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Bridal Shop: Everthine Bridal Boutique
Madison, (203) 421-6222 (shopeverthine.com)
For the bride with unique, modern style, there’s sure to be a dress to match her wedding vision at Madison’s Everthine Bridal Boutique. Featuring curated collections from designers such as Claire Pettibone, Elizabeth Fillmore, Jenny Packham and Sarah Seven, the by-appointment-only shop is dedicated to making the experience of finding your wedding dress as memorable as the wedding itself.
Costumes: Warner Theatre Costume Shop
Torrington, (860) 489-7180 (warnertheatre.org/costumerentals.htm)
Feeling the pressure of putting together the perfect outfit for Halloween or a costume party? Turn to the Warner Theatre Costume Shop, an 8,000-square-foot warehouse filled with costumes from Warner Theatre productions—as well as vintage and modern clothing—all available to rent for as little as $30. Notable among the shop’s extensive inventory are vintage pieces from every decade and a musical-theater costume collection. Not only can you rent items from shoes to wigs—you can also work with staff members to design your own custom costume.
Kids: Red Balloon
Essex, (860) 767-0763 (theredballoonessex.com)
Any adult who visits this quaint store will wish they were young enough to get clothes here for themselves. The Red Balloon has a large selection of clothing and footwear for babies, pre-teens and everyone in between. These exquisite creations insure that whoever you’re buying them for will be dressed in the finest of fashions. That may squelch your envy—at least until your next visit. Pore over the racks and be sure to check out the unique selection of smaller shoes.
Orange, (203) 795-3682 (saxonkent.com)
It’s not unmentionable any longer—finding the correct bra size is such a problem for women (85 percent are wearing the wrong size) of all shapes and sizes that Oprah dedicated an entire show to the topic. The experts at Saxon-Kent know exactly how a bra should fit to enhance feminine features to the max while also providing comfort. In fact, they’ve been discreetly helping women find the right size for more than 55 years. The shop carries an extensive selection of bras and other intimate apparel, and there’s even a seamstress on staff to make custom alterations.
Men’s Accessories: Vineyard Vines
Greenwich, (203) 661-1803, and other locations (vineyardvines.com)
What started as two brothers selling ties out of the back of their Jeep has now grown into full clothing lines for men, women and children. The Murray brothers wanted their clothing to embody “the good life” they remembered from summers spent at Martha’s Vineyard with patterns of flamingos, sailboats and whales. Vineyard Vines has now grown to 22 stores on the East Coast and continues to raise the bar and set trends for preppy clothing, including those winning ties and bowties. If you’re low on seersucker and lobster pattern shorts, look no further than Vineyard Vines.
Men’s Clothing: Mitchells
Westport, (203) 227-5165 (mitchellstores.com)
Ed and Norma Mitchell opened their 800-square-foot store, Ed Mitchell’s, in 1958, with three suits and a coffeepot, the story goes. (Norma made coffee every day so customers would feel at home.) Today, the Mitchells store is a glittering 25,000-square-foot high-end showcase, but it’s still family-owned and -operated by second- and third-generation Mitchells. The store carries every luxury brand you can think of—Armani, Zegna, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren Black Label, Brioni—and is known far and wide for top-of-the line service (including latte and M&Ms).
Men’s FormalWear: Camillo Tuxedo Specialist
Orange, (203) 795-3468, and Norwalk, (203) 849-1466 (camillotux.com)
Christian Dior, Geoffrey Bean, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Raffinati, Andrew Fezza and Lord West are just a sample of the top-name formal-wear lines found at both Camillo locations. Featuring a staff with decades of experience, there are no sales tricks or hidden charges for accessories—just one straight price. Customers can also try on the actual tuxedo they plan on using for their special occasion (as opposed to a sample), and all tuxedos are professionally dry-cleaned, altered and pressed right on the premises. After 47 years in business, Camillo has indisputably backed its claim of being “first in formal wear.”
Shoes: Shoe Inn
Westport, (203) 227-9246 (shoeinn.com)
Stores like these make us wish we had more than two feet on which to display our newest purchase, and make us yearn for a lot more closet space. High-end shoes like Stuart Weitzman, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Cole Haan are there for the trying on in any number of styles. The shopping doesn’t have to stop at your feet either. There are lots of accessories here, too. It’s certainly a store for those who want to put their best foot forward. Your wardrobe and confidence will thank you for stopping by.
Vintage Clothing: Tova’s Vintage Shop
Old Saybrook, (860) 395-1955 (tovasvintage.com)
Tova’s is brimming with fashion history and hidden gems of clothing and accessories dating back as far as the 19th-century. From 1920s costume jewelry to 1950s Christian Dior dresses, disco getups to handbags from every decade, this shoreline staple can help complete any outfit imaginable. Finding a specific item is easy with help from the knowledgeable staff, and browsing is guaranteed to yield unexpected treasures. New items arrive every day, making for exciting shopping adventures each time you stop by. Out with the new, in with the old!
Women’s Accessories: Country Hearts
Monroe, (203) 261-7556 (countryheartsmonroe.com)
Think of all the “extras” women love to wear—scarves, belts, jewelry, a bag over the shoulder or even more ephemeral signatures such as lotions and scents—and it’s a given you’ll find plenty of pleasing choices at Country Hearts. Currently one of the largest boutiques in Fairfield County (at over 4,500 square feet), the store carries well-known lines like Brighton, Vera Bradley and Crabtree & Evelyn, along with handmade Italian jewelry by Elisabetta Ricciardi and Milk body products by K. Hall. You’ll have even more fun matching your finds with must-have duds by Cheryl Nash, Mariposa and Habitat.
Womens’ Clothing (classic): Stackpole Moore Tryon
Hartford, (860) 247-1999 (stackpolemooretryon.com)
Fashion is the passion at Stackpole Moore Tryon, a downtown Hartford institution on the corner of Trumbull and Pratt streets that’s been offering “classic practicality” for a century. Owners Ron and Jody Morneault have more than 60 combined years of experience in the upscale clothing business, and that translates to offering an assortment of brands second to none. Here you will find the latest from top designers, including Amy Matto New York, Iris Setlakwe, Gerry Weber, Magaschoni, Robert Graham, Lilla P and Diktons Barcelona, as well as accessories from Aldo Martins, BUCO, Dominic Bellissimo and Italca. Plus, there’s an experienced staff dedicated to tailoring purchases to each individual customer’s needs.
Women’s Clothing (Trendy): Kimberly Boutique
Guilford, (203) 453-2554, and West Hartford, (860) 523-4894 (shopkimberly.com)
Built on a philosophy that any woman can feel beautiful and confident in the right outfit, Kimberly Boutique has plenty to offer. With an array of designers from BCBG to Nicole Miller, Kimberly will not disappoint anyone looking for on-trend, high-quality clothing. Featuring accessories, casual tops, dresses for a night out with friends and pencil skirts that will impress at your next work meeting, this boutique has everything a stylish woman could want without taking a trip to the nearest mall.
Women’s Formalwear: Helen Ainson Darien
Darien, (203) 655-9841 (helenainson.com)
If you’re looking for a smoking-hot gown or a chic party dress, this Darien fixture is the place to go. Bursting with designer-savvy options from more than 150 manufacturers in sizes 2 to 24, the shop runs the gamut from conservative to lavish with shoes and accessories to match, including wraps, handbags, jewelry and French lingerie. Owner Erica Jensen calls her aesthetic “classic with an edge.” Even better, there’s no pain in this shopping experience. Top fashion consultants treat you like a VIP, and will see that you look and feel like the belle of the ball.