Iowa Book outfits University of Iowa students and sports fans with UI-centric gear and books. Within the shop’s stacks, textbooks can be purchased, rented, or sold, and a host of newly released and signed books fuel extracurricular reading or book-fort-building sessions. Hawkeye supporters of all ages can announce their athletic allegiance by donning black-and-yellow apparel from brands such as Nike, Russell, and Under Armour, or doling out team-branded gifts such as jewelry, tailgating accessories, and holiday decorations.
The artists that handcraft Bella Joli’s jewelry trust only the finest components to bring their designs to life: freshwater pearls, 14-karat gold, and precious stones, to name a few. Though most pieces skew toward classic styles, each necklace or bracelet is completely unique. So whether you don a necklace of layered golden chains, each frosted with white stones and pearls, or a funky silver bracelet studded with blue gems, you won’t spot anyone else wearing it. And the same goes for purses and scarves, cocktail napkins and tea towels, and glassware and serving platters.
Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
Voted one of the top three women's boutiques in eastern Iowa, locally owned women's boutique Catherine's has supplied the vast Iowan prairie with major fashion brands since 1974. The store sells name-brand merchandise from luxury labels such as French Connection, BCBG, Seven of all Mankind, Eileen Fisher, 525 America, and Citizens, and more. Keep cranium cases warm for the winter with a Parkhurst wool beret ($26), or forgo your arduous annual goat shearing festival and skip straight to swaddling feet in B'ella cashmere socks ($18). Catherine's shelves are also amply stocked with staples such as velvet stretch Sintia skirts ($72), Yummy Splendid T's ($55), Blee Inara bracelets ($35), and Cosabella boy shorts ($34) and thongs ($22). Come in with any burning fashion questions, as the helpful staff is always ready and willing to help people find the perfect clothing item, accessory, or lightsaber.
Uniquely Ink personalizes T-shirts, sweatshirts, and more with custom designs straight from the brains of would-be apparel artists. Casual couturiers can print anything that strikes their fancy—photos, artwork, text, or blank space—and most patterns go to press while clients wait. Bestow dignity on a white T-shirt with your name inked in enormous letters ($12 for printing on one side) or walk about town with a finger-painted presidential portrait emblazoned across your teal-colored chest and back ($15 for colored T-shirts; additional ink starts at $3). Customers can also adorn a reusable shopping bag with their credit-card numbers ($9.99) and print a pillowcase with realistic bacon photography to infuse each dream with flavor ($15). Uniquely Ink aids in the sporting of custom tees for all by offering sizes ranging from a child's small to a very large child's 5XL, and the shirt publisher also prints specialty orders on a weekly basis.
Owned by Iowa residents Lisa Barillas and Twyla Tindall, Lyla's Boutique supplies well-known brands to Iowa's multifaceted fashionistas. The boutique stocks a bevy of pants, tops, skirts, and dresses from prominent labels such as Miss Me, Free People, BCBG, BB Dakota, Sweet Pea, Judith March, Level 99, and Vintage Havana. Covering colorful styles from hand to toe, Lyla's also houses a range of purses and functional, form-fitting shoes. Popular wearables currently include a braided-chain-and-jewel necklace and earring set ($32), Kinsie Girl Oliander wedges ($49), !iT Jeans ($69.95), and the wildly inspiring Free People zebra dress ($128) (see pictures of select clothing items here.