Whether going to work, running weekend errands or heading to a black-tie event, a dress is the single most effortless way to cover up for the occasion. Finding the right dress, however, is an entirely different proposition. Next time you’re on the hunt for the perfect frock, hit some of my local favorites to find just what you need.
6 Church St
Cambridge, MA 02138
Owned by two Vermont natives who relocated to Massachusetts for college, Mint Julep was conceived while the friends toiled away at corporate jobs. Lucky for us, Brooke Garber and Stephanie Nist pursued their dream and opened the first store in Brookline in 2004. I frequent the Harvard Square location, inevitably stopped in my tracks by the stylish dresses in the window as I rush to pick up my kids. A beautifully curated collection of pieces from designers such as Milly, Anna Sui, Shoshanna and Plenty by Tracy Reese, Mint Julep has a little something for everyone, along with the nicest sales staff in the Square.
44 Plympton Street
Boston, MA 02118
If you want to do good while dressing well, visit one of Sara Campbell’s four Boston-area stores. As if her eponymous line of exquisitely tailored dresses and sportswear weren’t enough to attract customers, this Massachusetts-based designer weaves her commitment to giving back to the community into the fabric of her business. Regularly hosting “Purchase with a Purpose” events, Sara Campbell’s stores donate a portion of sales to local charities while offering discounts to their customers. Locations include Beacon Hill, South End, Concord, Wellesley and Nantucket.
Second Time Around
176 Newbury St (also at 219 & 324 Newbury St)
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
This season’s trends not working for you? Whenever I’m uninspired by what I’m seeing in the chain stores, or just want something a little unexpected, I hit Second Time Around, a growing line of consignment shops specializing in higher-end and vintage designs. The shop’s tiered pricing system means the longer an item lives on the rack, the better deal you’re going to get, resulting in some amazing bargains like a never-worn Tory Burch sheath for $40. Second Time Around has ten Boston-area shops including locations on Newbury and Charles Streets.
The National Chains
Lord & Taylor
Three national retailers that deserve a nod for great local shops include Anthropologie, BCBGMAXAZRIA and Lord & Taylor. Anthropologie‘s new Cambridge store packs four floors with its amazing indie-vibe dresses. BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Natick Collection location has been my good luck place for special event dresses with an edge. And the absolute favorite among many fellow Bostonians is Lord & Taylor at the Burlington Mall, with a huge selection of day dresses, evening gowns and everything in between.
Paige Lewin is a Boston lifer who favors a just-above-the-knee hemline, even in winter. Paige spends her days in academia surrounded by hip co-eds, while at night she retreats to her life as a mother, writing about fashion, shopping and home design after the lights are out. She contributes to Boston Mamas and is the creator of Mudroom Boston. Paige lives north of Boston with her husband and two sons.