Remember when you were little when you had “play clothes” and “dress up outfits” for special occasions? Now, as an adult, you most likely have more work clothes than party clothes, especially if you have an office job. To keep your look from becoming too predictable, follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your closet should be wardrobe basics and the other 20 percent should be filled with fun, trendy items. Here are great places to add some fun pieces to transform any office outfit to one that’s sure to grab your date’s attention.
Pink Sky Boutique
Hours: Tues – Fri 11 a.m. -7 p.m..; Sat 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Originally started as an on-line store, The Pink Sky Boutique is now located in fashionable Grant Park, which claims neighbors like “Real House Wives of Atlanta’s” Cynthia Bailey. The owner, Christi, is known for carrying unique jewelry and for solving fashion crises at a moment’s notice. Grab a few chunky bracelets and a pair of gorgeous pearl wire hoops to add some sparkle to your outfit.
Hours: Mon – Thurs 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Fri – Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Hey Madam, part store and part museum, is housed in an original Madam CJ Walker storefront in the Civil Rights district of Atlanta. Chardonnay Bunkley, an Atlanta native, imports jewelry from India and Japan. Her one-of-kind pieces are surrounded by black history artifacts and an amazing vintage record collection left in her care by the previous owner. Trade in your everyday pearls for a brightly colored African inspired necklace; after all, men are known to respond well to colors.
La Bella Vie
Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
La Bella Vie, French for “the good life,” is owned by Jason Scott and is located in the artsy Castleberry district. Scott, an AIU graduate and lover of all things couture, is strongly influenced by European Fashion. If you normally wear pants to work, switch up your wardrobe with a cute pencil skirt to show a little leg on your date. La Bella Via carries brands like Envy, Dolce Vita and Black Label. Jason’s own line, Jason Scott Designs, features some of his favorite details: studs and fringe.
Hours: Tues – Thurs 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Fri – Sat 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Plush Boutique is the perfect place for curvy girls who desire high end options. This store offers sizes from 4 to 24 and has selections in lingerie, shoes, and clothing. Plush always offers jewelry in larger sizes to fit plus size women; a detail often overlooked in shops catering to curvier women. Bella – Embody Jeans by Nat. with its corset style waist and trouser legs are perfect for pear-shaped women by slimming the waist while showing off your curves. If you’re going out after work, switch out your dress pants for these jeans and pair them with some platforms to create a look that’s sure to make a memorable impression.
Hours: Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Gina Genz opened her specialty store in 2001 and modeled it after her mother’s store Etc, located in Alabama. Etc. East benefits from Genz’s long career in retail at several large corporations. She balances her business and creative sense and combines them with impeccable customer service. Genz keeps her merchandise continuously fresh with buying trips to both Los Angeles and New York.
Etc. East carries everything from high end jewelry to clothing. Paige Novick, a very popular costume jewelry designer, is one of the top sellers in Etc. East. Novick caters to young or young at heart women who likes being flashy being without being gaudy. Some of the most sought after pieces are the ones with mixed metals, especially oxidized silver and gold.
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Alicia Edwards received her BS and MBA from Florida A & M University and her Associates Degree in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design in New York. She is a freelance writer in Atlanta covering fashion events, trends and interviewing style makers. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.