Husband-and-wife duo Mike and Heather drift among the electric-pink tables of It's a Bling Thing, dispensing knowledge about the necklaces, bracelets, rings, and accessories that shimmer in long rows. Beyond a rose-hued awning, walls lined with colorful clutches, rings, and wrist cuffs encircle the gleefully crowded shop and engross eyes like a staring contest with a ping-pong ball. Spotlights and a serpentine chandelier pour cascades of blue, pink, and white incandescence and lure shimmering highlights across gems and rainbow beads. The owners, a retired police officer and a schoolteacher, host after-hours shindigs that benefit charitable causes. Partygoers prance across the hardwood floors noshing on refreshments, uninterrupted by crowds of customers or arias announcing the number of hours until closing.
Christened as one of the best wedding-tuxedo and formalwear vendors in the Chicago suburbs by the editors of The Knot, Black Tie Formalwear outfits gents in dapper threads from acclaimed designers such as Perry Ellis, Jean Yves, and Calvin Klein. Its staffers procure each visitor's individual measurements, then meticulously tailor a snug fit for tuxedos and Italian-style suits. A full collection of formalwear staples, such as jackets, shirts, shoes, pimped-out tuxedo hoodies, and silk ties, enhances the extensive range of suit styles and colors. Equipped with such accoutrement, the staff frequently furnishes wedding parties, striving to precisely match or complement the colors of the groomsmen's suits with the bridesmaids' dresses.
For more than a quarter-century, Merry Richards Jewelers' experienced gem gurus have helped patrons repair beloved baubles and add pizzazz to their soul vessels with a number of high-fashion ornaments including diamonds, pearls, and heirloom-quality watches. Snatch up elegant trinkets from designers such as Dolceoro (starting at $175) and Andréa Candela (starting at $200), who skillfully craft silver jewelry that sparkles brighter than a constellation made of neon beer signs. Lau International fashion jewelry gives wearers virtual access to catwalks and dogstands all around the globe (starting at $125), and dress-shirt sleeves looking to tame split, flat ends can find solace with a pair of classy cuff links (starting at $300).
Bead boutique sells semiprecious stones, Swarovski crystals, and the country’s largest selection of Venetian beads, while hosting flexibly scheduled crafting workshops in its design studio. Interested jewelry-makers can schedule classes to suit their schedule, and instructors will gladly host even one-on-one sessions to demonstrate introductory beading and show how to crochet necklaces from strands of silver wire. The shop hosts beading parties for kids' birthdays, and parents can craft at grown-up events such as BYOB Ladies' Night and Fiscal New Year’s Eve celebrations.
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.