As much as we love fast fashion and popular style from the Zaras and Bloomingdales of the world, sometimes we just want a beautiful, totally unique piece from an adorable boutique. Enter Shoptiques, an e-commerce site that allows you to shop local stores in the U.S. and Paris. This week, Tracey Wallace—Shoptique’s Director of Content—is giving us the lowdown on the best shops and how to pick standout pieces that play up your individual style.
It’s every fashion lover’s worst nightmare: you walk into a party wearing the same exact outfit as the girl across the room. Suddenly, you’re thrown into a “who wore it better” contest lifted straight out of the pages of OK Magazine, and an awkward conversation ensues about where you got yours and where she got hers. Surprise: both are from department stores.
It’s tempting, to be sure, to copy the mannequin’s outfit from your favorite chain store. After all, they paired the bold necklace and brocade touches so well—and brocade isn’t easy to mix and match. Yet unique pieces are a wardrobe must, and if you lack a few personal touches that make your outfit the obvious winner in any contest, then it’s time to revise your shopping strategy. Boutiques across the country curating one-of-a kind items from local designers that no chain store will sell.
How do you know if you’re getting a truly original piece for the price? Don’t worry—that’s the simple part.
The most unique and original pieces are often found by window-shopping. Always trust your gut on a piece that pulls you into a store when you weren’t planning on shopping. When you head to a store in search of a last-minute outfit, your look is going to show the rush and the determination to find something appropriate for the occasion. In contrast, if you pick up pieces as you spot them and they inspire you, your look will take on a classic and individualized feel that no one can buy.
Quality is best understood in person, but the Internet can work too. Truth is, unless you can see and feel a product, the high price tag may be difficult to explain away. After all, you can see and feel the difference between a gold chain and a gold-plated one. Yet if you are an habitual online shopper, be sure you are checking to see what material the item is made of. If the site doesn’t readily have it listed, check with the site’s personal stylist.
Overall, be sure that every piece you buy not only fits well, but that it makes you feel good. Pay attention to the way people react to what you wear. Is there a specific color that always gets you compliments? Perhaps a certain silhouette? Pick those pieces up and start to own them. Fashion is a seasonal thing, but your personal style is the first thing you show the world about who you are and where you have been.
Find a beauty look to complement your newfound style by browsing the Birchbox Shop.