POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2008:
This Side(ways) of Brookside
Clothing and home décor boutique is a step ahead the fashion chain
Complete the Form. A recent addition to Sideways is shoes. The selection is still growing, but fall looks rest on the right side of trendy. The jewelry works in tandem with the clothing and shoe items and can give an outfit that extra punch.
Brookside is ever changing and expanding. It happened most recently with the addition of Center 1 and continues to grow and fancify as the sites of former businesses are gutted and renovated.
These new spots may be someone's real estate heaven, as this portion of Peoria seems to be the Mecca for locally opened businesses. In terms of shopping, Brookside definitely has more going for it than other shopping areas in midtown. It's certainly more enticing than Promenade.
Brookside features its own promenade; with a fairly decent amount of parking lots scattered throughout the several blocks and weather that's no longer sweltering, it's the time to take a stroll down midtown Tulsa's modern mall. Pop into Ida Red to get the rocker look, concert tickets or a crazy flavored bottled soda, or go to Aberson's for high end fashion labels.
There's also variety with the niche boutiques along Brookside. Mango and Salsa and Nattie Bleu both have different options in jewelry just as Lundeby's Eco Baby and Gaga-A-Gogo provide two different looks in baby wear. SR Hughes and Urban Furnishings are similar when it comes to modern furniture; then feel free to stop by La Bella Vita to find additional home décor and gifts.
No mall, traditional or otherwise, is complete without a store catering to women's fashions. When it comes to fashion, choice and variety are essential. Women's fashion and home interior boutique Sideways is an enticing stop.
Those in the know may know that Sideways, 1307 E. 35th Pl., has not always been located in that particular spot on Brookside. Owner Peggy Henry relocated her store from Cherry Street not only because parking was so much more convenient along Brookside, but also she felt Brookside had more going on.
The store has a lot going on. Uniqueness seems to be a factor in the store's inventory. Sideways has managed to not section off a group of women. The target audience for a Sideways shopper is eclectic, with items that could appeal to a college-aged woman, her mother and her grandmother. Size also doesn't appear to cater to one group, with a range of XS or size two to XL or size 12. Only one size of items is purchased in order to create quick turnaround and a consistently evolving change in looks.
Similar to a great store like Anthropologie, Sideways offers shoppers variety because it carries home items. Some antique items, some modern, there's a little bit of everything from candles to custom ordered bedding.
Anyone walking in will certainly venture to the home décor section, but first they will spot women's fashions. There is a great deal of basics, with Nally and Millie long sleeved cotton tees, as well as camis in a variety of shades. There are selections of jeans, from the basic denim shades to black pairs by Blue House Drive. The trousers by & Danielle have also been strategically chosen. They lack the slant pockets in front (which make hips look terrible) and flap pockets on back (which can add bulk to the butt) but include stretch. The color spectrum includes every shade a person would need for trousers.
Sideways has a solid selection of basic wears, like brown button downs with slightly puffed sleeves, and Mac & Jac black cardigans and white tuxedo shirts. The basics exclusive to fall are also here with layering pieces like sleeveless chocolate brown jersey dresses, black halter jersey dresses, cobalt blue wool zip up jackets and plum colored turtlenecks.
But some of the items also feel slightly mod, especially the items by Muse. One Muse dress, made from black tweed, feels Jackie O. comes to mod 1960s Britain because of its black patent leather piping throughout the bodice that turns into deep pockets.
There are delicate looks that harsh back to even more vintage times, like a MM Couture caplet in navy silk. The red delicate ruffled edge seems like a celebration of America at the turn of the century. It seems to be the theme for the looks Sideways chose from MM Couture, with a navy silk dress with a button elbow sleeve and a high neck with delicate silk roses.
That's not to say that all the looks are so delicate. Take the French Connection ribbed scoop neck, where there's no way to hide your curves. A Citrine white calf length coat with big white buttons and belted waist, when paired with the matching trousers, is also an attention grabber, though in the opposite spectrum of the French Connection dress.
The looks throughout the store vary greatly, but seemly mesh well. A VFish sleeveless sweater dress in black, whose cowl neck seems to twist throughout the torso (sounds strange, looks cool) could just as easily reside in the same closet as a Kensie dip-dyed sleeveless dress that begins black, fades to grey and ends with a pop of cotton candy pink.
Details, Details, Details
With the great strides Sideways is making in offering unique clothing options, they are also putting out great accessories. The store has become a go-to for handbags; the variety of leather goods evokes the looks of high priced handbag designs (think of those lovely bags you've seen in magazines with prices upwards of $800) but at a cost more down to earth. A leather tote, a color that I akin with that of an elephant (no really, it's a good color), features the structure and gold hardware that gives off a Marc Jacobs vibe. And many of the bags -- from the clutches to slouchy bags and totes -- have that same feeling of being high-end. And if you're basing a bag purchase based on textile versus versatility (focusing on what it looks like versus what it could actually hold), there are leathers and pleathers with options in shades of orange, brown, black, navy, red and grey in a selection of textures. And Hobo wallets. People always forget about the wallets, walking around with a fancy bag and pulling out money from something as glam as a Ziploc bag.
There's also a recent addition to Sideways, shoes. The selection is still growing, but fall looks rest on the right side of trendy. The Victorian booties are traditional and modernized with black lower calf options with lace detailing to a taller version in a murky brown shade with straps reminiscent of a strait jacket for the ankle. There are Oxford sling backs and ankle boots in metallic gold with a big brass buckle and a pair of navy boots in leather and suede with a stacked heel and the vintage four brass buttons that, for this pair, are purely and delightfully ornamental. The shoes are European, so sizes range from 5/6 to 10/11 and would be a good pairing with the vintage 1920s and 1930s hats also currently being expanded in Sideways accessory line.
The accessory options continue with flip flops, sunglasses and Hanky Panky panties whose thongs and low-rise looks ensure no VPL (visible panty line), but whose signature lace and bright colors still make them visually enticing. The Tolani scarves are also alluring, as the color combinations are bold and the patterns evoke those of fashion house Missoni. And no section of accessories would be complete without jewelry. Thankfully, Sideways offers more than some. There are both delicate and statement-making pieces. Big rings made of wood or bracelets and rings made of plastic with bright colored geometric designs make up the latter category, while faux pearl necklaces and bracelets represent the delicate. Snuggled in between the two categories are a wide selection of gold and silver necklaces, earrings, and bangles that range from simple to funky, depending on what other elements are included. The jewelry works in tandem with the clothing items and can give an outfit that extra punch.
Sideways is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5:30pm. The future may one day include a day with evening hours. Sideways is testing the market to see if this is an enticing option for shoppers. There's also a hope to feature more fun events; a wine and cheese open house occurred this past week and this may turn into a quarterly event as a chance to showcase the looks for each new season.
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