Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boutique shopping in the Lehigh Valley

I work dangerously close to Shuze - as in, I can hear the UPS truck departing after making a delivery of new goodies. I am tres jolie about the new pair of knee-high black leather boots Jennifer suggested and am wearing them any chance I get. I love shopping there, because there's always something new, she's hand-picked every item in the store and can give you the back story. She's also effortlessly fashionable herself and has a great eye for style, and like a real friend, will give you an honest opinion. Shuze has established relationships with local jewelry designers and always has the of-the-minute acessory you didn't know you were looking for.

I got a similar vibe at Boutique to Go/Boutiquetogo(522 N. 19th St. Allentown). I was exchanging some tickets at the Civic Theatre box office across the street; next Saturday night, we're going to see Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Since I had a few extra minutes, I wandered in and looked around the store. Despite the fact that the other patrons in the store were old enough to be my (very fashionable) grandmother, there were many, many items that are very much "this season," if you follow these things:

Chainmail and mixed metal, multi-strand bracelets and necklaces.


"Statement" pendants similar to this one.


A huge wall of handbags including Jewel-toned totes similar to these.


There are also quite a few special gift items. I adored the wine "cases" in the upper-right hand corner of this photo. (Yes, this would be an upgrade to the paper bag from the state store that you have been using.)

The mommies-to-be in my life (Jill, Kim, Kristen, Jessica) should drop some serious hints about this place. This is definitely a baby gift zone - nothing essential, just fun, designer baby blankets, toys, and decor. Mixed among the items in the girl/baby section (pictured below) were terry cloth-covered flip-flops designed to get you home from the spa in style - a thoughtful gift for Mom!
The prices were more than you'll find at Target, but still not outrageous (and there's a sale going on now). But for that special thing, a unique piece for yourself or a one-of-a-kind gift, the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting a local small business, and a great story to boot, both Boutiquetogo and Shuze should be on your short list.

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