Entering a women’s boutique in a trendy neighborhood is my idea of a candy store. Circling the square in Sante Fe, walking the red brick streets in Alexandria, or browsing the shops in college towns like Bozeman, Fort Collins, and Burlington, all have satiated my shopping sweet tooth. The special finds in shops are my postcards I bring home reminding me of happy times.
Hello, how are you?
Fine thanks, and you?
Quickly scanning the intimate space, I can tell in 30 seconds if I’ll need a fitting room.
My first stop are the clothes displayed on thick wooden hangers. I’m a fabric feeler. Sliding the hangers one at a time is really a soft test. If it passes, I look over the cut. Will it work on my frame?
Maybe too itchy, not worth trying on, the sleeves will reach my knees but this…a sweater like open jacket with curvy lines in a retro camel color. A perfect piece for watching dancing leaves on windy days while walking the dog.
Further down I meet a boxy turtle neck sweater in a fantastic cherry red.
Well, hello beautiful! Take a chance on me?
Most definitely. I’ll add it to the dressing room.
Next, I scan the table circling a color wheel of gloves and coordinating pashimas.
An extra pair for my car, some in each jacket, I could never have enough gloves. I hate cold hands. I slip on a pair of faux cheetahs in gray and cobalt blue. Very nice for morning walks. A colorful pop for the black LuLu look. I lift the pashimas, feeling the weight, the softness. I think this deep navy will become my new security blanket.
The one of a kind hats are driving me crazy. In soft pastels they look delicious. I just want to eat all of them! I settle on a color block of cream, taupe and light gray with a faux fur pom pom on top. I like the way the pom pom folds over to hang on the side or back. Youthful, and playful.
Checking out I scan the wall. I love reading the funny sayings and cartoon characters on socks. The one that reads, Special Unicorn, will definitely end up in someone’s Christmas stocking. Up close at the counter the incidentals are fun to scan. Squiggly pony tail holders, tinted lip balm, the leave in hair repair moisturizer that makes your hair feel baby soft.
Thanking the shopkeeper, I leave the store thinking of the new outfits I can make with just a few purchases. The cherry red sweater will add to either jeans or joggers. I’ll love walking uptown to return a library book or step in to a coffee shop with my pom pom hanging just so with a crossover that lands perfectly at my hip. Boutiquey accessories not only pull outfits together with boujee style but can also help winter doldrums become more manageable.
This year I have bad FOMO and miss my far away shops, but I have my postcards from those boutiques. A soft wrap from Bozeman that keeps me warm. A suede black vest from Fort Collins that’s still stylin. Hydrating lotions and a scented scrub from Woodstock.
This fall the locals are calling my name. I’ll shop the boutiques uptown or drive to my favorites in sweet home Chicago. Many candy stores to support. A ying and yang for the economy and much needed well-being for the winter of 2020.