The sun has finally decided to come out and play: The warm sweaters and jackets will fall back into our closets and we can finally go shopping for all those cute spring clothes we saw on the runways last fall.
Napa has limited choices for shopping and über trendy clothes are not usually available at the outlets. But instead of trekking to Walnut Creek, try some local businesses. It’s quicker, just as effective shopping, saves gas -- and it supports Napa.
The good thing about fashion is, unless it’s avant-garde haute couture, it’s easily recycled. Ready-to-wear shows like Alexander Wang feature luxe items that can easily be found in thrift stores for $20 or less.
However, there is a digging process involved. The clothes aren’t just presented on mannequins in perfectly styled outfits. It takes a keen eye and fashion-savvy intuition to find the perfect items. Here just a few pieces found in local shops that can help give style ideas of how to separate the bad from the good.
From vintage Prada and Chanel purses to Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, this small store is a surprising pleaser. A huge trend for spring is the maxi skirts and there were no shortage of them here. The 80’s are back in a major way and these long skirts have come out of the corners of old closets and back into the shops. The only caution is making sure the print isn’t too old-fashioned and can transcend into modern time (think Alberta Ferretti). Neutrals, solids, floral and Aztec prints are a good way to play it safe. Also when in doubt, do animal print. I found a cute leopard print short-sleeved dress that can easily go from day-to-night, with a change of shoes, for $5.
This store can be hard to dig through and often has a surplus of great clothes or none at all. The one thing a customer can rely on here are cute 1960’s structured lady-like bags. I als0 found a cream-colored 70’s style blouse than can easily be paired with beige pants to mimic what was seen on Chloe’s runway.
Next time you’re in and browsing for vintage china, check out the designer clothes section. There were so many options as to what could be trendy for spring: beaded necklaces resembling Anna Sui designs, a studded western skirt that could have been pulled off Ralph Lauren’s runway, tribal print gold harem pants, and a white flowing dress that looks similar to one released in H&M this month. The best find was a black Marc Jacobs-like jumper. It was slim-fitted, had ruched sleeves and a slim belt to tie a bow around your waist with. It could easily be paired with some brown leather wedges and a feathered shell necklace. Add a red embroidered leather bag or any of the cross-body mini purses in the shop and the look is complete. There were also many printed scarves that look great tied around your neck with just a white t-shirt and jeans.
If thrift stores seem like a lot of work, try one of Napa’s small .
In the outside window of Miyamo, the short pink, gray and purple printed dress is perfect for spring. Inside there are many ready to wear items that can be perfectly paired with pants, shorts or skirts: for example, a blush colored maxi skirt that’s soft pleats resemble the skirts flowing down Jil Sander’s runway. There are many prints in Miyamo that you can pair neutrals with, including a short skirt that looked like the flowers were water-painted on like much of the fabrics in the spring shows including Carolina Herrera, Banana Republic and Dolce and Gabbana. Wrap bracelets line the counter and wedge sandals are ready to strut in. This store often has the most popular of the trends for sale so anything you buy here will be perfect.
There were many more stores with fashionable finds in them, like where denim shirts and vintage Betsey Johnson western purses reigned supreme. or with their structured lady-like vintage purses and 1950’s cocktail dresses like the ones in much of Louis Vuitton’s collections this past year.
These were just a few of the many chic items waiting to be found in Napa. If any pieces seem a little too obscure, start small. If a fur cheetah-print A-line skirt from Antiques on Second seems a bit daring, grab the animal print open-toes. They still follow the trend but are much more subtle. If the maxi trend scares you a bit, try a short Aztec printed skirt. This is an easy way to pull off the print as seen at Missoni in Milan fashion week.
Number one rule is to be comfortable, so you’re confident.
For more about Napa boutiques, see .