If you're like me, you feel odd when you see the shirt sitting in your closet sported by Lea Michele on Glee or the embarrassment of strutting into formal in the same dress that two other girls are sporting. This is why occasionally I turn to local boutiques like Pitaya (which is a small chain with only 17 stores nationwide) and SKY Boutique, which is my daily neighborhood fashion ogling stop. However, it's really sad to see local businesses (including restaurants) being bought by more mainstream mall or store chains. Meinto.com is a new Miami-based site that helps prevent local fashion businesses from shutting down by helping them open an online version of their store as well. I know I spend forever on the internet gazing at Forever 21 and H&M before a shopping trip but can't find the clothes in store and oftentimes don't have the time to stop by my local boutiques to see what's in stock. Having a small-scale selection that is visible online is the perfect balance. While my student budget forces me to prefer to find cheap steals at the mall and thrift stores, sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to that stunner piece. Most of the pieces are definitely out of my range though, like this Dolce & Gabbana (ugly) jacket for $600, but for the designer bargain hunter, this could be an option. There are some pieces under $50 that I would consider.
Much better: a black mesh striped leather jacket for $60 (NY Fashions) and this cute Peter Pan collar black and white romper for $72 (Electric Couture). These prices are comparable to Threadsence, Lulus, Romwe.
Here is an example of a store info page with a photo, the boutique address, complete with a local map
Meinto's site has a clean design and is easily navigable with a useful search function for both items and boutique stores (unlike Forever21). They offer 30 days return and over 3000 brands for women, men, and kids. In the store search bar, I entered my St. Louis zip code and unfortunately nothing came up. This is because most of the local stores listed are near Miami, Florida. Hopefully with time, this could expand to the entire US (Meinto has already worked well in Europe). It's a good concept and it is really sad to see local stores go out of business.
Readers - do you shop local fashion?
This is a sponsored post in which I was provided monetary compensation. This does not affect my honest opinion whatsoever.