Coast to Coast

April 28, 2017

This shopping spot is one that I would like to describe as well as recommend. When in Lagos, Portugal I bumped into this little beach shop called Coast, and was overwhelmed by the personality and dedication as well as the apparel. When meeting the manager, I was greeted with enthusiasm and kindness, and showed all of the items in the store- which weren’t too many. During my second visit, I finally got into conversation with her and her boyfriend who were the shop owners.

They owned the space and needed something to do with it. They started off with the idea to start a café but were shut down with laws and regulations, so they decided to start a clothing store combined with bike rental. They were an ambitious pair, and resurfaced and painted the entire store before designing their own logo and clothing line, then choosing and ordering other beach necessities to go in the shop as well.

Their “COAST” logo is printed on t-shirts, tanks and sweatshirts for men and women. Their intricate and modern logo is enough to make you want a t-shirt, not to mention the other funny sayings that come on some of the designs. They also carry adorable, bright colored bathing suits with a Pacsun, or Roxy surfer look. Their style could be described as “beach comfort” with the many comfortable sweatshirts and tees, as well as their bathing suit selection.

The store was just being unpacked as I visited both times, and is on the way to becoming an extremely popular Lagos beach shopping destination. I highly recommend visiting them if you are ever in Lagos to see their progress and buy some beach essentials!

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EKYOG

April 20, 2017

This store, EKYOG, was in a more commercialized part of Annecy, France, out of the small town and closer towards the city. I recognized the store from its locations in Paris, and from its window display I knew it had to be good.

I walked in and found countless adorable pieces, the styles and colors very similar to the Madewell brand. There were different sections with lines of different color combinations. The first part was a collection of light pinks (these are everywhere right now!), hues of blue, cream and whites, and greys and blacks mixed in. There were many professional pieces like dresses, blazers and dress pants. These were complimented by sundresses, floral sneakers, and nice, plain t-shirts.

 

The other sections were filled with navy, red, brown, cream and variations of these. This section included summery blouses, striped sweaters, cardigans, jumpsuits, scarves, t-shirts and heels, among many other things. With all of these options, the store gave much variation and many easy pieces to mix and match. The clothing was sophisticated, preppy and poised, while also offering comfort and practicality. I walked out with an adorable tweed work dress (and almost a matching blazer.)

I am excited to visit the store in Paris and see the similarities/ differences and maybe pick up some work-day styles. I highly recommend stopping in this store wherever you find it.

A Spunky Mix

April 29, 2017

Another perfect spot just around the corner from Un Coin de Paradis in Anncey, France was a bigger shop with two two showrooms, but both one store. They had so many cute items, everything from the perfect bags to potential prom dresses. It caught my eye from the outside where they had 10+ different style and color platform shoes. They were all unique and obviously European. Many of them perfect for the beach, while others were perfect for a summer walking around the city.

Right inside the open doors were shelves of purses identical to Stella McCartney bags in all of the right Stella colors, with the identifiable, original dark chain. These bags were good quality, made in Italy. I ended up purchasing a small one in a light tan/ cream color (pictured bottom left). 

Inside were racks of clothing in every area, along with tables and tables of awesome jewelry (some handmade from the place around the corner). Amongst the racks were nice, sophisticated blouses, all types of sundresses, and trendy, detailed jackets (basically everything you would want, you can find).

I ended up getting a long sleeve work blouse along with a black mesh dress with a slip and embroidered with neon flowers, for my older sister. My little sister tried on a white ruffled dress (also came in light pink) with flowers and leather straps as a potential prom dress option. Although, she didn’t get it, she loved it and looked awesome in it. She purchased a beaded and embroidered jean jacket (pictured below). This was one of our favorite spottings, and I am predicting these detailed jackets will be huge in the coming months. I personally loved the jewelry in the store and found some very unique pieces. I found a navy marble beaded bracelet with a gold lion that I fell in love with and regret not purchasing. However, I did find the gold ring (bottom right picture) carved as an Native American chief. I found this piece along with the others to be completely original and unique, and am so glad I found this little shop to bring home some stylish souvenirs.

Beads and Jewels

April 18, 2017

It seems that even in the smallest city I am able to find great shops. It also seems that these small shops are some of the best and most unique. I can shop anywhere.. surprise surprise. While in Annecy, France this week I discovered a dozen cute shops of all kinds all within the small main square of town.

