how to shop like a local in palm beach.

whenever i travel to new york, cali or even tallahassee, i have a clear map set out for sightseeing before i even step off the plane or out of the car. and by sightseeing, of course i really mean shopping. it's american rag cie in los angeles, the little wooden jewelry kiosk in santa monica, brandy melville and top shop in nyc, and divas & devils in the home of the seminoles. but i rarely stop to think about where i'm buying locally - or just window shopping in some cases - that would intrigue an out-of-towner.

 me in nyc after stops in both brandy melville and top shop. 
p.s. i'm wearing my new sugarlips shorts, which we'll have another post on later this week...

which is why i was so excited about a facebook message from the way cute new yorker, katy,  who asked me for recommendations on where she and a friend should shop while visiting palm beach this labor day weekend. they're looking for "little boutiques with not too circulated brands that are very on trend." located within an area that i'd consider to be one of our nation's fashion capitals, this seemed like an easy question.

it made me think about all the places i'd like to shop this weekend and some of those little corners i haven't had time to sneak into lately. and after thinking about it some more, i realized this really is a multifaceted answer...

must-stop shops 
* asquared boutique ~ this is one of the newer shops to the area and not technically on palm beach (just over the bridge in west palm beach), but is a must for all the pb natives. i met the ladies behind asquared at a marketplace event for junior league of the palm beaches, and fell in love with their collection. i found it was barely a fraction of the pieces found at the gorgeous store, which the self-dubbed "southern gals" use to bring a "new casual comfort and edge to palm beach." the apparel is definitely unique and on trend, the accessories are delightfully eclectic and the cool cowboy boots are to-die-for. only problem? they don't re-open for the season until sept. 4! katy, i hope you're staying in the area until tuesday!

photo credit: asquaredboutique.com

* eye of the needle ~ think long summer dresses, maxi skirts, sheer tunics, sparkling beach bags and miles of neon and lace...at least for the summer anyway. with shops in palm beach and nantucket, you know you're in good company shopping here. look out for trunk shows here too, where you'll find merchandise not available to the regular public yet. some of our favorite looks from the store can be found from the girls over at the fancy secrets blog.

* cityplace shops ~ i work at cityplace in downtown west palm beach so i'm obviously biased, but it's all for good reason. two minutes from the island of palm beach, it's mostly national brand stores, but you'll get fun finds that scream palm beach at c.orrico, which carries lilly pulitzer, tibi, trina turk and other beachy brands filled with resort wear that includes, but goes beyond only palm tree prints and patterns. and about 10 stores down you'll find francesca's collections. if you've never stopped in this retailer, it is a corporate store but has the best boutique feel with the cutest - and affordable - sundresses, tops, accessories and gifts perfect to bring back as souvenirs. 

photo credit: cityplace.com

palm beach opulence
* worth avenue ~ so you might not find those brands that are off the beaten path, but if you are visiting palm beach you can't miss worth ave. it's the rodeo drive of the east coast and it's a fantastic feeling just to walk down the street. among top names like gucci, ferragamo and hermès, you'll also find luxury brand retailers that are not as common to see in regular malls like hervé léger by max azria, alex and ani and calypso st. barth.

photo credit: worth-avenue.com

vintage finds
* house of lavande ~ for the very few of my readers who've been following since the beginning (just forget my lag for two years), you know that i love house of lavande. this vintage jewelry shop has the coolest pieces, from estate accessories and costume jewelry to new collections that feature vintage stones. watch a red carpet show and i guarantee at least one of the celebs will be wearing an hol piece. and if the jewelry doesn't capture you, the whimsical design of shop itself will.

photo credit: me!

* antique row ~ the vintage shops along antique row (south dixie highway) are some of my favorite because you'll get some amazing resales - both couture and ready to wear - from the many millionaires who live so close by. most have been barely worn or still have some of the historic charm from decades before. glam vintage is one of my favorites, although i've even found theory dresses and elie tahari blazers at the goodwill along this street.

fishing fashions
* clematis district ~ this may not be what katy is looking for, however some girls - and guys - just want a piece of florida and its sun. the best way to do that is head to downtown west palm beach to check out two of the outdoor apparel companies that launched here locally, avid sportswear and native outfitters. think of clothing that's athletically cute and perfect for the boat.

* juno beach ~ surfing more your thing? you'll have to head up north about 20 minutes (we'll worth the view!) to jupiter and juno beach, where you'll get stoked about the wide-leg linen pants and that monokini you've wanted to try, which you can get at locals or ground swell, both off of u.s.1 with just a minute worth of driving between each other.

with some of these unique to palm beach county and others a little more mainstream, i hope you find this guide to south florida shopping helpful, no matter what you're looking for. and katy, please give us an update on your finds after your trip!