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GoNOLA Tops: Magazine Street Boutiques

Shop at Trashy Diva in New Orleans (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Magazine Street is a shopper’s paradise. Just ask the Magazine Street Merchants Association, on the heels of yet another successful Champagne Stroll, for which many of the noted boutiques served as the popular event’s main attractions.  

If you prefer small boutiques over national chain stores, Magazine Street is your perfect shopping fit. From casual, to on-trend, to upscale, there’s something for every style and taste along the six-mile stretch. And no matter the time of year, it’s always shopping season on Magazine Street. The choices are boundless, but here’s six to sample.

Jaci Blue (Photo courtesy of Jaci Blue)

Jaci Blue

2111 Magazine St.

“Beauty is a Mindset, not a Waistline,” says Jaclyn McCabe, the owner of the popular boutique specializing in women’s apparel, sizes 12-up. Located in the lower garden district, Jaci Blue features such lines as Rachel Roy, Junarose, Karen Kane, and Universal Standard.

Though dress-friendly, Jaci Blue does provide a little bit of everything-jeans: separates, versatile pants, swimwear in the summer, as well as foundations and bras.

Like McCabe’s prior French Quarter venture, The Voluptuous Vixen, Jaci Blue, was established out of a personal need. “I was a frustrated shopper,” she shares.  “I was really tired of crying in dressing rooms and not being treated kindly.” So McCabe took matters into her own hands.

Jaci Blue doesn’t have one specific customer, according to McCabe. “We’re every woman,” she says.

While plus size clothing has often been shelved obscurely in larger stores, Jaci Blue creates an open, empowering space, where women can be celebrated and appreciated for just being themselves, no matter what size they are.

Trashy Diva (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Trashy Diva

2048 Magazine St.

You’ve not only spotted the looks on the streets of New Orleans, but you’ve likely seen the fun, figure-flattering styles rocked by celebrities like Sophia Bush, Melissa Harris-Perry, Zooey Deschanel, Evan Rachel Wood, and Katy Perry.

Owner Candace Gwinn’s original focus was vintage looks from the ’70s and ’80s. In 1999, just three years after opening, she launched the Trashy Diva line, a collection of vintage-inspired frocks, including a long silk and satin 1930s-style dress and coat. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and resulted in an expansion of the collection was inevitable, including styles from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, for divas ranging from sizes 0-24.

Trashy Diva is now a Magazine Street staple for not only apparel but also shoes, handbags, and accessories. Right next door to the clothing store is the Trashy Diva lingerie boutique. Diva Holiday, Midnight in Paris, and Big Polka are just a few of the popular lines to choose from.  

“I like the retro style of their lines,” says Dionne Thompson, a local Trashy Diva shopper. “The styles and patterns are unique and flattering to any body style, and they have great, fun accessories.”

Trashy Diva also gives back to the NOLA community. A percentage of proceeds from its bold and colorful Preservation Hall collection will be donated to the Preservation Hall Foundation.

HEMLINE

3310 Magazine St.

Looking for popular brands Misa, Free People, Alice & Olivia, and French Connection? Hemline is where you’ll likely find them.

From casual boho-infused tops to cocktail dresses, Hemline has something for every style. And the price range varies as the styles do. Here, you can find a $30 tee—and a pair of jeans in the thousands. Hemline also showcases vintage accessories, like coveted Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags. This season, they’ve also brought us a cool sampling of festival tees.

New Orleans native Marcus Stewart, the celebrated stylist known as the Fashion Doctor, learned the ropes of the business as a young intern and model for Hemline.

Hemline opened locally in 1994 with two simple missions: to provide high-quality, unique merchandise to the fashion-forward woman and to create long-lasting customer relationships rooted in the trusted Hemline name and reputation. Mission accomplished!

Monomin (Photo courtesy of Monomin)

Monomin

2104 Magazine St.

The classics are always stocked at Monomin. A fairly new kid on the block, the boutique opened its doors at its current location in November of 2016, offering a ‘minimal approach from the ultra femme,’ according to owner, Rachel Hall Taravella.

Monomin is a way of life, a source of style, and an elevated experience into all things design, incorporating the philosophy of effortless beauty and sophistication, and the adage of less is more, according to the brand.What’s in store at Monomin? White blouses, solid bodysuits, and denim, mixed with on-trend, eye-catching specialty pieces.

“We offer very modern clothing in a simple palette, but always celebrating femininity,” Taravella says.

Mononim carries global brands such as Third Form (Australia), Just Female (Denmark), Cereal (London), Cluse Watches (Amsterdam), Pretty Brave (New Zealand), and Krewe (New Orleans).

The store recently launched a collection of leather sandals; partnering with Italian leather artisans from the Amalfi Coast.

Another collection in the Monomin family is for the little fashion minimalists. As a mother of two little girls, Taravella looked to create a collection of mini clothes that were an extension of the store’s aesthetic. As a result, Monomini was born.

Joseph

5500 Magazine St.

Remember Mimi near Magazine and Jefferson? The stylish upscale spot is no longer, but Joseph now occupies the space, carrying on the tradition, providing an extensive collection of high-end brands.

Christian Louboutin? Check. Chloe? Check. Manolo Blahnik? Check. Rag & Bone? Check & Check! If you’re in search of splurge-worthy brands, this is the boutique for you!

On-trend casual is the basic style here; Equipment, Ulla Johnson, and Veronica Beard are just some of the many brands you’ll find here. If a lovely lace Shoshanna frock is what you have in mind, you may find that as well. Joseph also taps a little into evening wear, according to store manager, Jessica Doyle.

Those high-end fashion lovers seeking a bargain can find great deals when Joseph brings the racks out, and shoppers can score deals of up to 40% off on apparel, shoes, handbags, and accessories.

Though the sale eventually ends, bubbly at Joseph doesn’t go away. Champagne, (along with soda and water) is always in store. Cheers!

Kelly Dorsey-Parker is a native New Orleanian and proud Gentilly girl who loves writing about the wonderful people and places in the city. She’s written for publications such as the Louisiana Weekly, NOLADefender, New Orleans Magazine and the Lake Charles American Press. She is currently working on a book project, celebrating a subject dear to her heart: New Orleans Black Carnival Queens. Along with writing, she loves nothing more than fashion, football, Mardi Gras and people watching (in that order), and she’s never met a brunch she didn’t love. Want proof? Follow her adventures on Instagram @kellyparkerwrites

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