Old Town – Alexandria, Virginia
Along the shores of the Potomac River sits the bustling area of Alexandria where within the charming neighborhood of Old Town exists. It is just the most quaint little village. The architecture alone is worth the trip – truly magnificent and magical. Along the main street, King Street, there are quite the variety of shops, everything from big brand stores, quaint boutiques, home decor to wonderful restaurants.
When I first drove down King Street, I spotted this store out of the corner of my eye and made a mental note to go back to explore. An American In Paris located at 1225 King Street is owned and operated by Joelle Solimano. A Parisian transplant who brought the Paris shopping experience to the states 14 years ago. An American in Paris is NOT a thrift store or a consignment store – but a true boutique with all things very unique. Carrying sizes ranging from 0 – 14+, an American in Paris has such a wonderful selection, Joelle’s taste is exquisite.
Joelle’s store is a staple within the community – her customers see her as the “go to” store. Everyone from diplomats to factory workers shop at American In Paris. Only allowing so many in her store at once – Joelle prefers to be “by appointment only” and she should with the service she gives, but does take walk ins. Some customers do not like her strict policy on handling the clothing and dresses – but she insists you abide – or out you will go.
If ever you have an important event or even a date and want to look your best. Visit Joelle. She will look you over, query your event, guess your dress size to the tee, then scurry off. While browsing the store and listening to the delightful sounds of Édith Piaf play over the speakers – and pretending you really are in Paris, Joelle is in the back pulling dresses. She returns with three or four choices and off to the dressing room you go. One by one she will have you try them on, look in the mirror and tell you the truth – whether or not it works! She knows her style, fit…everything, she is a fashion fairy! AND she gives this kind of attention to detail to all of her customers. Some of the lines carried include: Eva Franco, Nicole Miller, David Meister, Tibi, Tocca, Cynthia Steffe and so much more. Joelle has a great eye for fashion and has created quite the collection to prove it. Not only are the clothes diverse and unique but well worth every penny for the quality. Her pieces are timeless – true classics. Prices start at $295 and go up.
American In Paris
1225 King Street
Open 7 days a week
My next stop is another new all time favorite of mine – the newly opened 3 Sisters at 213 King Street. Much more my speed budget wise. These girls really know what they are doing. 6 months ago they were at their mother’s store (3 doors down) call Andrea’s – carried mostly accessories – one day a customer commented on the top their mother was wearing – so Athina asked her mom if she could bring in some clothing to sell. And she did and it sold – like hot cakes!
Athina, Staveroulla and Stella are the 3 Sisters. They work together as a team, playing off each others styles and business sense. The girls shop the markets in NY, Atlanta and Vegas – each picks out what she likes and they then come together and decide what the buys will be for that season.
3 Sisters is a store where mothers and daughters can shop together. One of their strategies is to be budget conscious. Their mother taught them how to bargain shop growing up and they wanted to carry that over to store and for their customers. The girls feel it is important to look great without breaking the bank – especially in this economy. Offering great items at a great price. Most everything in the store is under $100 – except for a few extra special items.
Staveroulla tells me Kate Middleton really influenced the fashions they bought for the fall season, which you can see in the tweed coats, capes and ruffled blazers. Peacock prints are big this fall too. And I see just the dress I want for the season.
Originally Athina and her sisters worked in home decor for many years – then did the transition to accessories to the clothes – and I have to say they have a real hit on their hands. The store is never beat! Recently 3 Sisters started carrying the Brighton and Vera Bradley lines. They will be bringing in shoes as well, soon – carrying Steve Madden and GC which does both shoes and clothing.
Athina says eventually they would like to take 3 sister national. But for now they are enjoying the ride. The store is the main stay for now and they are working on getting more up in the web. 3 Sisters posts a lot on their Facebook page. This is a must stop on your shopping trip.
213 King Street
Old Town – Alexandria, VA
Andrea’s just three doors down at 217 King Street, is owned by the 3 sisters mother and her two sisters. Andrea’s carries a collection of women’s and children’s clothing. Including the Ms. America Designer, Joseph Ribhoff. Geared for the more mature woman, the price points are a bit higher, but the styles are refreshing and exhilerating. Upstairs is a children’s area with super cute onesies, leggings and more, decorated to the gills and (((((“oh so cute!”)))).
Makes you wish you had a lil’ one to buy for!
217 King Street
Old Town – Alexandria, VA
Across the street, catty corner is another new store which opened Memorial Day weekend called
lou lou. This store is all about accessories at a very reasonable price point. The only thing is – there is soooooo much merchandise out – it hurts my eyes and squeezes my brain when I try to go in and shop. But if you can handle the overly merchandised shelves, there are some really cute items. Mostly catering to women there are a few pieces for men. I personally was drawn to these cufflinks, wishing my man dressed up more – I would have purchased. Customer service was not so hot – the poor girls were stuck stocking the shelves with even more stuff…
132 King Street
Old Town, Alexandria, VA
Less than a block off of King Street is Zoe’s Boutique. By the time I got there they were closed. So I checked them out on facebook. From the window it looked like they carried a great selection of dresses and separates. So they will be my first stop on the next trip to Old Town.
130 South Union Street
BTW – If you enjoy paper, stationary and crafting with paper – make sure to also stop into the AWESOME Stationary store – Paper Source. It is so enjoyable to browse and get some really great crafting ideas – plus they have an outstanding selection of materials and stationary to choose from.
118 King St