All month we’ve proven that New Orleans is a great shopping destination, with locally owned stores for every style. We’ve picked our favorite stores for home goods, kids and menswear, and now we’re at perhaps the most difficult category to narrow down into a concise list: women’s boutiques. Take a glance at any block of Magazine Street and you’ll find several stores selling stylish women’s clothing, so you can imagine how hard it is to choose just five. We generated this list based on a not-really-scientific – but still enlightening – method of polling an office of 20-plus women.
Hattie Sparks owner Hattie Moll moved her popular Uptown shop to the South Market District in downtown New Orleans, but loyalties remain strong. It’s easy to see why the store has developed such a massive local following. Its style has the preppy-meets-glamorous vibe of J. Crew but with local designers, a large variety of price points, and, in general, is a lot more fun. Find cute party dresses; jewelry, paper goods and even lipstick from local makers; perfect hostess gifts; and some colorful odds and ends for the home. Find out about new items in stock, sales and store events on Hattie Sparks’ expertly curated Instagram.
If you walk into this store and wonder why everything seems so cool, it’s probably because Solange Knowles – one of New Orleans’s hippest new residents – is one of the partners, along with sisters Darlene and Lizzy Okpo and Armina Mussa. If you follow Beyonce’s sis on Instagram and love her colorful prints, mod dresses and two-piece ensembles, you can find all of that at this French Quarter shop. The store features indie designers like the Okpo sisters’ line Wiliam Okpo, plus local goods including fragrance by Smoke perfumery and colorful graphic print clutches from DVRA. This is another store with a great Instagram.
If you’re into that “Mad Men” look but have a hard time navigating vintage stores, this Magazine Street shop has plenty of new dresses that channel Betty Harris and Joan Holloway – that sexy, sophisticated look is perfect for your fall weddings and cocktail parties. There’s also items with that modern bohemian look that’s popular in boutiques, and you can also find jewelry by local designers like Jess Leigh Jewels. Follow them on Instagram.
If you are one of those people who loves to navigate vintage and second-hand stores, Revival Outposts is filled with treasures. While Bella & Harlow has more of a sophisticated look, many of Revival’s pieces look right out of NYLON magazine. Clothes at this two-story shop in the French Quarter have a lot of whimsical, almost childlike elements but with an edge to them. It’s cool, but with a good sense of humor. There’s also vintage recreation pieces so you can get the look without having to worry about scarcity or weird sizing. Another entertaining and useful Instagram to follow.
It’s fun to buy 6-inch heels, but most of the time you need something you can actually walk in – luckily, Feet First has both. The local chain with New Orleans locations Uptown and in the French Quarter has both feet-friendly footwear and fashion-forward heels.