131 Charles St.
Boston, MA 02114
Crush Boutique definitely has an upscale reputation among Boston fashionistas. And yes, you will find it is one of the best places in the city to shop if you’re looking for a little splurge. But if you’ve got champagne tastes on a beer budget that doesn’t mean you should just pass this one by. There are amazing sale pieces that will make you look and feel like a million bucks and racks with a surprisingly good range of prices on them. Best of all, Crush Boutique has a wide variety of styles. You can expect to grab everything from a sophisticated little cocktail dress to a very fashion-forward edgy pant and top outfit at just this one store.
The Garment District
Cambridge, MA 02139
Not everyone’s idea of a great holiday party includes cocktail dresses and suits. In fact, for many in and around Boston, the holiday tradition is “Ugly Sweater” parties. That’s right, Christmas can be garish, bedazzled and downright hilarious. So if you find an invite for an ugly sweater party in your mailbox, and your closet doesn’t already contain something so awful even Bill Cosby would suggest you not wear it, what are you to do? First stop should be The Garment District. This huge secondhand shop will need at least a good hour, or maybe even two, for combing through the finds, but you won’t be able to beat the selection or the prices.
236 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
If you think that boutique shopping in Boston is just for the people with cash to burn, LIT Boutique will make you think again. It is that rare shop that offers an upscale shopping experience, with quality trendy clothes, at prices that won’t break your budget. Boutique shopping in Boston can be affordable and fun. The only real danger is that when you see how cute and affordable it is, you’ll still stretch your budget because you’ll buy 10 holiday outfits instead of just one.
274 Shawmut Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
Flock is another great Boston boutique. Its selection has an easy grace and slightly bohemian flair. Best of all, the shop carries a nice selection of dresses, accessories, handbags and shoes so it is completely possible to pull together an entire great look with just one trip to this store. One-stop shopping saves time, which is always in short supply during the holidays. The shop also contains some of the cutest home goods you’ll find in Boston, so extra points if you’re able to snag a hostess gift while picking up your holiday outfit.
511 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02118
Not everyone looking for a holiday party outfit is thinking dresses. You have to give a nod to the guys who want to look good, too. Uniform has a great mix of clothes for men that are cool but classic. The shop carries a wide variety of nationally known brands and more emerging designers. And if you’re a guy that wants to look good and doesn’t know where to begin, you’ll find this to be a good place to start. The staff is well versed in helping customers pick out an outfit that will look great and you’ll feel comfortable in it all night long.
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.