While not technically a neighborhood in St. Louis, the little hamlet of Clayton is an area of town that lies just west of University City and east of Ladue that features a vibrant scene all its own. The shops in Clayton are not necessarily budget friendly, but they do carry great selections of hard-to-find brands.
Byrd Style Lounge
Byrd Style Lounge is arguably one of the best places to browse in all of St. Louis. The have a selection of designer clothes on consignment that certainly must rival any big city. The store, which is located on Maryland Avenue, specializes in women’s clothing, denim, accessories and jewelry. They also carry luxury brands; for anyone who wishes to truly invest in designer clothes, Byrd is the perfect place.
The store’s owner, referred to on their website simply as Julie, has a background in fashion design and merchandising. A section of the store is consignment-based and has designer clothes at affordable (for high-end designers) prices. Part of her mission is to bring a lifestyle of fashion, style, shopping and music to St. Louis. The shop carries everything from Project Runway contestant Kara Janx to vintage Chanel and Fendi pieces.
Presently — but not for long, most likely — Byrd Style Lounge is in possession of a classic Shoshanna Black Waist Tab Dress that can be worn with heels or flats and can easily be taken from work to happy hour with the addition of a gorgeous Chanel Gold Plated Chain Vintage Cuff and a Budding Love Cocktail Ring. Not your thing? Tuck their cobalt blue Kara Janx top into a classic pencil skirt and add some pumps for an office- or graduation-worthy ensemble. Remember, they’re on consignment. If you love it, hurry!
Another great boutique in Clayton is LUSSO, which is located in Carondelet Plaza near the Ritz Carlton Hotel. LUSSO specializes in accessories, home goods, women’s clothing and jewelry. Like tees from Splendid and Michael Stars? You’re in luck, because they always have a good selection. LUSSO carries everything from great hostess presents to unique jewelry and affordable clothing and shoes. The store is organized in a way that makes you build your outfit as you shop. By the time you reach the dressing rooms, I kid you not, you will have built an entire outfit that began with the adorable dresses you found in the front and ends with even better shoes.
The owners clearly must understand women and, more importantly, the brands they sell. LUSSO carries unique brands like Yoanna Baraschi and See Thru Soul, as well as better known lines like Nanette Lepore and Sam Edelman. LUSSO also has the convenience of being just a few feet away from a MetroLink stop.
Get the look
While LUSSO and Byrd Style Lounge are two favorite haunts for St. Louis fashionistas, Clayton can be considered a hike for Saint Louis University students. If you’re looking for a similar wardrobe addition, try checking out Bluefly.com, a high-end discount website. The prices are a little steep to some, but sales rotate often, offering even higher savings.
For the luxury look of Clayton, try starting with a summer-friendly dress. The Suzi Chin Ivory and Citrus Stretch Cotton Lace Overlay Cap Sleeve Dress is formal in nature but could easily be accessorized to fit a multitude of occasions. While the creamy shade might be warm-weather appropriate, this miniature investment piece won’t be outdated come fall; with colored tights it will transition smoothly while maintaining its girlie charm.
To continue with the femininity of the dress add embellished sandals, a scarf and some jewelry. Keep them in the ultra-femme genre, if possible, as excessiveness at this level reads as intentional fashion-forwardness instead of creepy too-young wardrobe. Bows? Flowers? Pink? Yes, yes and yes.
If you’re confused by the scarf addition — primarily how to keep it chic instead of hipster — search online for tying techniques. Aim for a neat knot to be featured somewhere visible, like pictured, to give off a semi-polished vibe. If it’s simply too fussy for you throw the idea out and grab a costume jewelry brooch; the bigger the ‘stone,’ the better.