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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » MASSACHUSETTS » Solving the Midsummer Fashion Crisis
Solving the Midsummer Fashion Crisis

Boston, Massachusetts

By Erin Long | August 16, 2011

Summertime in New England conjures many images—beaches, lobster, festivals, berry picking, and cool dips in mountain streams. Fashion-wise, you’ll see plenty of boat shoes, cropped khakis, and polos.

Scarves at The Studio

But this sweltering season doesn’t have to be worn by the book. In Boston, try these five under-the-radar boutiques to revive your summer style.

The Studio (233 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446) is a hidden gem not to be missed. Just keep your eyes peeled to the second floor windows as you pass through Coolidge Corner.

Walking into the store is like walking into your mother’s closet—if your mother is Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn. It’s full of classic pieces that were selected with great care and consideration by the owners, who attribute their successful thirty-two-year run to outstanding customer service and a wide variety of collections.

At The Studio, you can find the perfect outfit for a night on the town, a job interview, or playtime during breezy summer days.

The Neon Buddha cotton-blend, collarless jacket in an eye-catching red ($110) is a great addition to a New England summer wardrobe. It’s as perfect for cool evenings as for ventures on a windy sailboat, and its understated ruffle accents set it apart from other everyday jackets. Pair with white Capris and boat shoes and you are ready to sail around Boston Harbor!

A Featured Dress at LIT

For the best in summer accessories, journey to Utso Tibetan Boutique (1691 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138).

In this small boutique, you can find plenty of great sundresses, over-sized bags, and jewelry, but its crowning jewel is the colorful and large selection of beautiful silk scarves that range from $12 to $45. Not only are they beautiful but offer elegant protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

For a great daytime look, slip one over a strapless sundress for a summer look that is sensible and chic. For chilly nights, jazz up dark denim and a plain tee with a brightly-patterned scarf. My favorite? An eye-catching combination of a cerulean dress with a bright orange scarf ($16).

If you are looking for a more eclectic and urban wardrobe, then visit LIT Boutique (223 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116). On a street famous for small shops and high prices, LIT certainly stands out.

The employees collect their whimsical, forward-thinking pieces from all around the world, frequently traveling to New York, Los Angeles, London, and Montreal to stay ahead of the fashion game.

Check out the jade dress by Glam ($64). This light, airy shade of green is certainly not one you see every day, and its side-slit bell-sleeves fuse mod to modern. Since the piece focuses on color instead of pattern, it is a great item to jazz up with accessories like a colorful scarf (maybe the one you bought at Utso!) and a chunky, flashy necklace.

There is a second LIT at 236 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113.

An Unusual Display of Hats at Salmagundi

Lovers of the retro, sweet, and sassy be sure to check out The Velvet Fly in the North End (28 Parmenter Street, Boston, MA 02113).

Away from the traffic of Hanover Street and the lines at Mike’s Pastry are racks of comfortable, chic, and vintage-inspired dresses, skirts, and shirts. Need a fix of authentic vintage clothing? Stick around!

The Velvet Fly also has quality, hand-picked, and professionally cleaned bona fide clothes of yore. At the back of the store, check out this Coin 1804 sleeveless tee ($46). Its light material is perfect for a sweltering day in the city, and the bicycle threading adds a playful and charming look. Add a knee-length full shirt and slip on some red ballerina flats for a dainty and lovely look.

Stepping into Salmagundi (765 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130) is like taking a walk through fashion history.

It brings the shopper to a time when gents looked dapper in fedoras and smoked stubby cigars, when the ladies ordered big-brimmed hats along with mint juleps, and where young newsboys in caps stood on sidewalks and shouted “Extra! Extra!”

Salmagundi has preserved and, at times, reinvented the hat to bring it back to the Boston fashion scene. For a day-to-day hat, try this new spin on the newsboy cap ($48), perfectly accented with a bow cinched with a band of gold beads. The cap also comes in faded blue, pink, and beige hues ideal to complement denim shorts and loose t-shirts.

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