Sometimes, the very best way to discover someplace new isn’t by a press release or a Google review, but simply by driving by, pulling over and popping in. That’s just what I did for April’s edition of Where to shop right now and I highly recommend it.
Too old for Forever 21, but too young for Chico’s. It’s a dilemma many women face when shopping, and one Tweak boutique owner Paige McCauley could relate to, so she did something about it. The trim blonde opened her boutique in March and stocks it with on-trend items that work for grownup girls who still wanna have fun.
McCauley favors the inventive color explosion of Custo, Yoanna Baraschi’s inventive detailing and the exclusive line of George Roth for Women shirt collection. Tweak is about introducing color, creative touches and amped up basics to a woman’s wardrobe for multiple occasions. The shop’s most helpful feature is the dressing room with daylight, candlelight and florescent lighting so you can see just how something looks in various lighting.
Most of what McCauley carries is made in the United States and prices for clothing and jewelry fall under $200. A friend of hers specifically asked McCauley to stock sizes most women can wear, so the racks hold small to large and zero to 12.
Another Persa gem is Cakewalk Style Shop, an online boutique that morphed into a chic-and-mortar store. Besties Gina Cartwright and Jennifer Grigsby merged their fashion interests for a sweet shopping experience and the result is a feminine and relaxed boutique.
The duo have the exclusive on Superga sneakers, carry Tibi, Mother Denim and Elizabeth & James and will soon have Halston Heritage. Cartwright’s selection of jewelry is alone worth a trip to Cakewalk. Her pieces are cheeky and elegant statement-makers, priced between $200 and $600 and have been featured on The Today Show and Oprah’s Favorite Things.
West Ave is a little bit of LA and whole lot of Houston and, with the opening of Ivannia Boutique, an infusion of Italy and Spain. The vibe is polished, sophisticated with labels like Saved By the Queen, Isabel de Pedro and the exclusive on Twenty Cluny, a fresh Toronto label.
Owner Ivannia Delgado has partnered with Doris Hawlia, whose Kastafior on Westheimer offered a worldly take on fashion and jewelry for years. Delgado's vision is complemented by the selection of Kastafior jewelry.
If you’re in the mood for something new, but you just plunked down a chunk ‘o change for the Proenza Schouler Camera Bag (it’s compact, cute, colorful and $1,850) then Bevello in River Oaks Shopping Center is your new go-to. A boutique chain that doesn’t feel like one, Bevello carries contemporary lines at affordable prices.
Ella Moss, Splendid, Jack by BB Dakota, Hudson Jeans and Bella Luxx are among the labels carried by Bevello in sizes small through large.
You hear a lot about vegan this and organic that during April but actually tracking down stylish earth-friendly fashion isn’t always easy. Dama Handbags are vegan bags made from cotton, hemp, vintage fabrics, pleather, faux fur, PVC plastic, stainless steel, microfibers and other materials that don’t involve animal products.
Available online and at The Loop in Rice Village, Dama bags range between $50 and $100.
Tootsies is also in on handbags that feel good, look great and are cruelty-free, welcoming Cornelia Guest's collection of supple faux leather wallets, versatile pouches, satchels and totes. The bags are available now at Tootsies, but Guest will be stopping at the store May 7 and 8 for a personal appearance.
Houston’s David Peck always has Mother Nature in mind when designing and this Earth Day he’s offering 15 percent off website orders and donating 15 percent to the Gulf Restoration Network. His spring/summer collection was inspired by iconic New Orleans landmarks — Commander’s Palace, Mardi Gras and even the inside of a Zapp’s potato chip bag.
J. Crew, one of the First Lady Michelle Obama's favorite shops, is opening in CityCentre, joining neighbors L.M.D. Boutique and Elaine Turner. That means cute cardies, sweet ballet flats and easy dresses outside the Loop.
Spring is all about color and the timing couldn’t be any better for retailer Robert Graham, whose kaleidoscope palette is the foundation for the men’s and women’s collection of shirts, sports coats, dresses and swimwear. The newest spot is in Galleria I near Gucci.
For the days that call for long strolls along the boggy marshes or just making your way through an unexpected Houston downpour, Rebecca & Drew has started carrying Le Chameau wellies. They just happen to be another favorite of Princess Kate’s, come in six colors and retail for $170.