Meredith Wathne, MSUM Integrated Advertising/Public Relations and Multimedia Journalism
Now that winter weather is starting to settle in, it’s time to revamp your closet with the hottest seasonal trends. West Acres mall used to be the go-to shopping destination for fashionistas within a 100-mile radius, but in the last few years, boutiques popped up in downtown Fargo, offering fresh trends and a shopping experience that’s atypical of the mall.
Familiar favorites still remain in the regional hot spot like One World, but in the last five years several other shops have found a home among the bustling streets and charming atmosphere of downtown Fargo.
This season, step away from the cookie-cutter styles found at everyday stores in the standard shopping center and head to a boutique offering exclusive pieces you must have in your winter wardrobe.
Kittson, 610 Main Ave., is the most recent addition to the downtown shopping scene, opening its doors just four months ago. Tessa Hiney and Nicole Johnson launched the original store in Grand Forks, a second in Bismarck and made the move to Fargo due to high demand when searching for locations for a third store.
“We’ve had a good response form the people of Fargo, and there were definitely people demanding it,” said Aliah Olson, the manger of the Fargo store.
Nestled in the heart of the busy downtown strip, Kittson offers a wide variety of clothes that suit the tastes of all ages.
“Know you could come in here with your mom or your grandma, there is something for everybody and (we) have something that everyone would like,” Olson said. “We try to have a variety of things for the younger crowd, and for the older crowd.”
Some of the hottest winter outfits available at Kittson are:
Outfit 1: This winter, faux fur and chunky gold jewelry are really making a comeback. Voegele is featured here wearing just that, pared with a boyfriend flannel, patterned tights — which are always in — and short black boots.
“Plaid is always in,” Voegele said. “It transitions well from fall to winter.. Boyfriend-cut shirts are huge right now; it’s a style that looks good on everyone. It’s loose-fitting but still feminine.”
Outfit 2: This dressy ensemble is perfect for a night on the town or a work cocktail party. The crochet material is also very in this year, and pairs seamlessly with chucky gold jewelry and a black leather jacket.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize that you can pair a leather jacket with a dressy dress like this,” Olson said. “Dress it up, dress it down. I think every girl needs a leather jacket in their closet.”
Proper and Prim
Proper and Prim at 315 Broadway is owned by Fargo native Teresa O’Day. She opened the store after she moved back to the area when she completed school.
“I grew up in Fargo and there was really nowhere to shop that had things that were different,” O’Day said. “I’ve always loved downtown, so when I moved back to Fargo about three and a half or four years ago, it had always been on my mind and it seemed like the right time to start doing it.”
Proper and Prim offers the area “girly with an edge” exclusive styles.
“We get new things everyday,” O’Day said. “Once its gone, generally it’s gone. There are a few things we will make exceptations with, some jewelry items, we just don’t want everybody to have the same thing, and I think the customer base really appreciates that.”
Outfit 1 – Matching sets like this are popular this year. The floral tapestry pattern easily transitions from fall into winter and offers a retro ‘70s look.
“It’s kind of a fun new way to have some pieces in the wardrobe where you can put them together or mix and match,” O’Day said.
Outfit 2 – The T-shirt comes from a company out of L.A. that is really more of an independent designer. Paired with a pleated leather skirt, black booties and a fun, studded bag shaped like a hedgehog, it is the perfect outfit for a night on the town.
“The pleated leather skirt – it’s like a Chanel bag — it’s very fun,” O’Day said. “I think it’s important to have a sense of humor with your fashion, too. It doesn’t have to be serious.”
Outfit 3 – Coated denim bottoms have been huge this year. Matched with a printed cropped sweater and fun fringe scarf, this is the ideal cute and comfy winter outfit.
“The coated denim has been a huge thing,” O’Day said. “This one is different because it’s coated on the front, with plain denim on the back, so it has that contrast to it, which is really cool. It almost looks like faux leather, but it’s just coated fabric.”
One World has been serving the Fargo community for more than 25 years. Ten years ago it found its new home at 614 Main Ave. Kittson and Lot 2029 are now next door. Known for the range of clothing items it offers, One World gives shoppers options besides wearable fashion.
“There is a variety between girly, dressy clothes, to hipster, Bohemian, tied-dyed dresses, purses and tapestries,” said sales associate Jessica Markusen.
One World does not have its own brand; its buyers visit trade shows and markets as well as importing items.
“We have a little bit of everything,” Markusen said. “A lot of people that haven’t been in here think were just clothes, but by no means are we just that.”
High-fashion items like chevron blouses and black-tie dresses can be found alongside flowy tie-dyed skirts, boho purses and eccentric tapestries.
“Clothing is our most popular item and our incense, along with our tapestries,” Markusen said.
Outfit 1 – One World is now bringing in long-sleeved dresses for the winter and holiday season. This black and white horizontal stripe dress with bold black sides, worn with a teal belt, is a hot style this season.
Outfit 2- Slouchy sweaters are always popular during the colder months. One World just got in this black-and-red slouchy sweater, which can be dressed up or used as a comfortable staple.
Lot 2029 made its way to Fargo at 612 Main Ave. in April. Owner Hope Wald started the first store in Bismarck during summer 2011 and is hoping to start looking for a third location after the holiday season.
The boutique features a variety of style options for patrons, from girly party dresses to the everyday jeans and a T-shirt look.
“It’s a really eclectic vibe,” Wald said. “I try to cater to a one-stop shop where you can come in and find really cute girly outfits for out on the town or you can find an edgier day look.”
Lot 2029 receives new products every day and features brands from multiple vendors and trade shows.
“My major is in fashion design, and eventually down the road I would love to have my own line in the store, but right now I go through different vendors,” Wald said.
Classic items are always found at Lot, but Wald likes to bring in the trends to meet the demands of the client base.
“For the last three years the trends have been sequins,” Wald said. “Everyone really likes that sparkle as we get close to the holiday season.”
Outfit 1 – This fun, cutout sparkly dress is paired with a patterned blazer and fringe cream scarf.
“This look is a really feminine look that you maybe wouldn’t be wearing out on the town but you can wear the blazer with it to dress it down,” Wald said.
Outfit 2 – Print pants and chunky sweaters are all the rage this year. Pairing the pants with a chunky lace top and jewel-tone necklace is also trending this season.
“The last look we chose because it had really bold prints to it.” Wald said. “It’s something that we are trying to play up this winter.”
Outfit 3 – Chunky is a big trend this winter. Playing up the hot hunter green coat, the necklace, sweater and slim bottom combo is a must-have look.
“The chunky necklace with the chunky sweater and chunky coat paired with the slimmer bottom really makes it comes together,” Wald said.
So next time you are out shopping for a night on the town or your cousins wedding, keep these downtown shops in mind, and make sure you have the latest trends in your closet.
(Edited by Madalyn Laske, MSUM Multimedia Journalism)