Piece by Piece Wear: From Street Chic to Luxe Lounge

Walking into Piece by Piece Wear in St. Philip’s Plaza is nothing short of walking into your stylish best friend’s amazing closet.

And, according to owner Julie Penny, that’s entirely by design.

“It should be like shopping with your best friend,” said Penny, the engaging force—you meet her and you love her—of this Tucson boutique since the 90s. “I want it to be a great experience!”

And because Penny has customers ordering items from Piece by Piece from as far as New York and Louisiana, it’s clear that experience has cemented an incredibly loyal fan base. Her Facebook and Instagram feeds are not only filled with her luxe new arrivals, but also genuinely ecstatic reviews from first-time and longtime shoppers alike.

“My goal is whenever you get something from me, it becomes your go-to piece,” said Penny. “I want it to be like, ‘What did I wear before this?’”  Ultra-soft lines such as Sundry, Tart Intimates and sumptuous tees by JET John Eshaya are just the start. “I want it to feel soft. I touch everything. It has to be soft to start, and then I look at it.”

“It all starts with what I want to wear and what my friends want to wear,” she said. In fact, every single piece of clothing at Piece by Piece is handpicked by Penny.

A science major at DePaul University, she credits a stint at a designer consignment store for her fashionable fate. “I just fell in love with fashion.” She and her husband moved to Arizona after she joked that frost began forming inside their apartment windows in Illinois. Though they initially thought Phoenix, Tucson’s inclusive community and charm won them over. “Everyone here says hello and smiles at you.”

Penny has since been a devoted promoter of all things local. She is the exclusive carrier of Tucson designer Annie Hammer’s jewelry line and mosaic stones by Rox, another talented local artist.

When the pandemic hit and closed so many Tucson businesses, she made sure to continue selling her items online and personally delivered them to her loyal customers. “It’s what kept me alive,” she said. Even now, when she can’t travel to her usual markets because of COVID-19, she treasures her designers and representatives who come to her, even customizing their lines for what her shoppers want.

“I love shopping at Julie’s store,” said Mindy Thomas, a frequent Piece by Piece shopper. “It’s my favorite place in Tucson to get cute, on-trend pieces. I always leave with a smile on my face, spending my money locally and looking fashionable.”

Oh, and right now, there’s a rare 50% off sale going on–the perfect time to discover your new favorite store!

Self-Care Sunday

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The past few weeks have been perhaps the worst of 2020. Watching close friends get COVID-19, losing loved ones and at the same time, isolating ourselves to stay protected. The combination–add in the 24-7 news cycle of doom–is plummeting our collective mental health to rock bottom. My friends and I talk about how so much quarantine time with close family is igniting our fight-or-flight response and we are hitting Zoom fatigue at an alarming rate. Our health care workers are in a war zone, trying to save as many patients as they can, and feeling stress and burnout we will never comprehend. The other day I was Googling “How to fix depression” and cried on my way home from the grocery store. Today, I can’t remember why!?

Are you all feeling this? Please comment and reach out if you are. Because we can’t have huge fun in large crowds or parties, we have to embrace the small, golden moments we have every day. That’s literally all we have. Whether that is a long walk or a new lipstick, a social-distanced lunch, having a glass of wine (and maybe not the entire bottle—just saying…my “Who cares, it’s a pandemic?” attitude is not helping me). These baby steps are what we have to cling to until this horrible virus becomes a memory. This is our war, our revolution, our sacrifice.

I hope you all are staying well and hanging in there, connecting with people you love, and doing things that you love. Hope you all get some needed self care today. God bless!

A Luxe Candle for Quarantine

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Challenging Covid-19 quarantines call for a luxe candle. And this one is it! Les Ruches, a Los Angeles candle company, makes luxurious, pure organic beeswax candles that are as beautiful to look at as they are to smell. The candles have lead-free wicks and are infused with essential oils. But the reason I even found out about them is because I follow Shayna Taylor, an organic chef on Instagram, and she did a collaboration with Les Ruches – the Noir Amethyste line. Now, it’s impossible to pick a candle scent online but I trusted her because her entire mission is organic healthy living and I thought she would surely create a beautiful scent. And SHE DID. The Noir Amethyste is a must buy. The candles range in price from $52 to $550 and they arrive in elegant black and gold packaging with long-stemmed matches to boot. Due to the coronavirus crisis, be patient on the shipping right now. Stay well!

Desperately Seeking Denim

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After Vogue magazine put its top models in denim this month, I’m obsessed with the patchwork denim trend for post-coronavirus times. And….since I have all the time in the world to online search now, that’s basically the quarantine skill I’ve been working on! Here are a few of my favorite sites that offer unique denim apparel:

Aypeworks – (www.aypeworks.com) By far, the most creative tops are on this site and I want them all! There are also denim necklaces, skirts and jackets. The accessories are a tad….different, but the denim sections are so fun.

RE/DONE – (www.shopredone.com) The collaborations are where you want to visit on this site for the unique pieces, otherwise featured are many versions of reworked jeans.

Venus(www.venus.com) Check out the site’s “Denim Days” trend to see a nice volume of edgy dresses, tops, jumpsuits and even a trench coat.

 

 

Tucson Fashion “To Go”

As local restaurants consider a take-out/to-go model in the age of the coronavirus, so are a handful of Tucson boutiques trying to navigate this difficult time. We’re all in this together–who knew High School Musical would be so quoted during the Covid-19 Crisis? We must support our small businesses as much as we can.

A list of a few local stores happy to deliver fashion to your Tucson door or mailbox. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for updates!

POSH Boutique – The designer resale boutique is offering free delivery and free shipping on all merchandise throughout the city.

W Boutique – The stylish St. Philip’s Plaza store is offering free local delivery and free shipping.

Buffalo Exchange – Though all Buffalo Exchange locations are temporarily closed, you can still sell your items by requesting a bag online. More information is available on the company’s website.

Piece by Piece –  Another St Philip’s store offering virtual shopping and free shipping.

Let It Snow!

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Happy 2019!

Today is the reason you buy that stylish parka, even when it’s 100 degrees out!