If you say you’ve never wanted to dress like a Ralph Lauren model, I will call you a liar to your face. Something about his aesthetic fits so well in this city with our rugged landscapes, stunning sunsets and abundance of ranches and western feels. I can easily see my beautiful friend Sara wrapping up in a blanket poncho waiting for her equestrian daughter to finish her lesson at the barn. Or my friend Sasha, who can rock a blanket wrap like no one else. So, if you’re looking to recreate this look, an amazing place to start is Boot Barn, which carries a huge selection of blanket ponchos as we speak, as well as, boots, belts, hats, etc. Honestly, this store is kind of a hidden treasure for western gear. If you want the real Ralph Lauren, online is likely the best option.
When you find yourself at a loss with the retail shopping in Tucson, here are two online clothing sites I recently discovered that are sure to help you stand out in a desert crowd:
Gracia – Launched by Joyce Kim in 1998, Gracia features moderately- priced, embellished tops and dresses that really top the hum-drum state of clothing options these days. From lace trench coats to architectural sleeves, Gracia apparel can be found not only on www.graciafashion.com, but also online at Rue La La and Nordstrom Rack.
Vici – I first saw the ad for Vici Collection, www.vicicollection.com on Pinterest as I was trying to figure out what to wear to a party with a ‘Festival” theme. Though this modern, California-cool line definitely caters to the smaller sizes, there are some beautiful–again moderately-priced– dresses, rompers, jumpsuits, tops, etc. Seriously, there are dresses on this site you won’t find anywhere else!
If Emily Blunt’s beautiful dress last night and Christian Siriano’s latest Insta posts are any indication, Barbie pink is the trending color right now. And honestly, I can’t think of anything the world needs more at this moment. Everything about the bubble gum-color exudes happy and pretty and harks back to childhood memories. Like, when you didn’t get the Barbie Corvette that you asked for, but realized your roller skate would work just as well!Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Designer Rachel Roy is one of the highlights of shopping at Macys.com. The designer, of Dutch and Indian descent, creates beautiful, modern dresses, jumpsuits and tops that are part of her diffusion line available at Macy’s since 2009. Roy has also fought hard for her success. At age 14, her father, a hardworking janitor, left her at the mall until she found a job—which she did, folding T-shirts at an aquarium.* Roy later found her way to Contempo Casuals, then Roca Wear and eventually, her own line, which launched in 2004. She is famously known for turning a T-shirt into an edgy prom dress for Teen Vogue.** Though her designs can’t be found in Tucson Macy’s stores (suppress eyeroll here..), you can find them online, as well as, her own website RachelRoy.com.Embed from Getty Images
*”How Rachel Roy Battled to Win Back Her Fashion Empire,” Inc.com, Oct. 2015.
**”Fancy That,” TeenVogue.com, Mar. 2009.
Before you scoff, it’s true. Walmart.com carries evening gowns. You may have read that Walmart.com is going after Amazon and doing all in its power to stock as many and varied items as the company that made Jeff Bezos the master of the world. Well, that includes formal dresses. And before you get all judgy, let me list some of the brands that you will find: Parker, Tadashi Shoji, Teri Jon, Lanvin and Marchesa Notte! Um Ya! So, don’t say you can’t find a gown when there are many creative places besides Nordstrom, Dillard’s and the other usual suspects to find that special dress!