Top 6 boutiques in the Twin Cities
If you're looking to do some shopping this weekend, why not try a local boutique instead of a department store? Here are our picks for the best boutiques to shop for women's clothing in the Twin Cities.
(1628 W. End Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.303.3791 and 618 Selby Ave., St Paul; 651.414.0091)
Primp, a "cheap-chic boutique" with locations in St. Paul and St. Louis Park (plus a White Bear Lake shop opening in June), offers cute clothing without the high prices. Everything in the store -- including dresses, printed scarves, jewelry, and basics -- is marked under $100, and most items are under $50. "We like to think of ourselves as a high-end boutique experience without the price tag," says Michele Henry, who co-owns Primp with Wesley Uthus. "All of our staff are expertly trained stylists, so whether you're shopping for something new to add to your wardrobe or searching for the perfect dress to wear to a wedding, our stylists are there to help you find something you adore." Popular lines Primp carries include Blu Pepper, Ya, and Lush. With items arriving daily, there is always something new to try on. "We believe shopping should be fun and stress free," Uthus says. "Come in, chat with our stylist, enjoy a glass of wine -- as long as it's after 2 p.m. -- and even bring your dog. Yep, we are dog friendly."
(2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.870.0420)
If you're looking to buy clothing and accessories by local talents, Cliché is a great place to shop. With designers like Amanda Christine, Jenny Carle, and Cocoquette, Cliché offers plenty of edgy and trendy items made locally. "Shopping at Cliché supports a local business, and puts money right back into our community," owner Delayna Sundberg says. "It supports local designers, artists, and our employees." Cliché focuses on selling items that are fashion forward, which keeps the store exciting. "We push the trend button," Sundberg says. "We really do go cutting edge, so I don't think you could ever accuse Cliché of being boring."
(867 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651.291.1997)
Karma is a bohemian chic boutique on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. "We are a small boutique with a well-edited selection of prices and designers," owner Jada Breuer says. "We like to mix high and low price points. Our slogan when we first opened was 'Style for the modern bohemian,' and I think this still rings true." Items on the racks range from a $12 T-shirt to a $500 leather jacket, and lines Karma carries include Johnny Was, Tulle, Velvet, Lucky Brand, Yumi, Melie Bianco handbags, Fossil, Level 99, and Mavi denim. The boutique also offers a limited number of each item it sells. "I think people who shop at Karma know that they have found a hidden gem, and they are not going to see everyone wearing what they are wearing," Breuer says.
(1311 W. 26th St., Minneapolis; 612.377.1000)
Like Cliche, Design Collective sells clothing, accessories, and gifts that are all made by local designers, including Autumn Kirchman, Cynthia Rae, Christopher Straub, Lucy Time, Camba Jewelry, and Tammy Rice. Owners Anita Jensen and Jay Nelson are also designers themselves, having created Perfect Fit Gear, a project that is part fitness competition and part athletic gear and swimsuit line. "Jay and I moved our Perfect Fit Gear studio into the Design Collective space, so not only can you shop for locally designed items, but you can actually see items in the making," Jensen says. Design Collective helps launch local designers by offering them a place to sell their merchandise. "How can one not enjoy unique, one-of-a-kind items made by men and women right here in Minnesota?" Jensen asks.
(4930 France Ave. S., Edina; 952.926.8725)
Grethen House is a family-owned high fashion boutique carrying designers like Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Comme des Garcons. Mary Brindley, who owns Grethen House, says she tries to find things that department stores don't have, and brings in new designers each season. "I call it 'relationship shopping' at Grethen House," Brindley says. "Rather than someone just coming in to shop, we really build relationships with our customers. We know about their families, we know what they will like, and when we are on shopping trips we can say, 'Oh, this customer will love this.' We build relationships that will last generations." While they do carry higher-end items, Brindley says that people shouldn't be intimidated. "You're going to be investing in your clothing, and the pieces you buy you're going to have for a really long time," she says. "We really do stand the test of time. Once you invest in pieces and start shopping with us, you don't just have a closet of 'stuff.' You have a closet of things that make sense."
(3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.354.3970)
June is a high-end resale shop that buys designer clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories outright, and sells them at more affordable prices. Owner Daune Stinson is very selective about what she buys, so all items in the store are clean and in perfect condition. Designers the boutique carries include Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney, and Rag & Bone. Stinson says that in addition to helping the environment, shopping resale allows people to take bigger fashion risks because they aren't paying full price. "Shopping resale, in general, makes a lot of sense," she says. "You get more for your money, you'll find items you might have missed out on the first go-around, and resale makes people feel good about shopping. They're getting great pieces at much less than retail, and are helping eliminate one more thing going into the landfill."
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