Americans love to shop. And so do I.
However, it can be daunting and down right confusing making the transition from the fashion in Australia and UK/Europe to the US scene with all the different shapes, sizes, seasons and the sumptuous range of goodies on offer here.
Much more at ease with high street shopping than over-sized, busy shopping centers and unappealing strip malls, I struggled to find the fashionable styles I loved so much at Witchery, Country Road and all the designer and chic boutiques on my local high streets, where you could find those exciting one-off pieces that break up the big name brands in your wardrobe.
With much persistence.. I slowly got my shopping mojo back and now appreciate all things great shopping in the US can bring – especially the bang for your buck! Here’s my summary for shopping up a storm in H-town (hopefully I can add H&M to this list soon!), and some of the upcoming fashion events around town.
My first experience at the Galleria was a disappointment. The main shopping drag of Houston I had heard so much about had a confusing, unfriendly layout and apart from my old faithful friends – Zara, Gap and Sephora – there was not much else that caught my eye. Surely I was being too harsh and had to give it another try? Our relationship these days is on the up, helped by some new clothing treasures I have found and the strict, well-worn path I have assigned myself, visiting regular ‘goto’ shops only and refusing to go near the place on weekends. Discovering Nordstrom’s valet parking and yummy restaurant has also sweetened things between us.
Fave finds: J. Crew for summer dresses, cardigans, belts and bathers; Zara for dresses, skirts & tops, jackets and guys clothes; Gap for legging jeans – love!, shorts, bodywear, guys clothes and of course baby & kids clothing; Sephora & Mac for makeup, Nordstrom shoes, mens & ladies fashion; Ralph Lauren for their cheaper-than-home signature polo’s; Club Monaco for stylish separates and special occasion dresses, newly opened Cotton On Clothing for my Aussie fix!
Houston Premium Outlets
Ahhh, what a fine day it was when a friend took me by the hand and led me out the 290 Fwy to this gold mine. After dutifully studying every discount shop on offer, I devised a must-do circuit for myself (and every bl**dy visitor I have taken out there!). The following shops complement Galleria shops so be sure to check the outlets first before paying full retail price in town. I have left Gap off as don’t think the outlet has much on offer and the retail stores often have discounts on their current range.
Fave finds: Nike for all sports gear; Kate Spade for beautifully discounted bags, jewelry & shoes; Cole Hahn for gorgeously reduced leather bags & shoes; Converse – everyone needs a pair; Calvin Klein for menswear & underwear; Hugo Boss for suits; a pair of designer jeans from 7ForMankind, Joe’s or True Religion; Solstice for sunnies; J.Crew for ladies & kids fashion; OshKosh for kids.
This is my local and yes, it is always busy but worth it as some stores are presented better than the Galleria and it also has some boutique gems. It’s always nice to couple up Rice shopping with lunch, a pedi or a drink at one of the many fantastic cafes and bars dotted around the area.
Fave finds: Gap for a different range of mens & ladies and better kids clothing than Galleria; Mint for cute, inexpensive style one-off clothing; Loft for summer dresses & casual separates; Sephora – more room to make yourself beautiful than the Galleria; Urban Outfitters for funky mens & ladies clothes, homewares & gifts; Victoria Secret for girls stuff; Lot 8 for the Project Runway winner’s boutique clothing line.
My favorite shopping strip mall. Not least because my new love in the US is furniture. With parking always available, this upscale American strip mall has a relaxed but sophisticated vibe. There are new stores opening regularly and I know there is more to discover here, but I just need to keep my head out of the furniture shops!!!
Fave finds: Anthropology for upscale, funky boutique style clothing & homewares; Lululemon for super comfy athletic gear; West Elm, Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware for amazing contemporary and french provincial furniture.
DSW for shoe heaven @ Post Oak; Sports Authority @ Post Oak for everything in sport; Tootsie’s to dream a little @ West Ave; 19th Street in The Heights for inexpensive boutique dresses and vintage wear; Kuhl-Linscomb for gorgeous gifts, clothing, cosmetics, homewares, furniture, Everything!!!
Upcoming Fashion Events:
- Fashion’s Night Out @ The Galleria is on tonight (Thursday 8th Sept) from 6pm-10pm with special sales & events on at most stores, culminating with a Fashion Show on the ice rink starting at 9pm, which you can view from the upper levels. http://fashionsnightout.com
- Houston Fashion Week will run from October 10th – 13th @ the Audi Pavilion erected in front of the Wortham Centre in downtown. Tickets on sale now. http://www.fashionhouston.net