POSTED ON AUGUST 20, 2008:
Change Your Clothes
New local boutique devoted to fleeting trends in fashion
Sun Inspired. The Los Angeles vibe is certainly congruent with the trends residing in Mode Boutique. Much of what's being sold in the store now is very appropriate for Oklahoma summer--or a typical L.A. day.
A very wise model/reality television host regularly declares that, with fashion, "you're either in or you're out." Ms. Klum's statement is awfully cutthroat, but the truth of this declaration boils down to fashion's constant change. Seasons change, leaving swimsuits for sweaters, and trends are always bopping around aimlessly.
Mode Boutique, at 10021 S. Yale is situated in the former residence of Two's Company. This cleverly titled store previously catered to a specific niche in the boutique world--ladies expecting babies. And while it may be disheartening for some to learn that this store has closed--those who have had to wear maternity clothing can probably attest to the frustration of find chic maternity wear--owner Rhonda Whitlock has changed her boutique to represent all women: pre-baby, post-baby or never thought of having a baby in a million years. A different audience, a different name, but the same concepts.
Those familiar with Los Angeles retailer Kitson will know what to expect; those unfamiliar with that reference can think of the girls from "The Hills" MTV reality television show. The Los Angeles vibe is certainly congruent with the trends residing in Mode Boutique. Much of what's being sold in the store now is very appropriate for Oklahoma summer--or a typical L.A. day.
Whitlock seems to have found a couple of fashion labels she is keenly drawn to. Many of the store's items are by labels Wish and Ad Hoc, with sprinkles of pieces by companies like Scarlett, Key2Life, Pixie, Yahada, and Hot & Delicious. Prices for most pieces hit the mark between $50 and $100. Many of the fabrics used throughout the lines carried are jersey and/or stretch fabric blends, in addition to many skirts that feature smocked waistbands, which offer some opportunities for those closely outside of the size 10 to 12 range.
Take for instance, the lines of denim carried. Carried in sizes 26-32, both lines feature a variation of the flap pocket jean. Plastic by gly denim are boot cut in lighter denim. The distinct element of this style of jean is on the back pocket where there is a design, flattering to making the rear look shapely, in either white thread or a tri-color option. As Mode Boutique has struck a balance between items to go to the grocery store in and items to go out in, the jazzier denim options are the Flying Monkey dark wash, straight-leg jeans. The flap pockets on this line feature a collage of rhinestones that cover every inch of the flap.
Besides the looks having an L.A. vibe about them, the items carried at Mode have very easy-to-wear qualities about them. Take for instance, the tri color tube item by Final Touch. This smock waist look with three bold color horizontal panels could work as either a skirt or dress. Mode carries this piece in two lengths: one could work as a mini dress or mid length skirt while the other could be a long prairie skirt or mid length dress.
Mode's displays have been arranged by color: bright yellows, dusty roses, aquas, cobalt blues, reds, fuchsias and dreamsicle oranges. There are also many, many little black dresses from which to choose. There are items with floral prints and other patterns scattered throughout the store--the Pucci-esqe dress from Ad Hoc comes to mind--but these items are few and far between.
What are plentiful of are looks that seem very feminine. Ad Hoc has a sheer shirt, similar in shape to a short-sleeved, button-down (without buttons), in a light peach and cornflower blue variation that features slight pleats and a ruffled lace Edwardian collar. A black and white sleeveless dress by Hot & Delicious has a scoop neck, clustered with the tiny round fabric-covered buttons that you often see going down the back of a wedding dress. Many items feature one slight ladylike quality to them, never overindulging on the elements where the look is sickly sweet or Lolita-like, but subtle like ruffle details, a silk bow, fabric roses and the use of feminine fabrics like eyelets and chiffon.
Mode Boutique has assembled the elements for dressing casually and has many looks for dressing up, but work attire options are slimmer. Granted, should your office dress code be lax on sleeveless garments, you should be fine. Many of the sleeveless dresses have a duality that allows them to translate well between work attire and post-work drinks and dinner. Mode carries a Yahahda sleeveless wrap dress with a deep v-neck that would work in this fashion. The wrap dress is flattering to a variety of body types and this particular one, constructed from a stretch fabric, is equally accessible to a variety of body types. Its pattern is also appealing with a red, black and white geometric print that also blends nicely with blocks of a paisley print in the same colors.
With that dress being the exception, many of the dresses that would work best in a work atmosphere are in a black, white and grey palette and would require only a simple short-sleeved cardigan thrown on to be suitable for the office. Mode can even sell you one, a cropped black cardigan by Ad Hoc. Another look by Ad Hoc that could substitute for the basic black cardigan as a layering work piece is a structured white jacket. This bell-sleeved, lightweight jacket is ideal for moving from summer to fall. With tiny front pockets and black and white buttons placed in the same fashion as those on a pea coat, the white color and cropped sleeves give it a late summer vibe.
Jewelry and purses are scattered throughout the store. The most noteworthy of the bags include several oversized clutches, which are very trendy right now. Jewelry is varied in function and design. There are earrings, necklaces, bangles and cuffs. One Key2Life leather cuff is decorated with a flower made of a quartz-like cloudy clear stone. For anyone familiar with the simplistic, often subdued looks of Fossil or Kenneth Cole jewelry, the line of jewelry at the register is spot on. These muted silver and gold necklaces also have elements of natural stone for a simplistic look.
While Mode may have a different name and a different audience for its fashions, it hasn't entirely forgotten its roots. Maternity staples will still be kept in store. Those expecting to be expecting next summer may want to stock up now or those currently knocked up might find key items that could be layered for the fall. The collection of Citizen of Humanity jeans are perfect for any mom-to-be that doesn't want to give up her love of designer jeans just because she now needs them to have the elastic waist.
Embrace Mode Boutique's changes Mondays through Saturdays 10am-5:30pm; Sundays are by appointment only.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A24665