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by Morgan Schimminger
Five fashionable destinations for holiday shopping
Buffalo is not known for fashion. Chicken wings, the Sabres, and heavy snowfall do not add up to a mecca for the likes of Versace, Michael Kors, and Balmain. Despite this ongoing reputation as the antithesis of a backdrop for the fashion faithful, there are several boutiques in our beloved Western New York offering truly bold choices in a variety of sizes and price points. Just grab your gift list, and get ready to shop local. Worried about buying the wrong size for someone on your list? All these shops have got you covered by offering gift certificates or cards in any denomination. But don’t be surprised if you wind up picking up a few coveted items for your own closet.
Leelee5444 Main St., Williamsville, 631-0840
Searching for that exclusive dress for a New Year’s Eve shindig? Leelee prides itself on only ordering two gown sizes to lower the risk that your fashion foresight will meet an unwelcome copycat when the clock strikes midnight.
The boutique also offers a stellar selection of inviting and simultaneously stylish Kensie peacoats. Michael Stars T-shirts and cardigans are prime for a more casual effect. Cozy up in the BCBG Max Azria wool heather grey dress featuring button-snap, roll-up sleeves, a plunging V-neck, and front slash zipper pockets. Take advantage of jewel tones by slipping on Trina Turk’s vivacious purple cap-sleeve dress with mandarin collar and contrasting electric blue belt. (For items sans belts, more standard wrap-arounds are available.) Add a great pair of Sam Edelman brown python print flats to finish off this fetching look and head out to your festive fete.
Urban Threads736 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 884-9145
It may be snowboard central in the Queen City, but Urban Threads has got some on-point options for the style-conscious shopper. Buffalo David Bitton, Miss Sixty, Volcom, and Roxy are just some of the labels in residence. Set sail on the nautical vibe by donning Ci Sono’s off-white, button-up cardigan with navy stripes. At just $43.50, you can almost afford a small cruise too. The Dex slate grey charcoal cardigan will set you back $100, but comes with a bonus—an attached white lace blouse complete with matching necktie.
Significant ruffles outline the sleeveless Charlie T-shirt by French Connection in classic cream or straightforward black. Guys can get hooked up thanks to a variety of jeans (think classic Levi’s) and button-front, plaid shirts. The shop also carries hats, shades from Ray-Ban as well as D&G, handbags, shoes, and versatile luggage for those trips out of the city towards the slopes.
Shoefly801 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 886-3595
As expected, Shoefly has a kickass inventory of shoes. Perhaps more surprising is the awesome selection of formidable handbags from big names like Big Buddha, as well as top-notch costume jewelry. For example, the black, faux croc shoulder bag definitely feeds your need for fringe saturation. The reasonable $59 asking price will satisfy your craving for a bargain.
But let’s go ahead and put the focus back on footwear. The impressive shoe offerings range from classic Frye cowboy boots for just $259 to innovative Chelsea Crew pumps. Rocker Fergie’s collection is well represented in both heels and flats. The black strappy, borderline stilettos show off decorative, tiny silver ornaments which are sure to earn high marks this season. Guys can develop a shoe fetish, too, browsing pairs from well-known brands TOMS and John Fluevog.
Deja Lu Boutique1451 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, 837-3333
Enjoy the warm, familial atmosphere while sipping complimentary hot chocolate and coffee or snacking on homemade cookies as you holiday shop at Deja Lu. Capture the current 1980s flashback trend by picking up Nicole Miller’s grey and black striped one-shoulder dress. There’s also a first-rate jean selection, and edgy vests mixed with bohemian revelations. The boutique shares the local wealth by showcasing area jewelry designers like Christine Nowak Wittmann. Gold, silver, and bronze handmade handsome cuffs by another local artisan also are available, priced right between $30 to $70.
Pining for that sexy siren look? Then slink on the black, cap-sleeved bandage dress with bronze accents by Dina Bar-EL.
Best of all, there’s a full consignment shop downstairs. Get reacquainted with Louis Vuitton, Coach, Kate Spade, Fendi, Prada, and Marc Jacobs.
Half & Half Clothing1088 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 881-4147
Channel your inner Zooey Deschanel at Half & Half Clothing. Flash your indie spirit with a great stock of BB Dakota at this long-standing Elmwood site. The sleeveless black and white sheath dress with left shoulder bow detail is certainly reminiscent of fashions past, and the $72 pricetag is hard to beat in this day and age. Party dresses abound, including a fitted strapless magenta number by Double Zero complete with pleated bow at the waist for just $45. Splendid YA Los Angeles choices also line the packed shelves. Just add a delicate Eileen Fisher cardigan, and you’ve got a comprehensive outfit.
Meanwhile, of-the-moment infinity scarves along with a nice coat catalog will help keep the winter chill to a minimum and your trend quotient at a substantial maximum.
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