Hot List 2014: Shopping
If you’re looking for top-notch fashion brands with that one-on-one, boutique customer service feel, Vie is the place to be. The roster of labels includes fashion staples like Nicole Miller and Alice + Olivia; denim from the likes of J Brand and Current/Elliot; Kai beauty products; and jewelry by Safia, Miguel Ases and Virgins, Saints & Angels. Owner Melodie Tauben is a master at curating merchandise at various price points and styles ranging from t-shirts to black-tie, offering an effortlessly glamorous selection of goods for the modern shopper. Ladue, 314.997.0124.
People’s Choice: Blush, Kirkwood, 314.965.4411.
Best New Boutique
The Clover has quickly become one of STL’s top boutiques for fresh new finds, thanks to owners Jen Rieger and Chris Rubin de la Borbolla’s passion for experimenting with unique, fashion-forward lines. Well-curated brand staples include a massive selection of denim from Hudson, Joe’s Jeans and Henry & Belle, casualwear favorites like Susana Monaco and Super Maggie, and various independently-owned and fashion-forward labels, including Coconinno by STLFW vet, Eva Franco. Webster Groves, 314.467.0436.
People’s Choice: Ivy Hill, Ladue, 314.721.7004.
Best Contemporary Selection
Fashion-forward styles and a commitment to offering the best in contemporary have secured Cha a top spot on our list of local shopping destinations. Shoppers can snag printed tees and basics alongside a large selection of dresses and separates by brands such as Parker, Joie, 7 For All Mankind and Free People to create outfits that take you seamlessly from day to night. It’s no wonder the boutique just announced its expansion to Columbia, MO, this fall. Ladue, 314.993.8080.
From celeb-loving brands to classic selections, Ivy Hill boasts a wide variety of jewelry, handbags, belts, scarves and more, all carefully curated to accent any wardrobe. With the shop’s extensive selection of must-have brands including House of Harlow and Big Buddha, it’s only natural that owner Hillary Dutcher’s second location in Ladue has been so successful at complementing the boutique’s original digs in the CWE. Multiple locations, ivyhillboutique.com.
Best Shoe Selection
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
For the ultimate lust-worthy selection of designer footwear in the city, turn to the shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue to fulfill your every desire. From the quirky styles of Sophia Webster to the classic aesthetic of Chanel, one hop, skip and jump around the well-merchandised collection of seasonal footwear can satisfy every whim for both men and women. Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Best
For a fashion-loving gal, Heaven looks very similar to the handbag department at Neiman Marcus, which boasts top-of-the-line designer offerings from Chloé, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Valentino and more. Styles range from crossbody, clutches and hobos to totes, backpacks and wallets that appeal to consumers of all types, but have one serious fashion calling. Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9811.
Best Festival Wear
With summer in full swing, women everywhere are on the hunt for the perfect festival wear essentials to sport at the many outdoor concerts and events in STL and beyond. Thankfully, Blush keeps its racks packed with the hippest selection of festival-friendly gear, as well as one of the largest selections of clothing by Free People in the region. Owner Sarah King’s commitment to one-on-one service and wardrobe building sets Blush apart as a must-stop shop on your quest for the perfect boho-chic look. Kirkwood, 314.965.4411.
St. Louis veteran boutique Splash has become synonymous with summer, offering up one of the largest selections of fashionable swimwear in the area. From beachy cool to boho-chic, there’s a style for everyone inside the Ladue destination, organized according to style and theme within the brightly lit space. Ladue, 314.721.6442.
Best Timeless Pieces
Albarré specializes in one of the largest selections of timeless pieces in the area, replete with watches and estate designer gems and jewels in styles ranging from modern to classic, with brands including St. Louis’ own Laura Kathleen to Rolex, Jorg Gray and Phillip Stein. A local staple since 1976, you know you’re in good hands for both selection and repair. Ladue, 314.997.1707.
