Best Dress Shops In Boston

March 2, 2011 6:59 AM

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By Paige Lewin

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.

mintjulep1 Best Dress Shops In Boston


Mint Julep

6 Church St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 576-6468

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.

sarahcampbell Best Dress Shops In Boston


Sara Campbell

44 Plympton Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 482-7272

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.

secondtime Best Dress Shops In Boston


Second Time Around

176 Newbury St (also at 219 & 324 Newbury St)
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
(617) 247-3504

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.

bcbg Best Dress Shops In Boston


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.

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  • macmum

    My 20 somthing daughter has actually had tremendous “luck” digging through the racks at the local Macy’s store. Not only do they have a huge selection of styles and colors, they are VERY affordable. Most holiday dresses that we’ve been fortunate to find there have been between $80 – $150 for designer party dresses. Many of my friends like outlets like Marshalls or TJ Maxx which are much more “hit or miss” and styles and sizes are far more limited. I love to save $$..but not when it costs 3X the time digging through the random racks at the outlets. So for anyone that doesn’t want to drive into the city to find the perfect holiday outlet…take a chance and take a ride to your local Macy’s store. :-)

  • Treasurehunter

    My favorite dress shop is tucked away in the metrowest – Lemon Tree Goods in Natick. I never fail to get a stunning dress and have collected many there by Milly, We love Vera, Tibi, Sara Campbell, BCBG, and Marc Jacobs. Each one was less than $100 because it is a consignment shop.

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