Perfecting the fine art of shopping is a skill most women love to work on. From department stores to sample sales and even that trusty estate sale that often turns up quaint little treasures you never knew you were missing, shopping can even be considered the new age of sports.
Face it; we want to find things that no one else has. That splendid little dress that your friends beg to know, where did you find that? The most coveted shopping experience, the holy grail of satisfaction shopping, well that's in the boutique.
It feels exclusive when you walk into a boutique that features clothing and accessories that you cannot find anywhere else. Fashion aficionados around the globe are all vying to get their hands on the newest, hottest, bangin' must-have pieces before the masses get a hold of the trend, and then before you know it, it's on to the next.
Boutiquing is an experience all its own. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about boutiques that makes the consumer feel compelled to buy. If not for the unique shop decor that they want to remember, maybe the stock of amazing quality clothing that they just need to integrate into their wardrobe or perhaps a treat for oneself to create a memory of a time and place where something made you feel special.
San Diego, and specifically La Jolla, has definitely made a place for itself in the realm of shopping with outdoor malls and shopping centers a plenty. But what about these up and coming sweet spots that have affordable one of a kind items that make all the girlies go ahh.
There is something to be said for these unique shopping boutiques where you can find them and what you may encounter inside. Most likely a myriad of items you can not find in department stores or new clothing lines you have never heard the likes of before, but somehow, someway, fits you and your personality just perfect.
Discover these local San Diego boutique favorites for some one-of-a-kind finds.
Capricorn Boutique is La Jolla's quaint little boutique tucked away in a little corner of Bird Rock. When owners Lisa Ovadia and Krissy Heinz found the standout subtlety of this Parisian-inspired house-turned-boutique building, they knew that this was the place for the boutique they were dreaming of.
Personality and intrigue warm this boutique into a comfortable homey haven that keeps the company coming back for more. Checkered floors and turquoise walls run along the interior of the boutique leading up to a grandiose antique fireplace in the back of the store. Both girls, in their mid 20's, have been in business for almost five years now, but don't let their age fool you, they know what they're talking about.
"It's lovely that we have become an umbrella for women in La Jolla, from the college girl to the working woman to mommies alike, women are flocking to Capricorn for styling advice and unique finds," says Ovadia.
Capricorn places an importance on finding new and independent designers and lines from around the globe that you cannot find in department stores. One of their most coveted pieces that the boutique features is Elizabeth Cole's Zodiac line. Featured in Lucky and Instyle, this New York jewelry designer has struck gold, literally, with her vintage antique inspired line of charm zodiac sign necklaces. At $60 a pop, these brass chained necklaces feel personalized and sophisticated and are flying off the shelves at Capricorn.
Another independent designer collaboration featured in Capricorn comes from the girls' hometown in the Bay Area. "We wanted to bring something to San Diego from our roots," says Ovadia. Josh Podoll is an eco-friendly husband and wife design team that share a commitment to making cool funky graphic tees for the boys and extremely soft tunic dresses with a twist for the girls.
These great quality basics made out of organic cottons and hemp are not your run of the mill eco line. These are handcrafted and feel like treasured favorites even upon first wearing. This is luxury we're talking about. It's with a simplistic sophistication that makes Josh Podoll's line meaningful, which makes this the kind of specific design aesthetic that San Diego can really sink their teeth into.
Ovadia and Heinz know it's important to get your money's worth and they specialize in styling items that you can take from day to night. It's about being practical and with an effort to be monetarily conscious, they are sticking to their roots with strong beliefs in quality. For more information, visit Capricornboutique.com.
Mimi and Red Boutique in La Jolla
After opening just months ago in La Jolla, Mimi and Red is excited to be reaching a new demographic that was previously untapped by its indie North Park neighbor. Catering to this new area has not changed Mimi and Red in the slightest. For the La Jolla boutique, it's focusing on more luxury items but have stayed true to its style and what they know and do so well.
La Jolla's boutique has a more feminine touch but with the same artful quality as North Park. This location features similar wood fixtures paired with that luxurious dark black and white wallpaper. When co-owner Michelle Knudson looks for items for the boutique, she doesn't buy safe. She is rebellious with prints and fringe. She wants her girls to stand out. "Anything to help a girl look good and feel good, it's not about the sale," says Knudson. When she buys, she buys one of everything, where as department stores buy exponentially and only a few different styles. She finds it important to incorporate an entire line to ensure exclusivity.
Knudson goes on to explain that with a new location comes new buying opportunities and an option for new lines, like reasonably priced BBDakota. This line is a must have for fall featuring chunky knits and live-in sweaters.
Additionally, they have brought in the enigma that is designer Yumi Kim. Her sold-out-everywhere kimono inspired floral romper is all over celebrity blogs and magazines as this luxe fabric onesie is highly sought after.
Shopping at boutiques like Mimi and Red ensures that you will have the quality and exclusivity in clothing that make it worth that dreaded hang tag. The shop sets itself apart by offering an online boutique as well, with daily fashion news and inspiration, and you can shop Mimi and Red's collection with ease and before it hits shelves. For more information, visit Shop.mimiandred.com.
LF Boutique in La Jolla is like those old trusty pair of worn jeans, tried and true they are a perfect fit and manage to be styled a million different ways. Similar to the clothing and shoes in LF, you always seem to be coming back for more and styling for different occasions.
With locations from Los Angeles and New York, to Miami and back down again to that jewel they call La Jolla, LF brings that young edgy product you've been looking for but didn't know where to find.
Its reconstructed vintage apparel is really booming as of late. With it's own section in the La Jolla store of t-shirts that are being made into dresses and hooters garb into classy one- of-a-kind pieces you can't find anywhere else.
Additionally, it has been taking authentic Italian military coats in olives and khakis and refining them. Making them new, cropping, altering, de-sleeving and essentially giving way to a feminine cut that is begging to tell a story.
LF wants you to find that as a shopper. A way to bring life to clothing that had a previous life. Its stylists help you find a way to say what you want to say though apparel expression, and a way to incorporate your new items with your vintage finds. It's fun, it's young and it's art.
One of the major lines that LF carries is the hipster tribe-loving Jeffrey Campbell footwear. Taking you to new and extreme heights, JC Footwear has been collaborating with LF to put out a limited edition shoe, exclusively available in the store. This season they focused on a canvas cut out platform wedge in a black and white gingham and a flirty pink and white canvas. Talk about hard to find choice items.
LF features tons of hard-to-find European designers and a good variety of younger generation jewelry designers that you cannot find at department stores, making this La Jolla boutique a definite stop-by.
At the end of the day it's not a very brand based boutique, it's about what looks cool. It's more about the trend, and right now LF is breaking rules with maxi skirts, olive green, military inspired utility pants and vintage everything. For more information, visit Lfstores.com.
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Photo courtesy of Philwinterbourne.co.uk