robin Sheldon’s store devoted to comfort (clothing, bedding, Lori Coulter swimwear). In April, Laurie Solet moved from Clayton to a larger space here, where you can peruse her private line, priced under $200. And in May, London-based Accessorize/Monsoon Children opened its first Missouri store here (with a Monsoon Kids location also recently opening at the Chesterfield Mall), selling totes, wellies, and jewelry.
For special occasions, there’s no shortage of jewelry options from long-standing local establishments: The Diamond Shop and Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers, both open for roughly a century; Saettele Jewelers (open since 1946); Simons Jewelers (open since 1976); Adler’s Jewelers and Moritz-Reusch Jewelry in nearby Brentwood and Richmond Heights; and Adam Foster Fine Art Jewelry, where the store’s namesake creates custom pieces, from a customer’s inspiration to designs in CAD to the final product.
“Throwaway fashion is fine to go on a date, but you can tell it’s cheap and it’ll fall apart when you wash it. I always think of cost-per-wear. You buy a $100 top, and you can pass it down to your daughter.” —Julie Stotlar, Byrd Style Lounge
Plenty of window-shopping—and even some new faces—can be found along Manchester Road. Last June, Kari Kraichely moved Charm Boutique from downtown to historic Route 66. Beyond buying locally made baubles (e.g., earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches), as well as items from local labels Penny Rae Vintage and Bluebird Denim, you can create your own accessories by taking a “revamp class” for $35. Nearby is Tigerlily Gifts & Monograms, a mother-and-daughters–operated store filled with baby clothing, bright gifts, and more. Brenda Wolf’s nearby French-inspired boutique, Gisele’s, deals in petaled purses, dresses, and gifts. Just a block away sits another French-inspired shop, Femme—that’s “woman” in French, appropriate considering the dresses, handbags, scarves, jewelry, and other ladylike options. And Paramount Jewelers remains the neighborhood’s retail patriarch after 65-plus years.
There’s something about Ladue and Frontenac (possibly the median income) that makes jewelers gravitate there. At least a half dozen call it home: Huffords Jewelry (family-owned by a clan with a thing for alliteration: Duff, Dan, and the late Denny Hufford), Curt Parker Jewelers (specializing in platinum jewelry), Albarré Jewelry (Barry Sherman’s longtime store), Melanie’s (focusing on colorful, affordable accessories), Lordo’s Diamonds (the family-owned staple), Alixandra Collections (former tennis star Alix Chesno’s chain), Codi Jewelry (where Courtney Hopson sells her jewelry line, worn by the likes of Brooke Burke and Kelly Ripa), Designs by Elise (selling Elise Landy’s handmade pieces), and Ylang-Ylang Fine Designer Jewelry (pronounced “elong-elong”).
Nearly as shiny and elegant is the interior at Molly Brown’s boutique, Esther, named for a queen in the Old Testament and carrying labels like Patterson J. Kincaid and Beyond Vintage. Cha Boutique caters to mothers and daughters, with a range of price points—and even offers airbrush tanning. Nearby is Vie, where owner Melodie Tauben sells contemporary labels like Issa. At the Ladue location of Marta’s Boutique, owner Marta Gaska offers the clothing and accessories that have made her Ellisville store a staple.
Down Clayton Road is Giddyup Jane, a Western-themed store appropriately located in West County; MACS Designs, selling both seasonal styles and monogram services; Egg by Susan Lazar, a new upscale baby boutique; and Pink Magnolia, the Lilly Pulitzer store whose designs are so synonymous with Palm Beach.
Another preppy-inspired national brand, J.McClaughlin, branches beyond women’s styles, also offering something for the guys. The same is true at Mister Guy, Terry and Carla Felumb’s store that sells menswear from Johnnie-O and Hickey Freeman, as well as women’s lines like Fabrizio Gianni and Tyler Boe.
