In Marketplace

A casual look from SHOP.

In Marketplace

A classic spring look, also from SHOP.

Fashion forecast: Where to shop for spring

Starting around St. Patrick's Day, we get a healthy dose of green from, well, the green clothing we sport and the green beer we consume.

But then we become greedy; we want more. We start to think, "Where's all of the green trees and the green grass and colorful flowers? We need them now! We're sick of all this white!"

In that vein, we're happy to report that spring has not been cancelled. Retailers are boldly leading the march into spring fashion 2008. And what a spring it will be: vibrant colors, fun florals, slick patent and classic style.

We chatted with several boutique owners to get the lowdown on the spring fashion forecast, sans snow and slush.

Liz LeBlanc
Co-owner, SHOP
1918 E. Capitol Dr., Shorewood, (414) 962-4030

What they carry
"The hope is that women will want to and will be able to wear our clothes today and ten years from now," says LeBlanc.

"While we do carry some 'of the moment' or more trendy items, the majority are timeless classics." LeBlanc hits the major fashion markets in Chicago and New York City and chooses what will fit the store's concept and her customers.

Spring forecast
Trenchcoats. Talk about classic! "Trenchcoats are all over the place for spring and we have quite a few to choose from at SHOP," says LeBlanc. One version of the classic wardrobe staple gets kicked up with a sassy print and three-quarters sleeves. The store also has more basic styles, too. Bonus: you can wear a trench with, well, pretty much anything and instantly add a shot of style.

Cotton everything. "Cotton tops, bottoms and dresses are great because they are very affordable and you can buy them in tons of colors and they are easy to layer, mix and match or wear by themselves." LeBlanc says they'll have cotton pieces in basic black and gray as well as violet, teal and a variety of shades. Because color is hot this season consider pairing more unconventional shades together like blue and yellow for a fun color combo or tone it down with a more subdued gray / violet combo.

Wide leg denim. Shown in most major fashion magazines, the wide leg silhouette is certainly having its moment. Perhaps it's the rebellion against the skinny jean from seasons past. Says LeBlanc, "I am really liking wide leg denim, although I think it is going to take a while for it to catch on." Always remember to pair wide leg denim with a fitted top, otherwise you'll add unnecessary bulk.

What's she's picking up
Alara white button down shirt, $180. "I have been searching for the perfect (white collared button down shirt) for years and have finally found it!"

Tailor New York khaki colored poplin pants, $140. LeBlanc says she'll wear her Alara shirt with these.

Bella-chic gray flutter sleeve sweater ($60) worn over a pureand simple white tank top, $20.

People's Liberation wide leg jeans, $224.

Faye Wetzel
Owner, Faye's 1 and Faye@play
18900 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, (262) 472-0070
1505 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon, (262) 241-8386

What they carry
Of-the-moment designers like Tory Burch, Michael by Michael Kors, Theory, Missoni and classics like Diane von Furstenberg. "Faye's 1 is for the more serious side of your life-career, social occasions, et cetera," says Wetzel.

Faye@play is dedicated to casual collections and separates. Find vintage washed Lacoste polo shirts, Joe's Jeans, Juicy Couture jackets and tunics and Susana Monaco dresses.

Says Wetzel, "We really do our homework. Faye's has four buyers, and we shop the markets in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and LA. If it's out there-we know about it. We take pride in the fact that our customers travel the world in our clothes and report back to us that they feel confident and pretty and receive compliments wherever they go."

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Talkbacks

Stinky | March 14, 2008 at 11:41 a.m. (report)

Fred is an amazing boutique! They have great clothes and everything is affordable! I agree...though I could afford to pay $365 for a skirt, I won't. What's the point? I would much rather have a larger wardrobe with more options than three really expensive pieces. When people tell you expensive pieces are an "investment", think about it...how long have you ever kept a certain piece?

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Mserita | March 13, 2008 at 7:46 p.m. (report)

I agree. I cannot fathom paying almost $400 for a skirt! I appreciate quality in clothing and will pay more for it, but I can get a good quality skirt for $60 and then have enough extra to buy 5 more skirts if I wanted. Some affordable options would be nice.

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Wez | March 12, 2008 at 12:59 p.m. (report)

Just go to The Limited. Cute clothes and you don't have to hang out on 20th & Capitol...oh ya, and their actually affordable so you can still have a social life and buy clothes.

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taylerbaby | March 12, 2008 at 12:07 p.m. (report)

I appreciate the detail and quality of boutique garments, I simply can't afford a purse that costs as much as my rent! How about some lower-cost options OMC?

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Yield | March 12, 2008 at 11:13 a.m. (report)

Liz LeBlanc is a swell gal, and we wish her all the best with her shop. Love, Yield

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