Best of Connecticut 2010: Style
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Westport, (203) 454-8688 (soleiltoile.com)
This mother-daughter act is our go-to spot for sexy underthings and sophisticated nightwear. Marilynn Lipton and Stacey Schumer offer a handpicked selection of beautiful lingerie (Chantelle, La Perla, Wolford, Marie Jo, Eres), silken nighties and pjs (Hanro, Natori, Oscar de la Renta, Cosabella) and hosiery. The shop also has great swimwear by Eres, Letarte and Manuel Canovas, among others. Best of all is the one-on-one attention you get here from the attentive staff, who will help you get the perfect fit.
Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesday’s
Hartford, (860) 522-0181 (stackpolemooretryon.com)
Since 1909, Stackpole Moore Tryon has specialized in top-name clothing, working one-on-one with each customer and always providing a satisfying shopping experience. Their men’s clothing selection includes notable brands like Canali, Coppley, Hugo Boss and Joseph Abboud. They can meet the whole family’s needs, as they also carry shoes, accessories and women’s clothing.
New Haven, (866) 470-HATS (delmonicohatter.com)
In service since 1908 (it’s both a landmark brick-and-mortar business and a thriving Internet sales site), DelMonico offers an extensive inventory of name-brand chapeaux—from Borsalino and Stetson fedoras to Panamas, Kangols, Tilley Endurables and Indiana Joneses. (Those with heirloom hats, bring ’em here—there’s nowhere else in Connecticut—for cleaning and refurbishment.) This year, they’ve expanded their selection to feature Kangol caps, hats and berets for children and Betmar hats for women, including fedoras, berets and cloches.
Newington, (860) 666-3100 (footprintsshoes.com)
Footprints began in 1979 as a 420-square-foot shop specializing in hard-to-find women’s shoe sizes. Thirty years later, it’s a 30,000-square-foot super store offering 200 brands, with 120,000 pairs of shoes in stock. The men’s shoes range from size 6 to a remarkable size 22, with widths from AA to EEEEE. Shoes for men include brands like Allen Edmonds, Bostonian, Kenneth Cole, Rockport, Rieker, Chippewa, Kamik, Clarks, Ecco and Mephisto. Afraid you won’t find anyone to help you? Footprints has more than 70 associates out on its floor.
Greenwich, (203) 661-1803, and Westport, (203) 227-3400 (vineyardvines.com)
We recall the day in 1998 when the late Stan Murray, a Greenwich resident and at that time an occasional writer for Connecticut Magazine, came into our offices bearing a couple of neckties and a story about the fledgling company his two sons, Ian and Shep, were starting up. We thought the ties were handsome, tasteful and fun, and we ran a story about the new venture, Vineyard Vines—but we weren’t entirely certain about its prospects. As it turns out, we were witnessing the launching of a small empire, one that has since expanded to include all sorts of signature men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. Nice work, boys. Dad would be proud.
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
Old Saybrook, (860) 395-0722
The mother of the bride, mother of the groom, maid of honor and just about everyone else looking for a truly elegant ensemble know they can depend on Tamar. In business for 34 years, owner Kay Chiat knows her customer, and can outfit her from head to toe—dress, jewelry, evening bag, wrap, even undergarments. The well-stocked shop carries gorgeous gowns by Nicole Miller, Paule Vasseur and Marisa Baratelli, shoes and handbags by Stuart Weitzman and show-stopping jewelry by Alexis Bittar, among others, as well as stunning one-of-a-kind shawls. And alterations are free!
Greenwich, (203) 622-1878 (tahitistreet.com)
Andrea Bisordi knows swimwear. In business for 21 years, her tony Greenwich boutique features bikinis, one-pieces and tankinis galore, by more than 30 cutting-edge designers—names like Eres, Manuel Canovas, Letarte, Karla Colletto, Robin Piccone and Tommy Bahama. There are mix-and-match two-pieces in B, C and D cups and lots of great cover-ups, accessories and a bigger-than-ever collection of adorable sun dresses. Best of all, Bisordi and her staff are truly expert at helping you get the best fit.