Of course, men have a rare wealth of options in the vicinity, including Sam Cavato (recognized nationally by Esquire), Stallone’s Formal Wear (a longtime local formalwear store, which has expanded to locations across the area), Woody’s (specializing in tailored men’s clothing), and Kim Kuehner Sportswear (a spot that blends biz and casual).
Finally, there are the area’s other longtime staples: The Fur & Leather Centre, which recently announced it would be moving to the Byron Cade building in Clayton, and The Woman’s Exchange, which continues to sell classic jewelry, purses, and scarves, as well as a mix of tops, jackets, whimsical aprons, and the timeless cherry dress for little girls.
It’s only natural that the Delmar Loop—the future site of that much-publicized trolley—is home to eco-friendly resale store Avalon Exchange, which buys fashionable in-season brands.
Almost 25 years after opening, Carol Crudden’s ever-evolving store, Ziezo, continues to surprise with its edgy, unpredictable selection; the shoes and accessories are ideal for those on a budget. Organized mostly by color, Pitaya is notable for its selection of affordable dresses. On the east side of the Loop, Boutique Calla Lily specializes in dresses for special occasions, such as prom or that much-anticipated cocktail party.
Sole & Blues sells both designer shoes and denim, as you’d expect, with an impressive array of labels: G-Star, BB Dakota, Ben Sherman… As the name implies, R.Sole’s selection is strictly sneakers (e.g., Supra, Vans, Nike).
Devil City, a shop from Iron Age Studio’s Brad Fink and his wife, Deborah, stocks Pendleton shirts alongside pinup-inspired swimsuits—with most of the products made in the U.S. of A. But if a Lucky 13 onesie just isn’t Junior’s style, consider City Sprouts, Molly Curlee’s übercute boutique with ladybug-like backpacks, classic kids’ books, and “I Might Barf” onesies.
ART + FASHION
Since launching last January, Craft Alliance’s Fashion Lab has explored the intersection of art and fashion, with a range of events: trunk shows, lectures, and fashion shows, with the likes of designer Michael Drummond.
KIRKWOOD & WEBSTER GROVES
Neighborhoods once synonymous with white picket fences have seen an influx of specialty shops—recession be damned. In Kirkwood, longtime staple Blush Boutique has provided a model of success, with owner Sarah King continually seeking new trends and blogging on Sunnies + Stilettos (sunniesandstilettos.com). Paperdolls Boutique also stays on top of the latest fashions, posting new arrivals on its Facebook page. Then, two years ago, Carrie Wurm and Pam Debandt opened up Ginger & Mary Ann Boutique in the space once occupied by Blush, offering options for average-size women. The newest kids on the block include East + West, one-time financial planner Brian Simpson’s men’s store; Fun in the Sun Sports & Leisure, Nancy Kaiser McGee’s coastal-inspired activewear store that’s the only place around selling Loggerhead Apparel; and Sparkle Boutique, Diana Slay’s store specializing in women’s accessories and gifts.
Elsewhere in Kirkwood, shoppers can stop by the fashionable maternity store 9 Months in Style, children’s resale store giggafriggs consignment & resale, kids’ boutique Lass & Laddie, and a whole host of jewelry stores: Mavrik Fine Jewelry, James Durbin Jewelry Design, Summa Jewelers, Your Diamond Source, and Brando Boutique.
Never to be outdone by Kirkwood, Webster Groves has also attracted new specialty shops during the past year. In September, Webster native Stacie Swederska opened Paisley Boutique, a pet-friendly store selling women’s labels like Lilla P and Feel the Piece. Earlier this year, Julie Mangels opened Toulon, a women’s clothing store carrying Radzoli and Nikibiki blouses, as well as fitness apparel. And last fall, sisters Theresa Campbell and Tracey Eppers opened Pickle Juice—a children’s resale boutique—joining the likes of eco-friendly children’s store Verde Kids. In nearby Glendale, Letitia McPherson-Young opened Honey’s Child Boutique, a store for full-figured women—not for children, as the name might imply. Then there are other longtime Webster favorites: Daisy Clover Boutique (carrying women’s clothing, sizes 2 to 12), ScholarShop resale, monogram boutique The Initial Design, and Summit Jewelers.
