This sprite of a Hillcrest storefront is a relative newcomer. But good news travels fast (particularly on the Internet), and budget-conscious Arkansans are flocking to E. Leigh’s (3001 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; eleighs.com or (501) 265-0448) for its collection of girly frocks and on-trend accessories. And while the physical shop may be small, E. Leigh’s online business is booming, especially on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m., when they post their latest finds. Our advice? If you see something you like, buy it—it’ll be gone in two clicks of a mouse.
Style for a Song
More often than not, when you compliment a Central Arkansan on a trendy print shift dress or a stunning statement necklace, the response comes back the same: “I got it at Ember.” Little wonder this Heights storefront has become a favorite with fashion experimenters: Everything—and we mean everything—at Ember (5709 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; shopemberfashion.com or (501) 225-3220) is priced under $80, including a great-fitting selection of skinny denim, and a rotating curation of studded, oversized bags.
L. A. Lady
Scarlet (11525 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock; scarletclothing.com or (501) 223-8585) has that effortless, California boho look down pat after years of stocking edgy labels like Current/Elliott, Parker, Elizabeth and James and Rebecca Minkoff. Helmed by a team of uber-stylish ladies—owner Jeanne Johannson and manager/buyer Nicole Daniel—the shop will urge you to push the envelope a bit, but in the best way possible.
Big Names, Big Style
An afternoon at Little Rock’s Barbara/Jean, Ltd. (7811 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock; barbarajean.com or (501) 227-0054) is the stuff girls’-day-out dreams are made of: Glamorous makeup counters share the space with shelves of Loeffler Randall shoes, racks of gorgeous Milly dresses, Kate Spade accessories—oh, and labels like Dolce & Gabanna, Stella McCartney and Valentino. It’s a taste of Fifth Avenue on Cantrell Road.
One of our favorite spots for accessories—think Alexis Bittar bangles, Kendra Scott earrings, chunky ALC cocktail rings—and “would-it-be-so-wrong-if-I-kept-it-for-myself” gifts is Bella Boutique (5623 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; (501) 603-5373), a Heights mainstay filled to the hilt with products meant for pampering. And we can’t resist stopping in for a snuggle when Salvador—owner Narcissa Jackson’s adorable Wheaten terrier—is on the loose.
We challenge you to find a friendlier boutique than Hillcrest’s Box Turtle (2616 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; www.shopboxturtle.com or (501) 661-1167). Another challenge? Resisting the towers of temptation—cases of one-of-a-kind jewelry, stacks of brightly hued denim, racks of patterned blouses, cabinets of can’t-live-without curios—that line this boutique’s two floors of cuteness.
Pretty in Pink
The pink-on-pink stripes! That flea-market chandelier! The sundresses! Tulips (5817 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; www.tulipsarkansas.com or (501) 614-7343) might just be the girliest shop in the land, but that’s more than OK by us. Owner Emily Brown stocks her store with sweetly stylish options for both moms and little bits. Spring brings out the best of this confection of a shop, so making time this season is a must.
Want to find that Tibi top you saw on your favorite fashion blog? Maybe those Pour La Victoire sandals your Dallas friend scored at Neiman’s? Odds are if you can’t find them elsewhere you’ll uncover them at Beyond Cotton, II (11525 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock; (501) 221-1539). Owner Mandy Schuster has a knack for filling Arkansas’ fashion voids, snapping up in-demand labels and lines that are hard to find in The Natural State.
Mad About Maude
Peruse Maude’s (704 N College Ave., Fayetteville; shopmaude.com or (479) 935-4700) website at your own risk: Countless lunch hours have been whiled away browsing the fashion-forward steals that Becca Brisiel rounds up online regularly. If you’re in Fayetteville, the boutique—conveniently located on College Avenue—is just as appealing as the e-version.
If you love vintage baubles, but lack the time—or the stamina—to do the digging it takes to unearth your own treasures, meet Mae’s Emporium (352 N. West Ave., Fayetteville; bossmae.com or (479) 575-9626), your new favorite place ever. Owner Jess Graham has long had a romance with rings and things from eras past, and her jewel box of a boutique is overflowing with one-of-a-kind beauties.
Owned by a hip pair of sisters with an eye for sleek, sophisticated style, Lola (339 N. West Ave., Fayetteville; lolaboutique.com or (479) 856-3505) has been bringing big-city fashion to downtown Fayetteville since 2004. When we want the latest from Joie, Rachel Roy, Haute Hippie or Vince, we know to head straight to West Avenue.
Best Foot Forward
Fashion-and-accessories haven Masons (1350 E. Joyce Blvd., Fayetteville; shopmasons.com or (479) 582-9129) has long been a fixture on the Fayetteville shopping scene. These days, you’ll find a mix of price points and a host of covetable goods, as well as a selection of shoes that will speak to your inner Imelda Marcos.
A favorite with the sorority set, this Fayetteville Square standout combines fun, light-hearted styles and an equally friendly environment. Savoir-Faire’s (1 E. Center St., Fayetteville; shopsavoirfaire.com or (479) 856-6592) adorable owner, Tess Labeth, stocks shallow to keep things fresh and trend-forward. Her shop’s central location makes it an ideal fashion pit stop before a Razorback game or a night out on Dickson Street.
We’re also shopping at:
B. Barnett (bbarnett.com; (501) 223-2514): A facial salon AND high-end label browsing? Sign. Us. Up.
Elysian (southernelysian.tumblr.com; (479) 464-9261): With so much happening in downtown Bentonville, we’re expecting big things from this stylish newcomer.
Monrow ((501) 205-4735): Our Conway destination for designer denim, funky tops and West Coast style.
Proposals (proposalsboutique.com; (501) 661-4696): Our go-to for spring weddings and events.
RiffRaff (shopriffraff.blogspot.com; (479) 571-4000): Quirky and cute, Riff Raff is a must-shop when in Fayetteville.
Vesta’s (vestasboutique.com; (501) 375-7820): We love Vesta’s for home goods, but we’re also crushing on their selection of pretty dresses and knockout accessories.