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Style by neighborhood: Delmar Loop

Retailers cater to art and music lovers alike in trendy shopping district

You don’t need to be told that St. Louis has some phenomenal neighborhoods. You also don’t need to be told each nook of the city comes complete with its own vibe, scene and style. What you might need to hear is what’s located in each area and where to shop while you’re there. If uniqueness is your calling, look no further than the Delmar Loop.

Named “One of the Ten Great Streets in America” by The American Planning Association, the Delmar Loop occupies six blocks of the St. Louis and University City areas, and houses more than 140 shops, restaurants and the like, according to its website.

Getting to the Loop from SLU is quite easy, by city standards: take Forest Park Parkway westbound straight into the action and find free parking, including lots off Skinker Boulevard and Leland Avenue. Upon arriving, you’ll be greeted by impressive bars, mouthwatering restaurants and lively music venues. Although these are spectacular, the shopping on the Delmar Loop truly sets it apart from the rest.

Located in the Delmar Loop, Devil City features retro-inspired men's and women's wear. Minghao Gao / Senior Staff Photographer

Devil City
While Devil City describes itself on its Facebook page as “an original store experience . . .  [offering] a blend of some of the oldest American brands, goods that are made in the USA and items that are unique and rebellious in nature,” it can be explained more simply as a rockabilly shop with bonuses. Tattoo printed tees are on display near Hello Kitty totes and men’s western button-ups.

The shop, though petite, is well stocked and prepared. Ladies trying on pin-up style dresses can even slip into a pair of pumps waiting by the mirror to get the full va-va-voom effect before deciding to buy.

Although the price point is a bit higher than some nearby stores (Devil City’s Facebook page lists it between $30-50, but dresses seem to be more), both quality and spunk are abundant within each piece.

Timeless Authentic Garments
Vintage shopping can be tiresome, as the smell of mothballs annoys the nostrils and the inevitable glove of grit forms over the hand. Timeless Authentic Garments, also known simply as “tag,” provides a full selection of retro steals that are clean and neatly displayed, removing the ick-factor other second-hand stores may possess.

The store, which according to its website opened in 2008, features both male and female attire and accessories. Each piece is authentically vintage; although this can have a negative impact on wear-ability, it helps to assure that no one else at the Delmar Lounge is rocking your frock.

Avalon Exchange both buys and sells designer, vintage and unusual second-hand clothing. Minghao Gao / Senior Staff Photographer

Avalon Exchange
Not sure if you fit either style subgenre above? Try Avalon Exchange (formerly Rag-O-Rama), which features an ever-evolving selection of primarily second-hand items, including retro and designer pieces, plus the occasional oddball item — okay, more like frequent, depending on the day.

While the prices are reflected by the item’s condition and brand, the store sports a seemingly always-changing sale rack and hosts the occasional “Dollar Sale Event.” Comparable to an eclectic Plato’s Closet, Avalon buys clothing and accessories from customers and sells it in their store. Interested in selling? According to its website, the store is currently buying spring clothing.

Get the look
If you’re hoping to borrow some cool from the Delmar Loop to add into an outfit, you first need to determine the style. Since the look of the area is individualized, what can you take away?

At its core, the Delmar Loop seems to be feeding on everything rock ‘n’ roll. Take that broad category in whichever way you want, but remember to keep it interesting.

Levi’s “Modern Slight Curve Skinny Jeans in Indigo Intrigue” ($78.00) are a classic in the world of denim (Image courtesy of Levis.com).

What’s arguably the most iconic piece of clothing from any music scene? Blue jeans, hands down. There’s no better way to sport this style than by rocking one of the originals: Levi’s. For the top, ladies might want to keep it simple, yet fitted, to make room for crazy accessories and outerwear. While on Delmar you’re bound to buy something new that you won’t want to wait to wear, why not prepare your outfit for anything in advance?

The “Marilyn Shrug in Emerald Green” ($52.00) adds a smidge of warmth and a stampede of bombshell to an outfit (Image courtesy of ShopPlasticland.com).

In case it’s chilly in the venue or brisk during the walk outside, try throwing a retro-inspired jacket on top. With its wild color and leopard collar, the “Marilyn Shrug in Emerald Green” ($52) from PlasticLand.com provides a hint of vixen, a dash of intrigue and oodles of attention-grabbing, Delmar-esque flair.

Your footwear should vary depending on your evening plans. Grabbing drinks somewhere near a parking lot, like Fitz’s? Throw on your most stunning heels. In all reality, you’ll probably end up walking — it is easy to get caught up in reading the names on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, if nothing else — from one end to the other and back, so try sporting a pair of quirky flats.

The uniquely colored “No Bows About It Flats” ($54.99) add a splash of something special to any outfit, this one included (Image courtesy of ModCloth.com).

The “No Bows About It Flats” ($54.99) from ModCloth.com are bright to boot (bad pun intended) and feature a slightly pointed toe, which elongates the leg and accentuates whatever style of denim you’re wearing.

The Delmar area is all about pizazz, which means no Loop-inspired outfit would be complete without some eccentric accessories. GirlProps.com offers a multitude of unusual pieces that will do the trick. The “Lipstick Pendent in Red with Gold Finish” ($14.99) and the “Egyptian Mermaid Earrings” ($9.99) aren’t your average jewelry — and couldn’t be more perfect for a look like this one.

For more information on the Delmar Loop go to VisitTheLoop.com.

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