Best International Pieces
Owners Suzanne Pace and Ricardo Farias Nicolopulos have combined their love for culture, color and wearable art at this Plaza Frontenac boutique. The vibrant storefront offers a hefty selection of garments from around the world, supporting designers from locales such as Mexico, Italy and Greece. Pace Farias is also active in its support of local artists; don’t miss its printed silk scarves by local painter Mary Sprague. Plaza Frontenac, 314.983.0781.
Best Boutique Curation
From the moment you walk into 10denza, you know it’s something special. A smart mix of men’s and women’s apparel, music and pop culture, the CWE boutique features an unprecedented selection of up-to-the-minute styles alongside a sizable inventory of books, art, footwear and tech gear. Case closed. Central West End, 314.361.1010.
For those passionate about high-quality American-made goods and workmanship, Devil City offers three house brands of countless retro-inspired wardrobe staples to tickle your fancy. Owners Deborah and Brad Fink recently opened the Delmar Loop showroom as a vintage-inspired locale to house the design team of Devil City Women’s, Devil City Tees and kids line Frad Bink, in addition to the wholesale business and web store. The Loop, devilcity.com.
Best New Shopping Destination
TAUBMAN PRESTIGE OUTLETS
Taubman Prestige Outlets is the ultimate deal-hunters’ paradise with over 300,000 square feet of retail space in an open-air shopping format. The eclectic mix includes shops for popular brands like Juicy Couture, Restoration Hardware, Bebe and Polo Ralph Lauren. Take your four-legged friend shopping, and enjoy Summer Fun Wednesdays, complete with entertainment for the kids. Chesterfield, 636.812.0570.
People’s Choice: St. Louis Premium Outlets, Chesterfield, 314.399.8163.
A fashion staple in St. Louis and nationwide, Skif is as much a local institution as its creator, knitwear master Nina Ganci, whose bold colors, unique shapes and a broad crossover appeal have been pleasing shoppers for years. Look for signature pieces from collaborations with independent designers Michael Drummond, Qun Liu and Cynthia Ashby, as well as an atelier collection of covetable hand-made garments. The Hill, 314.773.4401.
Best Western Wear
There’s no better place in town to score the perfect western wear than this charming boutique. GiddyUp Jane offers an unbeatable selection of sophisticated Wild West-inspired goods, including owner Jane Lavey’s signature vintage belt buckles. Additional stock includes cowboy boots from the likes of Luccese and Old Gringo, accessories from Made in the Deep South and apparel by Whish, Cattelac and more. Ladue, 314.993.9944.
Best Place to Shop Local
THE COLLECTIVE AT MX
We call it the ultimate local shopping destination, because—with more than 40 mini-stores in a comprehensive retail co-op concept in the heart of Downtown—it is. Founder Nicole Benoist pulls together a highly curated selection of international and local vendors, including The Eye Bar, East + West, Ivy Hill and K. Hall Designs, and individual items by local designers Wai Ming and Lori Coulter, among others. Need we say more Downtown, 314.241.5420.
Best Kids Apparel
This adorable boutique provides a comprehensive selection of stylish finds for babies and kids from an impressive roster of brands, including Peppercorn Kids, BabyLegs, Jellycat, Manhattan Toy and more. Snag necessary gear like strollers and highchairs while shopping the well-curated selection of fashionable duds at the new location in Colonial Marketplace. Ladue, 314.726.9611.
Best Online Shopping
Avid online shoppers can now shop indie without ever leaving home, thanks to this online destination for vintage-inspired clothing, shoes, accessories, outerwear and home decor. The recently added Midwest base works with made-in-the-USA vendors, local crafters and bloggers to showcase a wide variety of wares. Happy shopping. Artemishop.com.
Dimvaloo is proof that fashion and fitness can coexist, thanks to its exclusive Australian activewear line, Lorna Jane. From sporty separates to accessories and gym bags, the shop satisfies the desire for comfort and style while keeping you dedicated to your fitness goals with weekly events like sessions with local trainers and athletes in a variety of workout techniques. Ladue, 314.824.8224.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Best Department Store
Say hello to the destination shoppers turn to for the latest fashions and exclusive offerings, like the popular SJP and Kate Moss for Topshop collections. Multiple locations, nordstrom.com.
