Given my apparent talent for spilling black coffee, chocolate ice cream, and ketchup on myself, I don't like spending lots of money on clothing. For me, it's not worth it to ruin expensive clothes and it's good to tighten the spending belt when a bad economy threatens us. That said, I still like to shop, dress well, and look professional. Here are two Boston area shops to try that won't break the bank.
The Stock Exchange (Manchester-by-the-Sea) is a 45-minute ride from Cambridge. My friend Jane and I enjoyed a trip there recently; what appeared from the exterior to be a high-end boutique turned out to be a high-end consignment shop. After much poking around and trying on, Jane purchased a Lilly Pulitzer dress in perfect condition and I picked up a filmy, chocolate brown empire blouse for a mere $10! In addition to offering pretty clothes and accessories at great prices, The Stock Exchange also sells furniture (I eyed a periwinkle blue, hand-painted bureau perfect for a child's room), art books, Royal Doulton china, Bennington Pottery, tea pots, and paintings. Also, once you've finished shopping, you can enjoy a half mile walk to Singing Beach, ice cream from Captain Dusty's, or browse through a well-stocked used book store that sells grownup and children's paperbacks and hardcovers galore.
For vintage clothing, check out Lady Luxe (31 Belmont Street, Cambridge). Though the exterior leaves a bit to be desired, don't judge the store by the outside -- you'll love this clean, hard wood floored store. This shop brings back memories, carrying nylon and silk nighties and full slips, crisply ironed patterned aprons, and tea-length dresses, in addition to all sorts of clothing, accessory, and furniture finds. This local gem is run by two sisters (whose mom was woman-ning the store the day I dropped in); I highly recommending supporting this fine new, independent, woman-run business! (And an added bonus? Lady Luxe is mere steps from the delicious Sofra.)
I hope you enjoy these alternative-to-mall shopping experiences. Although there are many small boutiques to choose from, I selected these two because they are distinct; The Stock Exchange offers a sweet half day outing and Lady Luxe is local, new, and offers high quality and well displayed vintage items in a pleasant to navigate setting. Enjoy!
Image credit: Lady Luxe