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While the Back Bay boasts world class shopping, we also love to poke around our city's distinct neighborhoods for stores with flavor and finesse. We've asked some local gurus to offer hidden gems so you can try out boutiques beyond the usual suspects. Make room in your retail repertoire for these beloved spots.
Image via MP Chou Chou
Blogger Lani Zervas of Mon Petit Chou Chou is quickly becoming a pro at cool mom-to-be style, with her most recent post focusing on maternity jeans. In general, her shopping tip reserves are full of quirky spots, especially ones to snag some previously-owned goods. Want to know where she snagged a lucite bar cart and $30 Gucci clutch? Brimfield Antique Show.
When I need something utterly unique, I program the GPS for Brimfield Antique Show. Hosted three times a year annually in Brimfield, MA, it is literally the largest outdoor antique show in the world. If they don't have it, then you probably didn't really need it.
The walking. The haggling. The people watching. The antiques. What's not to love? I am a picker born and raised and I rarely go into Brimfield with a plan. What I do go with: layers, wellies, a dolly, a super sized tote, cash, and an SUV. My favorite time of year is the upcoming May show, May 14-19th to be exact. It is cool temp-wise, the weather is unpredictable (which makes for great deals—think deep discount when it starts to pour), and the dealers are excited for the season.
I have seen Louis Vuitton trunks in mint condition for well north of $10,000, to the seventies Gucci clutch I scored for a mere $30 bucks. Last year's trip was particularly rewarding, as I finally had a house to furnish, and a few dealers in mind. I came away with my all time favorite Brimfield find, a vintage lucite bar cart, straight from Palm Beach (look for this gentleman's tent, stocked with kitsch all sourced in Palm Beach and dragged up here....still dreaming of the tiki bar that I left behind!).
Another dealer worth a visit is the vintage sunglasses/eyeglass shop, where I always find killer frames that no one else will be wearing. And my final fave, always next to the vintage spectacle dealer is a crazy mod space filled with mid-century light fixtures, artwork and bizarre sculpture. You can usually find these dealers around the food vendor area, but I don't want to be too specific, because finding them is half the fun.
One last tip, keep your eyes on the lookout for bargains, as well as the odd celeb, the grounds are rife with 'em. I mean, everyone likes a good deal right?