Emerson shoppers get in a rut of always going to the same stores. Our go-to clothing is from Urban Outfitters for the “I like fashion but I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard” style. Some go a few doors down to LF, for higher-end clothes and pieces they don’t mind paying extra for. H&M is always the backup. It’s an on-trend, stockpiled store with low prices, so many of us have been known to run to H&M for a last resort party costume or to spend our extra cash on a peplum top. But there is a world outside of the “Emerson mall” — a place where corporate stores aren’t always the answer and local boutiques can be just as stylish.
First, try Moxie, an accessories boutique with everything you love about Boston’s preppy style mixed with the South’s beach style. Come here when you’re looking for the right shoe or a new handbag. The store carries Tory Burch flats in bulk on its clean white shelves. Its handbags are high-end but not elite designer. A staircase brings you up to the sale section where marked down Badgley Mischka and Kate Spade heels sit. Moxie carries Alex & Ani bracelets as well as nautical bracelets and starfish pendant necklaces.
51 Charles St.
Next, is Crush. The first thing you notice when you walk into Crush is the explosion of color. While the décor is natural — wood flooring and off-white walls — the clothing racks are filled with bright pinks, blues, and oranges. A table directly in front of the door is covered with bright, patterned bathing suits and glass cases display handbags and jewelry. The style is a bit of California bohemian and some New England casual, with maxi skirts, striped tops, and sundresses. This is the perfect place to shop if you want laid-back style with sophistication.
131 Charles Street 617-720-0010
264 Newbury Street 617-424-0010
Finally, 344 is similar in style to Urban Outfitters, but has a variety closer to Forever 21. Everything is super trendy but the prices range depending on the labels. 344 carries clothing from Free People and BCBGeneration, as well as “no-name” brands that are more affordable. The shoe selection is pretty basic, but it usually has one or two pairs that stand out. This is a great store to go to for party dresses, or if you’re on the hunt for a unique pattern.
These are just a few places downtown that are worth a trip, but unique stores don’t end here. Take a walk down side streets of Charles and Newbury, or explore a neighborhood you’re not familiar with. Look around, go into shops you’ve never seen, and you may find your new favorite store.
Prudential Center 617-638-3233
*Side note: These are all women’s stores. Stay tuned for a menswear edition.