While the holiday season has passed, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Here are five Hudson Valley shops where you can find a pretty party dress for a romantic date or a night on the town.
In business since 2006, owner Lynn Puro prides herself on stocking on-trend looks and providing excellent customer service at March Boutique (1250 Pleasantville Rd., Briarcliff Manor; 914-923-2100; www.marchboutique.com). Customers may initially stop by for a quick peek but find reason to stay as they comb through racks of clothing, shoes and accessories by acclaimed and emerging designers like Chan Luu and Tory Burch.
Hot trends include looks in leather or lace, the color oxblood and frocks in luxurious fabrics like brocade. Party dresses sold at March Boutique include a lace overlay sleeveless dress by BB Dakota ($126), a crimson back bow dress in brocade by Tracy Reese ($348) and a Theme black velvet dress ($90). Even the most discerning fashionista is sure to find something here; Puro doesn't disappoint.
Crave in Port Chester
Just steps away from Port Chester's Metro-North station, this trendy little boutique provides shoppers with a variety of hip clothing, shoes and accessories for women (48 N. Main St., Port Chester; 914-305-1600). Crave stocks American designers, including Fred and Sibel and Cynthia Vincent, and European brands like Twin-Set and Ambre Babzoe. And the chic showroom of white tiles and glass transports you immediately to Manhattan's SoHo. According to manager Sonia Torres, the store specializes in helping clients look "well put together without breaking the bank."
For an edgy young woman, Crave suggests several items to help her stand out. One look includes a Parker gray embellished jacket ($330), black-and-white silk top ($242) and leather pleated skirt ($286). Another option is a Parker white silk dress with beading ($358) paired with a pink turkey feather jacket by Ambre Babzoe ($330). Or there's the Parker sequined dress ($389) and the Willow & Clay faux fur jacket ($148); or a black dress with gold embellishments ($145) and a feather necklace ($68).
Crave has a second location in Greenwich, Conn.
A battle with cancer, a lifetime spent in the restaurant business (she started at age 5) and overcoming other challenges life threw her way prepared Daniele Churchill for her career as the co-owner of a high-end Westchester County boutique. She partnered with Lori Land, a former model and boutique manager, to bring a unique shopping experience to area men and women alike at Churchills of Mount Kisco (41 S. Moger Ave., Mount Kisco; 914-666-4800; www.churchillsmountkisco.com).
Located in a venue that formerly housed a Washington Mutual bank, Churchills opened in July of 2009 and is a luxurious, "family-driven" boutique. The store carries upscale designers, including Helmut Lang, Christopher Fischer and Rene Lezard, and this season, Land says there is a heavy focus on sequins and lace.
For that hip and chic party look, Land suggests an ostrich feather and sequin dress by Malene Birger ($745). She also recommends the Elizabeth and James rabbit fur jacket ($1,015) with a Malene Birger silver top ($385) and leather leggings by Joseph ($1150). Or there's the Haute Hippie gold sequin dress ($695) or the Malene Birger silk chiffon dress ($495).
"Don't be intimidated to walk in this store," Land said. "We carry a nice mix of designer brands for all budgets."
Elizabeth Boutique in Poughkeepsie
Striving to make fashion accessible, fun and affordable, Elizabeth Boutique is a great shop for women's clothing, accessories and gifts (35 Collegeview Ave., Poughkeepsie; 845-471-9632; elizabethboutique.com). Carrying brands like J. Brand, Free People and Sanctuary, EB (as it affectionately refers to itself) is a great place to shop for your everyday needs.
For a classic silhouette for the holidays, a little black dress, which can go with pumps or down with a leather or denim jacket and booties, is always in style. A couple of LBD options include a black blouson detailed sleeve dress by Maggy London ($163) or a Sanctuary Molly shift dress ($139). If you're in the mood for something with a little more character, there's the Donna Morgan Zag Zag dress in black and gold ($152) or the Donna Morgan blue and gold Dress ($141).
Not sure how to rock your new look? The boutique's website has a section of how-to videos that give instruction in everything from stylish scarf tying to fabulous ways to wear a belt.
T.J. Maxx in Spring Valley
With buyers on the lookout more than 40 weeks of the year, T.J. Maxx stocks the season's hottest looks at a discount for the whole family. This Rockland County location is conveniently inside the Spring Valley marketplace with Target and Michaels (44 Spring Valley Marketplace, Spring Valley; 845-352-1839; TJMaxx.com).
Not surprisingly, the retailer predicts that glitter and sparkle will be popular choices again this season, but this time, with a twist. For the girl who wants to switch her look from the office straight to a party, there's a sequin dress in deep blue ($299.99). If you're looking for a great layering piece that can be dressed up with a sequined skirt or dressed down under a leather jacket, there are purple or green sequined tops ($34.99).
There are T.J. Maxx locations in Mount Vernon, Yorktown Heights, Monroe and Middletown, among other area spots. T.J. Maxx's sister chain, Marshalls, which has locations in Hartsdale, Ossining, Nanuet and Poughkeepsie, also carries similar designer looks for less.