The Central West End is the perfect place to go when you need a slower-pace destination to collect your thoughts. The mansions and tree-lined streets make the Central West End a nice area to go for a stroll and window shopping. This neighborhood includes many unique boutiques, restaurants and cafes (among some tried-and-true chain restaurant favorites.)
The quaint feel of the Central West End allows for aimless walks and a carefree shopping experience — not to mention that it borders Forest Park, which means that if the weather is nice you can continue your walk through the Central West End into the green oasis of St. Louis.
Getting to the Central West End from SLU is quite simple and can even be accomplished through a short bike ride (what freshmen fifteen?) Just take Lindell Boulevard west to Boyle Avenue (right past Schnuck’s) and you are in the Central West End. The neighborhood expands both to the left and right of the Lindell Boulevard and Boyle Avenue intersection, so be sure to check out both sides, although most of the boutiques are located in the north part of the neighborhood.
A Taste of Luxurie
A Taste of Luxurie is a small boutique jam packed with merchandise. The walls are lined with handbags and even somewhat random beaded belly-dancing bras, perfect for rave-goers and Lady Gaga enthusiasts alike. The crowded racks included a variety of clothing with the emphasis on cocktail-length dresses ranging in fanciness from short chiffon prom dresses to casual belted sundresses. There was a specific black cocktail dress that caught my eye with its pleather bust and a cutout at the waist. Prices for the dresses ranged from $50-$200, so if you need a unique dress for a special occasion, A Taste of Luxurie is definitely a boutique worth visiting.
A great feature of A Taste of Luxurie was their selection gold costume jewelry. One-of-a-kind gold necklaces plastered throughout the store allowed for variety and the perfect way to spice up a basic button-down/jean shorts combo. Many bracelet and earring options were also available. For between $10-$40, this jewelry can be uniquely yours.
A more eclectic boutique is Mary Jane’s on Euclid Avenue. Their website states that they “feature a wide selection of trendy and classic fashions as well as one-of-a-kind accessories.” Mary Jane’s embodies the sense of boutique through and through with its brightly colored walls, cozy interior and friendly staff.
The store has a wide range of denim, dresses, cute shirts and even jewelry and other accessories. The black and yellow striped denim cutoffs are mixed in with the classic white lace skirts and black bomber jackets. Prices for clothing range between $50-$500 and accessory prices range from $10-$100.
One of the best features of Mary Jane’s is that they try and include local designers such as St. Louis-based Love Bird Vintage, which makes redesigned jewelry.
Ivy Hill Boutique
Ivy Hill Boutique is an upscale store with a finely edited showroom. The small space does not allow for superfluous choices to be made by its owners, which means that all of the merchandise is both unique and trendy. Ivy Hill had the best jewelry selection by far, including an amazing collection of beaded bib necklaces ranging in price from $115-$225.
Apart from the sale rack, most items are on the more expensive side because of their designer labels. House of Harlow 1960, Trina Turk, Chan Luu, Tibi and Orla Kiely are just a few of the designers available at Ivy Hill Boutique, not to mention that they too sell items from local St. Louis designers such as Rich Trevino and Emily Brady Koplar (Wai Ming). Items in the Ivy Hill Boutique can range from $15-$300 and all emanate a sense of class and individuality.
As long as you are in the Central West End, another cute stop is Cassie’s, the fragrance boutique and scent bar. The eclectic mix of merchandise proves to be a fun place to browse. There are a variety of candles including natural beeswax with glitter, room diffusers, fake engagement rings (ha!), natural soaps and moisturizers and even spunky cards.
The most unique part about Cassie’s is the scent bar, where patrons can mix and match their own scents to create a unique fragrance that can be put into a moisturizer, bath gel, cologne or perfume. Prices range from $12-$34 to buy your own scent in your decided form.
Get the look
If you want to emulate the style of the Central West End, the best way to start is with a flirty sundress. The “Circlelace Dress” from Madewell is a simple but unique sundress with its defined lace texture.
A bright pink blazer brings a sense of sauciness and elegance to the sweet lace dress and also can be helpful for when Coffee Cartel is blasting their air conditioning just a bit too high for your comfort level.
A trendy shoe option for the Central West End visitor would be the highlighter yellow “Mease” heel from ALDO. Tapping in on this season’s trend of neon, the “Mease” heel still maintains a classic pointed-toe silhouette preventing this shoe from being too wacky. If you’re not into heels, the shoe also comes in a flat variation.
Lastly, pile on gold bangles in various widths and shapes and you are ready for a nice meal at Tortillaria.