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LOCAL BOUTIQUES PUT STYLE INTO SUMMER

This season, fashion trends are as bright as the Lowcountry sun. Corals and oranges as are the standout hues, setting the tone for 2019’s warm-weather fashion.

Every year designers, clothing brands and retailers work from two color collections from color powerhouse Pantone. There is a collection of 16 colors that the company predicts will be hot for spring and summer and another set of 16 for fall and winter. The company also announces a color of the year — and this year, appropriately, it’s a peachy-pink shade called “Living Coral.”

fashion trends3On Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, owners of boutiques take these trends into account. They have to keep abreast of color and style trends while making sure the clothes they buy for their stores will appeal in the Lowcountry.

“We like to feature items that everybody can wear, no matter their age, size or lifestyle,” said Nora Innis, buyer at Aiden Lane, which sells labels like Habitat, Moda and Cut Loose. “If I see a trend, I touch on it lightly.” 

Harbour Town boutique Radiance also caters to a variety of ages and styles, offering everything from soft bohemian tops and unstructured blazers to velvet pajamas.  Women shopping there on a recent afternoon included locals, second-home owners and vacationers.

“It’s not about how old you are; it’s about feeling good,” said Linda Richards, owner of Radiance, which offers brands like Free People, Sanctuary and Michael Stars. “We take a trend and tone it down a little, so that we can all feel comfortable wearing it.”

At Cocoon in Bluffton, owner Ann Marie Goodlife only carries clothes that meet four criteria: the fabric has to be comfortable, the piece has to be easy to wear and fit well, it has to be easy to care for, and it has to travel and fold well. 

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Because women of a certain age may be reluctant to show offer their arms or legs, Cocoon carries tops with sleeves and a good selection of long summer dresses by brands like Jude Connally, Barbara Erickson and Sailor-Sailor.

Sisters Anna-Pepper Hewett and Emily Burden also keep their customers in mind when shopping for their Bluffton boutique, Gigi’s. They look for unique items by brands like Articles of Society, Barbour, Ciao Milano, Escapada Living and Joy Joy, but they’re “sensitive to the price point,” Hewett said.

The boom in Bluffton has meant visitors and locals are browsing the store’s racks, often on the hunt for different types of pieces.

“We sell a fur vest in August for our northern customers, and they’re thrilled!” she said.