Best Girls Night Looks
Whether you’re feeling sassy or leaning toward sweet, you’re sure to snag the perfect outfit for a night out with the girls at Klutch. Top designer brands include Bailey 44, Wildfox and Zoa with a hefty selection of party dresses by Dolce Vita, MM Couture and Aryn K. As if the must-have brands aren’t enoughÛÓthe friendly atmosphere and personalized service will keep you coming back for more. Town & Country, 636.220.6110.
EAST + WEST
Fashion-savvy guys know the best place to snag the top trends is at East + West. A perfect mix of casual and professional, the menswear boutique sports indie brands like Benchkraft and Shades of Grey alongside established staples like Naked & Famous Denim and Redwing. East + West has even launched an exclusive house brand, offering up a style-savvy collection of modern classics at competitive prices. Kirkwood, 314.835.1419.
People’s Choice: Nordstrom, multiple locations, nordstrom.com.
SOLE & BLUES
Throughout the many stages of retail in its 10-plus-year span, Sole & Blues has stood the test of time, thanks to one of the most extensive selections of high-quality denim in the area. A favorite stop for rock ‘n’ rollers and fashionistas alike, Sole & Blues offers denim selections from staple brands like Nudie, G-Star, Naked & Famous, Hobo, Fly London, Campers and BB Dakota, with a full selection of clothing, shoes and accessories to boot. The Loop, 314.863.3600.
Best Fine Jewelry
ELLEARD HEFFERN FINE JEWELERS
The fine jewelry experts at St. Louis’ own Elleard Heffern have been providing beautifully crafted gold, platinum and sterling silver jewelry featuring fine gemstones, diamonds and pearls for more than 100 yearsÛÓand it shows. As the foremost authority on estate jewelry with an expert staff, we simply wouldn’t consider shopping anywhere else. Clayton, 314.863.8820.
People’s Choice: Tiffany & Co., Plaza Frontenac, 314.692.2255.
Best Designer Resale
Designer resale takes on a whole new meaning at Byrd, where fashionistas can snag high-quality labels at a fraction of the price. Named one of Lucky Magazine’s Favorite Stores, Byrd provides an exceptional selection of gently used, consigned designer items by Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Chanel and more, all at prices that won’t leave you with a case of buyer’s remorse. Ladue, 314.721.0766.
While on the hunt for the perfect vintage finds, you’re sure to make a very long pit stop at this hub of nearly flawless vintage clothing, shoes and accessories for both men and women, in addition to an unbeatable selection of home decor items, furniture, hats and leather goods to please even the most critical shopper. Don’t let the gigantic selection of merchandise overwhelm youÛÓthe knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction (and often give you a full history lesson) of nearly any item in the store. Benton Park, 314.762.9722.
People’s Choice: ScholarShop, multiple locations, scholarshopstl.org.
Best Kept Secret
For an eclectic mix of unique chess memorabilia, books, gift items and collectables by independent artists, look no further than this gem at the World Chess Hall of Fame. The shop is stocked with a perfectly curated selection of everything from home decor and kids items to unique gifts. As a bonus, Q Boutique launches an exclusive pop-up boutique, FLUX, once a year that features quality high-fashion merchandise by designers (last year’s featured April Johnston and Laura Kathleen). Central West End, 314.367.9243.
This trendy Downtown boutique brings a youthful edge to the St. Louis shopping scene, providing a much-needed outlet for local artists and T-shirt brands to get their goods into the hands of stylish shoppers. The influx of streetwear brands to the area has made CLR-MNSTR’s mission of rejuvenating the garment district a successful one, and its ongoing support of aspiring designers means there’s always something fresh from your favorite artisan to keep you coming back for more. Downtown, 314.241.1930.
Photo credit: Jennifer Silverberg