Poppy and Stella’s knack for curating a stylish, eclectic inventory has not gone unnoticed. “The people behind Poppy and Stella just get shoes,” according to the Baltimore City Paper, who named Poppy and Stella the Best Women’s Shoe Store in 2009. In 2011, CBS Baltimore praised Poppy and Stella for its “atmosphere, selection and service.”
That atmosphere is found in a tidy, eclectic boutique, where customers can peruse a stylish array of designer shoes, boots, handbags, and apparel from brands such as Dolce Vita, Pour La Victoire, Sam Edelman, and Frye. Throughout the store, neat displays highlight both seasonal trends and classic designs, all of which can keep friends and neighbors from giving you disparaging nicknames like “old-shoes Jack.”
Since opening in 1922, for generations, Samuelson's Diamonds has passed down the secret of bejeweling and bedazzling empty appendages. Purchase a loose diamond to design your own artistic adornment (starting at $79.95 for approximately 1/8 carat, in-store), or add dazzle to ear wiggles with a duo of 1/8-carat-total-weight diamond studs, set in your choice of yellow or white gold ($79.95+/stud, in-store). A thoughtful gift such as a sterling-silver heart necklace ($49.95) provides the perfect way to say “I love you” or “Sorry for duct taping your car shut.” For those looking for more practical polish, classic mini clocks, such as Seiko and Pulsar watches ($59.95+) or Citizen timepieces ($79+), track the hours with a flick of the wrist.
Amaryllis offers a bounty of limited-edition, handcrafted jewelry, featuring the sparkly creations of lesser-known artists and local artists, such as Karen Clark, Zoe Chicco, and Mark Edge. Peruse the daily-changing selection of necklaces, sets of earrings, or home adornments inside Amaryllis's sleek, 500-square-foot studio. Bangle bracelets ($18+) and glass necklaces ($12+) make for classy dermal decoratives, while giftables, such as a hand-painted picture frame ($58.50) or a Baggallini purse ($40+), are appropriate for birthdays or Labor Day. Amaryllis’s warm and knowledgeable staff makes it a priority to ensure customer satisfaction, going to great lengths to hunt down unexpected jewelry gems.
Artistic Costumes & Dance Fashions outfits patrons with more than 5,000 high-quality theatrical costumes for Halloween, plays, and various dress-up occasions. Run from house to house pilfering sweets as a swashbuckling pirate or trick or treat as a Civil War solider to get extra candy from members of the Robert E. Lee fan club. Customers can slip into a flapper's dress to hearken back to the 1920s or evoke a time closer to 1920 BC with Greek outfits. The shop also features scores of popular character and couples costumes, a small sampling of which can be found on the website.
Newbury and Smith’s fashionable shopkeepers peddle boutique consignment items including discounted clothing, handbags, and accessories from designers such as Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. Stash a poodle or a small poodle-shaped purse inside a handbag from Coach ($140) or adorn wrists with handmade glass beaded jewelry ($88–$120). Women can turn heads at a party in a Carlisle dress ($198+) or turn a game of tennis into a sauna by wearing an Ann Taylor suit ($68) on the court. Consignors regularly fill the shop with a stream of new products that change constantly, and workers often restock shelves with finds purchased during trips afield.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand—despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase—is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.