March 3, 2024

Spring Couture

Local boutique owners talk spring fashion trends, must-haves, and under-the-radar finds
By Alexandra Dailey | April 22, 2023

Like our four-legged friends—who seem to shed in giant poofs this time of year—we humans are itching to ditch the sweaters, wool socks, and fleece-lined pants for something lighter. To help you turn over a stylish leaf, meet Bohmey Beauty, l.a.cool, and Magnolia Boutique & Gifts, some of the newest retailers in northern Michigan offering fresh takes on feminine fashion.

Bohmey Beauty

Located in Traverse City’s Warehouse MRKT, Bohmey Beauty is the culmination of owner Angeline Pratt’s passion for clean and conscious products and her goal to share wholesome and health-conscious products with women everywhere. With an emphasis on high-quality products, Pratt and her team work diligently to find the most eco-friendly and ethical brands to shelve at their TC and Ann Arbor locations.

“We are most known for selling items that are clean and green,” says Pratt. “We only carry non-toxic and cruelty-free beauty products, and the clothing and lifestyle brands we sell are ethically made, focusing on sustainability.”

By representing a contemporary style and progressive ideals, Bohmey Beauty strives to work with brands that share their vision of helping others alter their lifestyle to reflect an ethically-minded approach. Some popular clothing brands the shop carries include Girlfriend Collective, MATE the Label, Rhythm, and Richer Poorer.

“I love selling good-for-you clothing brands,” adds Pratt. “They make you feel as good as you look.” 

2022 Trends That Stuck: “I think people are really loving multi-purpose clothing items that can take you from day to night,” Pratt says of trends that are here to stay. “A sleek pair of leggings that are comfortable enough for 8am pilates but you can wear with a cute sneaker to lunch and dress up with your shoes and accessories for dinner. The more uses they can get out of an item, the better.”

The New Look: “People are more focused on daily or event clothing and less on athleisure compared to previous years. When we first opened, it was 2020, and everyone was buying loungewear. We’ve slowly been shifting over to more daily wear as many of our customers have shown interest,” Pratt explains.

Seasonal Must-Haves: For the spring season, Pratt says that “dresses are always a spring and summer staple. They are comfortable yet always make you look put together.”

Under–the-Radar Finds: “I love the Vacay Romper by Rhythm,” Pratt gushes. “It’s the perfect length, materials, and fit. I will be wearing it on repeat all summer.”

l.a.cool

Bringing designer clothing, elevated wardrobe essentials, shoes, jewelry, perfume, and even socks, candles, and umbrellas, l.a.cool exudes functional, beautiful, and ageless style.

“My boutique is designed to meet the fashion needs of this growing community, whether someone is searching for the right outfit to wear to a formal occasion, a day at the beach, a romantic date, a boat ride, a night out with the girls, or just an evening at home curled up on the couch,” says founder Lisa Dykema.

The atmosphere of l.a.cool is relaxing and welcoming, with fashion inspired by the California lifestyle with a touch of Midwestern flair. The boutique represents numerous brands, including Anine Bing, Rachel Comey, Tibi, Ulla Johnson, Proenza Schouler, White Label, Sablyn, Toteme, Frame, Jonathan Simkhai, Rag and Bone, and many others.

According to one of the on-site stylists, Karley Curtis—a Traverse City native—l.a.cool has one goal: “We want to bring the fun back into shopping and make it an experience that everyone will love. We believe that fashion should be fun, effortless, and empowering.”

2022 Trends That Stuck: In the eyes of l.a.cool, it’s not so much that they’re seeing trends that have stuck, but rather classic trends that are coming back into the spotlight. “We are seeing that people want to get dressed and appreciate quality clothing whether they are going to the office or out for dinner with friends,” says Curtis. “We’re seeing a resurgence in strong, tailored silhouettes. Think bold blazers, sleek trousers, and crisp button-downs.”

The New Look: Curtis says, “We have been pleasantly surprised by how willing customers are to push themselves in fashion and find unique yet wearable pieces. The items that sell the fastest tend to be edgier styles you will not find anywhere else in the area.”

Seasonal Must-Haves: Curtis had three must-haves to share for the coming seasons: “The color lilac is everywhere right now! Also, cargo pants are a very popular silhouette going into spring and summer, and vests are also huge this season.”

Under–the-Radar Finds: “Wide-leg pants. We recommend not being afraid to try a new jean silhouette as wide legs are going to be everywhere this fall,” says Curtis. (You heard it here first!)

Magnolia Boutique & Gifts

Affectionately called a mom-and-pop shop, Magnolia Boutique & Gifts is a family-owned business that’s been growing for over a decade. The flagship store resides in downtown Cadillac, and in 2022, a second location opened in downtown Traverse City, bringing more shopping options to Front Street.

Quality items that fit a variety of styles and budgets are the bread and butter of this boutique. The shop carries women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts—including popular brands like Toad&Co. and LazyOne—and they recently added men’s clothing too.

“Our motto is ‘uniquely beautiful,’ so we carry unique pieces that fit your style to help make you feel even more beautiful than you already are,” says owner Joy Koetje. “We love being able to help everyone express their fashion sense and have a fun and encouraging time doing it!”

2022 Trends That Stuck: “Shackets [a shirt-jacket combo] are a must-have as well as flannels; they’ve been around for a few years now and are one of our top-sellers,” Koetje says. “Both are great year-round for layering with any outfit.”

The New Look: According to Koetje, dresses are coming out in droves from designers, brands, and companies for the coming seasons. “There are so many dresses this year! We’ve had lots of need for them, and when choosing pieces for the shop, there have been so many dresses to pick from.”

Seasonal Must-Haves: For the summer, people are looking for ease. “Comfy and cute are huge for the summer. Wanting pieces that you can easily throw on and have look cute without the extra effort of needing to make a whole outfit,” says Koetje.

Under–the-Radar Finds: Koetje points to long denim skirts as an unusual fashion find for the season. “Long denim skirts are the new thing we’ve seen styled and already sold,” she says.

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