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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sharp-Dressed Women

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     If you're sick of the cookie-cutter fashion styles found in Milwaukee's shopping centers, there are alternatives. Although several fashion boutiques have succumbed to the falling economy, a number of survivors remain and feature original designs by Wisconsin natives and people from all over the world.
     Bay View's charming Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery is housed in beautiful surroundings, with tin ceilings, original artwork and doilies dancing from above. The T-shirts, thermals and sweatshirts give off an enchanted nature vibe, decorated with colorful rainbows, insects, whales, giant octopuses and swaying plants. Independent local and worldwide artists, crafters and designers created all of the products offered. Many of the shirts are made of cotton or polyester and range in price from $24 for a T-shirt to $56 for a sweatshirt.
     Also in Bay View is the Fasten Collective, a tiny treasure-filled shop illuminated by elegant chandeliers. More than 80 independent designers make the clothing and accessories. Many of the designers do their part for the planet by using recycled materials for their eco-friendly originals. They offer dressy clothing made with crochet detail. Prices are affordable, with many products ranging in price from $15 to $100.
     Located in Downtown's historic Pritzlaff building, Fashion Ninja boasts a large industrial room filled with racks of clothing spread against the walls. The items can be defined as sophisticated with a trendy twist, including billowing shirts and an array of sheer and textured materials. The designs are by Milwaukeeans and range from $30 to $100. Prices may seem steep, but the products are worth every penny.
     Down in the Third Ward, Lela's offerings can be defined as a classy way to steal the spotlight. The multicolored walls of reds and purples feature pictures of models sporting Lela clothing by both local and name-brand designers. The designs come in many materials and include everything from elegant dresses to casual sweaters. Prices can be high, with many items from $40 to $100. However, if you shop during a sale, you are likely to leave with great deals.
     Brady Street's UnCommon Items is a small space, an eclectic store filled with clothing and other items. The big Cinderella wedding dress and the casual sweater are just a couple of items you will find here. Prices run from $20 to $100. If flirty-fun garments are what you desire, then this is the place to visit.
     In Shorewood, the mother/daughter-owned SHOP is a gallery of classic styles and quality fabrics that span the seasons as well as all occasions. SHOP also offers wardrobe consultation, including in-home closet reviews.

Check out these alternative clothing shop locations for the women of Milwaukee:

Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery

Fasten Collective

Fashion Ninja

Lela's

UnCommon Items

SHOP

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