Let me start by sharing something I am know for saying that you might find amusing. On Monday mornings at work there is regularly a commentary by office staff on the weather of the weekend: “It was so cold! Will it ever stop raining! etc etc.” Hmm. These people must have been outdoors a lot. My regular response: “It’s never raining in Bloomingdales!” Which is a perfect segway to…
1. Bloomingdales – a high end department store without being too high end. The one is Chestnut Hill has been there since I was a teenager shopping with Ginger who was a ‘regular’ here. It’s a reliable place to go when you need just about anything, since they carry a wide range of labels, housewares, and menswear too. It’s where I often go for cosmetics, and always go to for undergarments. See Eileen in Intimate Apparel – she’s truly a specialist and will amaze you with life-changing bras!
2. Revolve – Revolve Boutiques are consignment shops, located in Belmont, Lexington, Winchester, and Boston, MA. They feel so much like regular boutiques that can you forget that items are not new. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Nanette Lapore, Theory, Prada, the list goes on and on. Friendly staff that are helpful, never pushy. Prices you just can’t beat. Addictive.
3. Portobello Road – located at ‘The Street’ in Chestnut Hill, enter this shop and you will not want to leave. It is a visual delight and jam-packed with very unique clothing, jewelry, and accessories, many from European designers. You will not find these items in department stores. Clothing tends to be ‘relaxed’, sophisticated, and good for all body types. My favorite pink linen blouse came from here. Yes, it’s pricey, but guarantee you will enjoy these pieces for years.
4. Rag and Bone – whether on Newbury Street in Boston or in Greenwich Village in NYC, Rag and Bone never disappoints for the best fitting jeans and teeshirts. Love the urban style, the muted colors, the simplicity, the quality. Bought a great hat here a few years back. For men and women alike.
5. Westcott Mercantile – when you want a hostess or thank you gift that is not your typical bottle of wine or ‘edible bouquet’ (no thanks), you must check out this shop. It is like stepping back in time, transporting you to a quaint ol’ New England village. There are actually two shops in Belmont – my favorite is the one on Common Street. Old fashioned candy, vintage kitchenware, fun jewelry, soaps, home decor items, and more. Select some items that suit your recipient and they will arrange it in a country style basket that makes a fun presentation.
6. Calypso – if you love the bohemian look or need to update your vacation wardrobe, this is the perfect place. Lots of long, flowy styles in a variety of fabrics, great scarves and accessories too. I always buy my white jeans here – they also have great shorts, and linen teeshirts in delicious colors. If your style preference in the summer is to be more covered up, this is the perfect place to find lightweight, long-sleeved tunics to wear over your white jeans; many in bold prints and often embellished with sequins. Can you say ‘Diva’?
7. Saks Fifth Avenue – yes, it’s more high end ($$$) than Bloomies, yes, it can be overwhelming, but yes, you will find beautiful things! Fur hats, designer handbags, contemporary sportswear, children’s wear, menswear, and more…I especially love the energy of the NYC store on Fifth Avenue which is conveniently a short walk from my Manhattan office. If you don’t know where to begin, go straight to Women’s Shoes. Go ahead, try them on….be prepared to spend more than you expected to. Choose wisely and it will be worth the investment.
8. Everything But Water – year after year I have always had success finding swimsuits and beach accessories here. Whether in the Burlington Mall or on Madison Ave in New York they carry a wonderful selection of swimsuits for all ages and body types. Labels range from the more common mid-priced brands to very high end and pricey including hats, beach totes, and cover-ups. If you dread shopping for a new bathing suit, this is definitely the place to go – the staff are very helpful and will make the whole experience uplifting. Promise you will leave here with a smile on your face and a bag in your hand.
9. Anne Fontaine – another place to shop for ‘investment pieces’, this time for fabulous white or black shirts. The fabric, the fit, the beautiful construction, the unique collars and cuffs – need I say more? A classic Anne Fontaine blouse is a wardrobe basic, something that will add instant pizazz to your pencil skirts, and will be your ‘go to’ blouse under any blazer. If the price point is out of your budget, keep an eye out at Revolve and you might get lucky!
10. John Varvatos – this is strictly a mens store, but my absolute favorite for shopping for Peter. The ambience is very edgy/rock’n roll, the salesmen dressed that way too. While you may initially think it is only for casual wear, it is not. They carry beautiful sport jackets, dress shirts, trousers, shoes – but not your father’s dress clothes. This is about as far from Brooks Brothers as you can go. Waxed jeans, unique leather jackets, teeshirts that are perfect under a blazer. You might have gray hair but it doesn’t mean you have to dress like an old man. 😉