We give Charlotte shop owner Laura Vinroot Poole a lot of love around here, and for good reason. When it comes to creating excellent shopping experiences she’s at the top of every best list for her spots Poole Shop and Capitol. This year Laura launched an app, House Account, that amasses more than 350 independently owned stores across the country, thus changing up the shop-local game.
As Laura notes, stepping into a gorgeously designed, well curated boutique provides a respite for us ladies. Even when the brands and price tags might be out of reach, the fun of spending a couple hours perusing racks and chatting with friendly shop keeps is inspiring and relaxing. To help plan your sartorial escape, we asked Laura to dish on her favorite 10 shops that deliver on customer service, a unique point of view, and next-level brands.
1. H. Audrey in Nashville. “I admire Holly Williams’ taste, and I have a true love for all things Nashville (hot chicken and Dolly Parton are just the beginning). This is the place to find Rick Owens, Lem Lem, Nili Lotan and Peter Nappi in Music City.”
2. Vermillion in Raleigh. “Ashley Harris’ lovely jewel box of a store balances everyday basics from Isabel Marant to show-stopping ensembles from Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler.”
3. Van Jean in Columbia. “Melissa Blanchard has a very clear aesthetic of clean, feminine silhouettes and beautiful prints and colors, as shown by her seriously beautiful edit of Suno, ALC, and Sea.”
4. Hampden Clothing in Charleston. Stacey Smallwood has a mini empire on King Street—from shoes and accessories to the very best selection of Lizzie Fortunato, Peter Pilotto, and Carven.
5. By George in Austin. Katy and Matt Culmo are true pioneers in the field of boutique fashion. Over 30 years ago they brought all of the best of the market to what was then a sleepy college town. Today they have multiple stores devoted to every fashion-forward desinger you could ever want including Celine, Saint Laurent, and Dries Van Noten.
6. Cabana and Canary and Forty Five Ten in Dallas. I could have easily written this column on Dallas alone, but I’m crazy for Merry Vose’s Cabana and Canary and Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten and Five and Ten. Absolutely heavenly and a true immersion inside both store owners’ amazing visions.
7. Abejas in Houston. Christina Mitchell maintains a fantastic collection of Golden Goose, Ancient Greek Sandals, and Raquel Allegra. Proving that good taste runs in the family, her sisters Courtney Beauchamp and Chelsea Dreyer own Penny Lane and 77th Street Imports Texas—two others you should certainly check out.
8. Gus Mayer in Birmingham. Gus Mayer is a Southern classic where you can buy a jar of Creme de la Mer, a Valentino clutch, a Clover Canyon maxidress, and a pair of Ray Bans, all in one sitting in the middle of beautiful Birmingham.
9. Weinstein’s in New Orleans. This modernist haven on Magazine Street is the best place to find classics with a twist from Dries Van Noten, The Row, and Sacai from veteran owners, Roz Weinstein and Bonnie Wilson.
10. Morgan Kylee in Atlanta. Owner Morgan Henzlik has incredible personal style, and thank goodness she opened a shop that looks just like her closet— a mix of beautiful bohemian tomboy with a bit of an edge. I love her edit of Edith A. Miller, Steven Alan, and Elle Sasson.
Did we miss your favorite shop? Tell us in the comments.