Just a short drive farther down Manchester Road, you can find Kangaroo Kids, a children’s and maternity resale store; Laurie’s Shoes, the longtime regional shoe chain; Rung, which donates its profits to the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis, helping to assist at-risk women and children; Upscale Resale Boutique, a consignment shop where you can find Coach, Louis Vuitton, and more; and Ditto, a resale store that the Christian Schools Association of St. Louis opened in September.
Yes, there are more reasons to visit the Metro East than Fast Eddie’s and Cleveland-Heath. In Belleville, Ill., you can peruse totes and T-shirts at Circa Boutique, Hardwick suits and women’s jackets at longtime fixture Don Rodgers, and all things leather (boots, wallets, gloves) at Sole Survivor. At Karma Clothing & Accessories, in Glen Carbon, Kristy Davis and daughter Victoria Klinefelter stock the shelves with barely worn juniors clothing. What to Wear in Edwardsville sells a selection of Michael Kors, Mavi, and more. And in Troy, you’ll find Odelia Signature Alpaca Wear, with mittens and classic cabled sweaters made from Suri alpaca yarns.
WEST COUNTY & BEYOND
In the land of big-box stores, you can find local boutiques—if you know where to look. Start at Town & Country Crossing, which houses Klutch (with dresses from Charlie Jade and Otis & Maclain), CODI Jewelry (designer Courtney Hopson’s second location), Cotton Babies (cloth-diaper advocate Jennifer Labit’s baby store), and Laurie Solet’s second location. Across the street is personalized gift shop Dazzle Boutique, and just east on Clayton Road, you’ll find kids’ clothing at Chocolate Soup.
Nearby Creve Coeur offers a host of jewelers: Genovese Jewelers (Joe Genovese’s spacious store), Vincent’s Jewelers (where Robert “Tony” Beins landed after his grandfather’s jewelry store closed), and Vinciguerra Jewelry (with another location in downtown St. Louis). For special occasions, there’s Distinctions in Fashion. And the National Council of Jewish Women’s Resale Shop sells consignment.
In Chesterfield, consider Pulse (blogging what’s new at pulsestl.tumblr.com), Ju Ju B’s (offering salon and spa services), Meka Boutique (carrying Old Gringo boots and Wildfox Couture shirts), and Jeans, jackets & jewels (with purple skinny jeans and Tulle jackets). To find underpinning for those clothes, visit Ann’s Bra Shop or Jule Lingerie & Loungewear.
In Ballwin and Manchester, you’ll find Novak Jewelers and Diamond & Jewelry Brokers, though the biggest news is at Manchester Highlands, home to a new Nordstrom Rack, and Ballwin Grove, where Paperdolls Boutique just opened a second spot. In nearby Ellisville, Marta’s Boutique posts its latest inventory on Facebook. And in Wildwood, Heels Boutique carries stilettos and accessories, while Jeniffer Rubenstein stocks Miss Me tops and KUT from the Kloth denim at Pure by Jen.
Stroll down St. Charles’ Main Street to peruse Ooh La La, Thro’s & Michelle’s, and other quaint shops (see p. 90). In O’Fallon, Carries Boutique stocks curio sweaters and dresses, Ms. Brie’s Boutique offers edgier selections, and DIYStyle Boutique sells locally made wares. Designer Resale Boutique, in St. Peters, offers all things consignment. In Lake Saint Louis, visit children’s boutique Puddle Ducks, or for a special occasion, Clarkson Jewelers (with another location in Ellisville). And after all that running around, find new shoes at Big River Running Company or Fleet Feet Sports.
By Kate Allen, Jeannette Cooperman, Rosalind Early, Anisah Giansiracusa, Rachel Lalk, Jarrett Medlin, and Caillin Murray / Photography by Ashley Gieseking, Kate McDonald, and Kevin A. Roberts