Since 1952, family-owned-and-operated Al’s Formal Wear has been spiffing up gentlemen for all formal and celebratory occasions. Dudes get dandified by donning Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, or Perry Ellis, to name just a few of the brands on hand, with rentals beginning at $57.99. Look sharp for a transcontinental yacht adventure with the cruise package, featuring a white polyester dinner jacket sure to impress big spenders and scandalize stodgy, traditional butlers ($139.97). Ease into a formal evening with a black silk cummerbund and pre-tied bow, or put on the ritz in a jaunty white fedora (both $39.99).
Serving the guise-disguising needs of both the public and New Orleans-based film professionals, Southern Costume Company transforms patrons by outfitting them in hundreds of captivating costumes. Skim through the 9,000-square-foot studio and wall-to-wall racks of festive finery and period-inspired garb, many of which have been culled from Hollywood wardrobe collections. Dress up as your favorite American revolutionary for this Fourth of July, become a heck-raising harlequin for Mardi Gras, or surprise your nephew by coming to his bar mitzvah dressed as a Roman gladiator. Should questions arise about bothersome buttons or how best to evoke the style of runways past, knowledgeable staff members are on hand to arrange assistance on the floor or in the comfort of a private dressing area.
Founded by an ambitious Russian immigrant in 1921, Haase's maintains its steady stream of business by satisfying a niche market?one for old-fashioned customer service and refreshingly classic styles in footwear and children's apparel. Experienced fitters help shoppers of all ages find the best shoes for their feet, taking into consideration length, width, arch shape, and style. Popular brands in attendance include Keds, Clarks, Nike, Sperry Top-Sider, and Teva. In the section of the store geared toward young folks, parents find age-appropriate apparel and accessories for their little loved ones, from newborn babies to boys size 14 and girls size 6X. In addition to everyday sweaters, pants, bibs, pajamas, and blankets, the children's section proffers fancier outfits for kids to wear to christenings or interviews on late-night talk shows. Haase's also offers monogramming services, helping to transform simple items such as solid aprons and canvas tote bags into thoughtful custom gifts.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Most popular offering: NOLA Bikinis
Pro Tip: Reinvented and excellent vintage condition. There?s only one, so get it?don?t regret it.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
From within his shop on Decatur Street, artist Lalo Flores bends metal and sets stones to create unique jewelry pieces. Copper bracelets and strung-pearl necklaces hang alongside handmade shoulder bags. The shop also offers group and private classes, where clients can master every step of the jewelry-making process.
Funky, inviting Apricot Lane Boutique proffers premium denim, designer bags, and eclectic jewelry. Jeans from brands such as Miss Me or Rock Revival ($78+) enhance the wardrobes of fashionable moms or on-the-go mannequins that have been given a soul, and tops, skirts, and dresses from Luluvia, Urban Behavior, and other chic apparel manufacturers ($16–$80) make trendy style statements. Fashioned by designers ranging from Melie Bianco to Nicole Lee, the boutique’s stylish handbags can hold makeup and other important accessories, such as peregrine falcons. Abounding with bracelets, necklaces, and snazzy beaded handiwork by local artists, the boutiques’ interiors feature decorative touches, as well as fashion-savvy associates who gladly help customers pick out their ideal outfit.