While triple digit temperatures are the norm right now, the fall fashion season is right around the corner, bringing with it the cooler weather that will have many of us shopping for sweaters and boots. But before you start pointing and clicking for a deal, why not first check out what Tulsa boutiques have to offer?
Tucked around the south side of Utica Square is a classy new boutique called Native -- 2048 Utica Sq. -- offering a look that is diverse, but decidedly contemporary. Native caters to 40-something hip moms as well as younger clientele while offering a reasonable price point.
Come early August, sweaters, jackets, and the like will be out on display at Native. And with a standing sale rack, even the budget-conscious will have options. The staff posts something new on the Native Facebook and Twitter pages on a daily basis so that regulars can stay informed on what's in and what's on sale.
For fall, Native is bringing in lines like the new Rachel Zoe jewelry line, as well as Nicole Richie's House of Harlow clothing to give locals some amazing fashion-forward options. "It's a big deal to grab one of those lines when you are a small boutique in Tulsa, Okla.," said owner Michelle Owens.
Step into the cozy, vintage-inspired Shoe Gypsy at 1604 E. 15th St., and you might feel like you just entered your coolest friend's closet. This three-year-old shop, with its rustic brick walls, animal skin rugs, and eclectic furniture is owned by Ben and Noelle Kilgore. Shoe Gypsy has become known to locals as a great place for personalized service, men's and women's clothing and accessories, as well as the obvious: shoes.
"There's always some good stuff going on the piano," said store employee Nick Livingston, about the antique piano that bears the latest men's shoe deals. Shoe Gypsy offers shoe styles in a range of hard-to-find brands such as Tretorn and J Shoes in a variety of materials to give you a better chance of finding the shoes you crave. Their women's and menswear lines have also become a crowd favorite.
As the store cycles through the seasons, Shoe Gypsy's revolving sale racks promise great deals anytime. But what keeps people coming back is the owners.
COURTESTY OF JANA LOSURE
"Noelle and Ben have fostered this culture of warm greeting and the personal touch," Livingston said.
Sadly, this beloved shop is closing at the end of August due to its owners relocating out of state, though they'll continue their niche by doing Facebook offers and showcasing amazing finds at shoegypsytulsa.com.
For the sports fans among us, The Sports Boutique, 6105 S. Mingo Rd., is a must-stop. In addition to carrying the main local college teams such as OU, OSU, TU and Arkansas, The Sports Boutique also has everything from T-shirts to jewelry, so there is sure to be something here that will please any sports fan.
Owner Jana Losure stocks up on local brands such as Cool Chick Wear and Pistol Sweet for fashionable options that aren't so run-of-the-mill. Most items aren't carried anywhere else in Tulsa, and Losure also specializes in more customized items that have an Oklahoma connection.
She said that online pricing is often high for sports clothing, and by shopping local her clients know that "they can try it on. Right now, sizing is not the sizing it used to be."
The Sports Boutique often does weekly specials or buy-one-get-one deals on its Facebook page to keep fans coming back and to gain new ones.
Hoodies and scarves will be out on the shelves come early September along with other cold weather staples. Some of the items such as scarves Losure makes herself. As we edge closer to Christmas, check The Sports Boutique for novelties such as Smart Gloves (for texting in cold weather), Spirit Sliders, iPhone covers, and handcrafted Christmas ornaments.
Dyana Harrison -- a local designer and the director of fashion design at Clary Sage -- gave some tips on when to find the best deals shopping for various items. She said to look for denim in October, coats in January, and boots after Christmas. She also said that fall items usually are displayed in July, and then shoppers can start looking for markdowns about 6 weeks after. For fall, Harrison said the newest trends will include over-the-knee boots, leather leggings, lots of statement coats, and menswear for women, just to name a few.
"You are going to see all of those... fall jewel tone colors, but in the leathers, too. It's really going to be a beautiful season," said Susan Dittrich, co-owner of Posh Boutique.
Known for $48 colored skinnies and an extensive Maxi dress selection, Posh, at 5952 S. Lewis Ave., is another local favorite to check out. Owned by mother-daughter duo Susan Dittrich and Melissa Orr, Posh's is a simple business strategy
"We like to do trendy looks without the outrageous boutique price," said Orr. "We call it 'The Look for Less.'"
"We wanted to have almost nothing over $100.00. So, we wanted you to be able to come in and put an entire outfit together for $100 versus paying two or three hundred dollars for a dress," Dittrich added.
Posh has a year-round sale room and has current early winter deals on sequined tops, cocktail dresses and metallic sweaters among many other items. The shop always has a shoe deal going on and will have stylish boots available for fall and winter. Dittrich said of Posh's offerings, "We do try to have some things that are conservative that your mom might want but still have some appeal for teenage girls, so that you can shop in here with your mother and daughter."
With these and many other locally owned boutiques staying connected through social media and their websites, there are many great ways to outfit your whole family and still save.
Native does free giveaways and random drawings, Shoe Gypsy often posts a deal of the day, The Sports Boutique focuses on game day specials, and Posh often does a promo on an item of the week. And if you see something posted that you want, these shops will often hold or ship items for the busy shoppers among us. So, why not think beyond the mall?
Since technology often takes the personality out of the shopping experience, local stores offer the chance to see fashionable options, try them on and get that personalized shopping experience too. Shoe Gypsy's Livingston summarized the boutique experience well: "People come in and want to be known."
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