For Jamie Stuart McLeod, fashion runs in the family. Her Long Beach boutique, Polly & Esther, which opened Aug. 6, is her latest clothes encounter.
"I’m third-generation," says the businesswoman and mom who grew up in Manhattan and now lives in Neponsit, Queens. "It’s in my genes." And her jeans.
Her maternal grandfather was a patternmaker. Her parents, George and Lynn Stuart, ran Mister Pants, a sportswear label that loomed XL in the 1970s. Her mother also styled clothes for Lucille Ball and other stars.
Polly & Esther, a playful name inspired by a now-defunct New York City nightspot, grew out of Stuart McLeod’s 20-year-old wholesale label. The boutique specializes in "carrying what’s trending and what’s happening right now," she says.
The vibe is easy-breezy at Polly & Esther in Long Beach, just like at big-sister stores in Queens, where the first shop opened eight years ago, Brooklyn and Memphis. "It’s for that girl who wants to dress up or just wants a casual look," says Stuart McLeod. "We also have mom customers."
The store carries a wide selection for women on the go, from denim and loungewear to going-out dresses to Sweet 16 dresses and seasonal coats. "Jeans are a huge part of our business," she says. Plaid shackets (the love child of a shirt and a jacket) are very popular.
Stuart McLeod also carries accessories and face masks, which she began making early on during the pandemic to contribute to essential workers.
"My customer wants to look good and she’s tired of sweatpants," says Stuart McLeod. "She wants to put on something cool and trendy and go out."
And she doesn’t have to break the bank to do that. Prices run from $18 to $100.
Polly & Esther is located at 158a E. Park Ave.; 516-548-7107; justpollyboutique.com. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.