The first we went into was a little shop called Un Coin de Paradis. The window display was very cute and approachable with jewelry and accessories filling the shelves. I walked in and was surprised to see the women working there at the counter in the midst of making jewelry. There were boxes of sectioned beads on the island counter in the middle of the store, waiting to be made into wearable jewelry. There were also racks of clothing lining half of the store. There were tshirts, jeans, and sundresses perfect for all summer occasions, and beach bags and purses above the racks.

 

The other walls of the store were covered in handmade jewelry on a variety of displays. There were colorful bracelets and long beaded necklaces hanging from all over. They were all very summery and young pieces, and also were casual for easy day to day wear. With bags, clothes, accessories and jewelry, this shop is the perfect stop on vacation to grab something cute for yourself or the perfect gift for a friend. An endless supply of special jewelry for any spring or summer occasion, and the perfect stop on the walk to the beautiful mountain view of Lake Annecy.

Positano Shoes

April 8, 2017

I don’t know many girls who don’t love shoes.. so for all shoe lovers, Positano is the place to go. Shoes being made before your eyes seems a bit like heaven.

The shopping in Positano was small and limited, mostly beach cover ups and souvenirs. But when it came to shoes, the shops were plentiful and amazing. There were shoe shops on every corner with hundreds of options of sandals on display. It was convenient that I happened to have no sandals for the beach, and needed to purchase a new pair. Luckily with all of the options I made it to a shop without having to search, before even making it to the beach on the first day of my stay.

The first shop I saw was filled with a wide range of adorable, beach sandals so I stopped to take a look. A Paige hanging on the door caught my eye immediately. Hanging by long leather cords, this pair of light grey/white leather lace up gladiators was just what I needed. Expecting the shop owner to take them off the door and hand them to me I pointed and was shocked as he grabbed a pair of my size shoe bottoms and the leather strings. He took out a hammer and nails along with some other tools and began to create my desired sandals before my eyes. In 10 minutes they were perfectly crafted and placed in my hands. It seemed so easy that it had me wondering why everyone everywhere didn’t make shoes like this. The service was easy and exciting to witness, and the shoes were perfect and extremely well made. Although it might seem far fetched to fly across the world to get a pair of sandals made, it is a great stop to make if ever in Italy or near the Amalfi Coast.

Shopping, shoes, and sun- what could be better?!

USA to Roma

April 4, 2017

We all know Europe is the center of the fashion world, but it seems that America knows what it is doing as well. I have been finding many stores around Italy that re similar to popular American stores. Which came first.. who knows!

This store I found called Suite Benedict (interesting name choice), was on one of the many shopping streets in Rome near the Spanish Steps. I spotted it thinking it was a Brandy Melville, but walked in and noticed it wasn’t, but was in fact very similar.

The windows were filled with satin sleep shorts, mesh tops, and mini t-shirt dresses- many of which looked almost identical to Brandy Melville pieces. After walking in, I also found that the clothing on the walls matched Brandy almost perfectly, with slight differences. The many white, grey, baby blue, and light pink collections are identical to many of the current Brandy looks.

There were many soft t-shirts, graphic tees, crop tops, rompers, dresses, and much more that resembled the American Brandy store quite well. If you are in Rome, desperate for a taste of home or just want to pick up some basics, this is a great place to stop. It is in a huge shopping area, surrounded by American and European brands- the perfect place to compare, contrast, and find anything you might need.

Florence Gems

April 3, 2017

Italy has much more than leather and gelato- it is filled to the brim with fashion. Two of my favorite shops were some of the most colorful and exciting. These two stuck out to me as soon as I passed them on the streets of Florence.

The first was a bright, neon spot filled with shapes and purses. This one was called Pop Bag, and was a filled with purses and bags in different plastic packaging. The displays and plastic bubbles were adorable, it felt like a candy shop . This one-of-a-kind shop was the last thing I expected to find in Florence, Italy, but was a nice surprise on a walk in the rain.

 

The next was very different, but amazing nonetheless. This one was filled with exciting jackets, unique jeans and and a modern display. It was called Miss Sixty, and was a large store with two levels and an endless supply of recent, trendy and innovative daywear. There were many jeans, neutral colors, and pops of pink covered with embroidering, detailing and texture.

Even though my bags were filled to the brim, so most of our shopping was window shopping, Florence was still a perfect place to look around. It was easy to admire the modern trends and bright ideas put into both of these stores. There is a lot of comfort and excitement in being able to go all the way to Italy and finding amazing, new European fashion.