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Shopping and More Shopping: Feisty Fashion Girl


OK, people.....I could say I've been around the world and "ay, yai, yai", which is not totally true but I DO feel as though I sort of did a major march through MANY of the Twin Cities boutiques last weekend and I feel ready to report.

Now, I need to preface this by reminding you that was in retail for almost 25 years and owned my own store for 12 of those, so I am a critic, albeit, an educated one. I know what it takes to do well in the industry and that is what I am basing a lot of my observations on for this piece. Having said that: I give you my take on a couple of the new kids on the block:

Parc Boutique: 328 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-333-4966

This new little boutique is really cute. Top of my list, actually. It's in NorthEast, which seems to be growing in size and stature. The owner, Thao, has been there both times I've been in and she is very sweet and knowledgable about her product. She has a small space and only 1 fitting room but has made the most of the space and has a lot of inventory. Both times I visited the store I bought something - so that says a lot. She has enough merchandise (which seems to be an issue in a lot of other stores!) that I was able to find some really cute pieces.

She seems to know who her customer is, meaning WHO SHE IS ACTUALLY BUYING FOR....that is another complaint of mine regarding other stores in the area. They do not give you a sense that they have a specific customer in mind and it's kind of all over the place! That's not smart business, in my book. Parc Boutique's price point is low to mid -level and I think that's great. You can walk away with something for under $100 and still love it! In a lot of cases, WAY under $100. In today's economy, that's not something to sniff at, right?

The customer she seems to be aiming at is a 20-40-something who likes fashion with a clean edge. Lines she carries include: C&C tee shirts, Soda Blu , L.A. Made and Free People. She has a good eye, is selective about what she buys and doesn't overwhelm you with 75 different styles going on at the same time or with a mess of a store that makes no sense. Thao, at Parc Boutique, has what it takes and I see her doing very well. I like her merchandising and I think her store is easy to shop in. A PLUS: A small Men's section that always delivers so you can take something home to "honey" too! Always good for softening the blow, if you know what I mean - ( and I know you do ! )

Covered: in Uptown: 1301 Lagoon Avenue, Mpls.

This store is not new but it's in a new location and is new to me. The focus of this place is jeans. They have a fairly good selection : skinny leg, bell bottom, trouser, etc. Among the lines they carry are Rock and Republic, Serafontaine, and Paige Denim. The girls were nice and helpful but they did not carry very much besides low-waisted styles. With my post-twin- bearing body, I need a little more waistband but the low rise looks really cute on the flat bellies!!! The prices are not for the faint of heart, but I also know for a fact, that even people who are not neccessarily in the Mercedes-driving bracket, will pay between $100-$200 for a pair of jeans given they make their butts look great. Denim is the only category where this phenomenon holds true. I know girls who are on a VERY TIGHT budget but will easily pay out 2 bills for the pair of jeans that flatter their figure.

In defense of these stores and the other ones I traipsed into this weekend, it is the tail end of summer ( in retail, at least ) and everyone is clearing out their inventory to make way for FALL. August and September are huge delivery months and so I"m sure that some of the stores that I have not mentioned here ( because their inventory was so dismally low ) will beef that up over the nexy 60-90 days. Stay tuned and I will let you know what goodies show up there for Fall.

Also, you can use the comments section at the bottom of this article to let me know what topics you would like to see me cover. This is for you guys so let me know what interests YOU! :)

Categories: Fashion & Beauty, Just for me, Things To Do, Twin Cities Picks,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Friendly Fashion Forays for Not-So Friendly Economic Times: Feisty Fashion Girl, Feisty Fashion Girl: Thoughts on Style, Shopping & Clothes,

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