Sep 03, 2009 Caitlin Donnelly Uncategorized
Note to summer of love: Bye, bye
While roaming the mall in search of that perfect fall ensemble, you may find yourself bombarded by “summer of love” window displays and other mainstream must-haves. But before you pull out your plastic and make that purchase stop! That is so last season.
Instead of becoming a typical Gap drone, why not check out the boutiques down in Armory Square, or the “it” store up on the Hill for the most unique styles this fall:
For vintage gear, try Modern Pop Culture. Located on the third floor of 215 Walton Street, the store carries a variety of styles for men and women from independent designers and hard to find brands, such as Urgent Gear, Sailor Jerry and Alternative Apparel. While vintage continues to be the top seller each season, storeowner Nathan Schafer of North Syracuse believes that basic tops are popular as well.
“Clothing is a way to express your self without actually trying,” he said. “Whatever the item is, make sure it’s comfortable so it’ll get plenty of wear.”
For the trendsetter, head up to the Hill to snag designer labels at J. Michaels Shoes, 173 Marshall Street. Just walking distance from the S.U. campus, this store tends to cater to the college scene, but still offers a variety of timeless items for every generation to enjoy, including designer shoes and sunglasses.
As for the latest trend, “peace-love attire is pretty much out,” said Erik Hicks of Marcellus, and store manager of 11 years. “This fall, it’s all about the buffalo plaid–pop colors with black plaid.”
For the fashion-forward man, Mr. Shop, at 259 West Fayette Street, is the ideal boutique. “We push the envelope in terms of fashion,” said John Massara, store manager and Syracuse native. “A typical customer likes fashion, likes changes and new styles. He likes to be fresh and updated, and he likes to travel.”
The store consists of upscale men’s contemporary items, from everyday wear to suits. For fall fashion, Massara predicts knitwear and sweaters will be the item to have. “Men also have to realize that it is now about slimmer fits to their pants and shirts,” he said. “Baggy is out.”
Despite the different demographics that each store caters to, one thing is agreed upon by all–a simple T-shirt is the staple for any wardrobe, no matter the season or current trend.
For the accessory fiend, drop by Jan’s Addiction, located at 306 West Jefferson Street, to complete any outfit. Jan’s has a variety of unique sterling silver jewelry for woman and select styles for men, along with custom beadwork designed by the owner, Jan Minney of Syracuse.
“I like to keep things different,” she said. “The jewelry you find in here, you won’t find in every other shop in Armory Square. I usually don’t order the same item more than once, so chances are you’ll be the only one with that piece.”
A silver cuff bracelet and hoop earrings are essentials for any jewelry box, though rings appear to be a best seller at the shop, Minney explained. When accessorizing, she believes it is important to choose classic styles over trendy. “You want something that you can pull out in ten years and still be able to wear it,” she said. “You want it to last.”
So next time you find yourself itching for a shopping spree, step outside the mall and explore these unique shops.
“People underestimate the shopping in Syracuse,” Massara said. “We pride ourselves on being cutting edge down here in Armory Square. It’s in the small boutiques like ours that trends arise, not in the large department stores.”
Not a complete list of Syracuse boutiques:
* Bergan Brothers, Clothing, Men’s Clothing, 328 S. Salina St.
* Boom Babies, Clothing and accessories, in the Westcott Nation
* DeJulios’ Army Navy, outdoor clothing and shoes, Burnet St.
* Elsbeth Rose, Women’s Clothing & Accessories, 272 W. Jefferson St.
Eureka Crafts, Jewelry, Walton St.
* Eva’s Boutique, Women’s Clothing & Accessories, W. Jefferson St.
* Executive Clothing Service, Men’s Clothing, 60 Presidential Plaza
* Frankie & Faye, Women’s Clothing, 317 S. Franklin St.
* Georgio’s Furs, 358 S. Salina St.
* Isadora, Women’s Lingerie & Accessories, 191 Walton St.
* Jan’s Addiction, Jewelry & Accessories, 306 W. Jefferson St.
* Jet Black, Women’s Clothing & Accessories, 129 Walton St.
* Koolakian & Manro Menswear, Men’s Clothing & Accessories, 132 E. Genesee St.
* Modern Pop Culture, Men’s & Woman’s Clothing, 215 Walton St., 3rd Floor
* Mr. Shop, Men’s Clothing & Accessories, 259 W. Fayette St.
* Oleander at Armory, Women’s Clothing & Accessories, 270 W. Jefferson St.
* Showoffs Boutique, Women’s Clothing & Accessories, 264 W. Jefferson St.
* Spy Baby, clothing boutique, Walton Street
* Way Off the Beaten Path, Gifts & Accessories, 136 Walton St.