Local Love: Central Illinois Fashion Boutiques

As I’m writing this, I’m trying to wean off the Sunday scaries with a little AGT watching, apartment tidying, and blog post writing. Anyone else feel a little overwhelmed on Sunday nights at the thought of a new work week? I can’t really pinpoint why I get the feels sometimes, but I try to turn them around by getting excited. I think about the projects I’m working on (like this post about fashion boutiques!) and the activities I have planned. Writing things down also makes a huge difference for me. Even if I don’t use my paper planner religiously, just jotting down the main things helps get my mind right for the week.

Another thing that helps? Pouring myself into things I’m passionate about, and this blog post combines some of my very favorite things: writing, fashion, and local businesses. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a very long time and show some local love to a few central Illinois fashion boutiques that I’ve come to love. Let me tell you, there are some really great businesses in this area, but don’t worry, most of them also sell their clothing online through their website or social media!

Below are some of my personal favorite local fashion boutiques. (Click the boutique name to shop their site!)

1. Fox and Pine
Mint off-the-shoulder top from Fox and Pine, Photo credit: Magnolia Rayne Photography

I have absolutely loved watching Janessa transform her adorable trolley into the traveling Fox and Pine mobile boutique! She has the best personality and a great sense of style, and that’s definitely reflected in the unique and fun pieces she chooses for her boutique. In addition to that mint top, I also have a green bomber jacket and blue ruched knit dress that I love. These pieces may be sold out, but trust me, I’m sure you can find plenty of other items you’ll love. Follow her on Facebook or Insta at @shopfoxandpine to stay up-to-date on her trolley stops and new arrivals!

Inside the Fox and Pine trolley
2. Refined Peddler Apparel

I wish I had more summer-y pieces to show you from this boutique, but I definitely love the cozy fall sweaters I’ve purchased. Beyond the clothes, I admire how the owner Kianna truly lives out what her boutique is all about – enjoying life’s true, simple pleasures, expressing your unique style, and cherishing the old and the new. She finds vintage items like glassware and prints to sell, as well as new items including chic, versatile clothing. You’ll see this gal pop up at local markets (follow her on Insta at @refinedpeddlerapparel) and you can shop her boutique online!

3. Above Able
Off-the-shoulder top and paper bag skirt from Above Able

You may have seen me post about the Above Able launch party that I recently planned with Nicole from The Gorman Guide (@thegormanguide). Nicole and I met through Instagram, and when she asked me about collaborating for the launch of her new online style lounge, I was immediately all in! She has carefully chosen pieces that take you from work to weekend, from play dates to date nights – effortless, versatile pieces. She is just the sweetest and has a great sense of style. I just know she’s going to do big things with her new shop, including inspiring the women around her. Shop the items I currently own below:
black off the shoulder top
beige paper bag skirt
lavender knit tunic top

4. Hello Headband
Assortment of headbands from Hello Headband

I became obsessed with these headbands last year when I found them at a local market. However, these ladies have been making headbands by hand since 2011! They use high quality, super soft fabric, and their TIEbands can be worn so many different ways. They even added scrunchies recently! I’ve watched their popularity explode on Instagram, and I’m so happy to see the growth and support they’ve experienced. I love these headbands so much that I gifted them at a favorite things party last year – you can see all the ones I chose in that photo! I personally own the cream velvet/gold polka dot BENDYband and black and white floral FITband.

5. Opal Eden

Taylor from Taylor Katina’s Photography recently opened her online boutique Opal Eden selling earrings and more recently candles! Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she has also an eye for selecting unique pieces from artists and supporting small businesses. When I saw these milk/mustard safari earrings, I knew I had to have them! They were different than anything I currently own, and I wear them even more than I expected!

Taylor herself wearing the same earrings!
6. Refine 309

This boutique in downtown Bloomington is one of my favorites, and the owner Christina is one of the main reasons why. When you go in her shop, it’s like shopping with your bestie. Her and her team will hype you up when you try on their super cute clothes, and maybe even offer you a glass of wine to relax while you shop. (First Fridays in downtown Bloomington are the best time to shop!)

Other favorites:

Fierce Spirit
Although I haven’t bought anything from this boutique yet, I am OBSESSED with their mission. As in, 100% of the profits – one hundred percent – goes towards helping female entrepreneurs establish their businesses. I can get behind any company who has such an amazing mission. And the clothes are super cute!

Dear Birdie
I love this gal’s cool, laid-back, country-music-video-chic style! There are a few items that have almost made me click ‘add to cart,’ including some sassy purple pants (that totally remind me of Selena and would’ve been perfect for the JLo concert), a sweet, off-the shoulder polka dot blouse with bell sleeves, and jewelry like the Tortoise Crescent Moon Necklace and these turquoise earrings. Ahhh I’m about to make a purchase just writing this, lord help my budget.

No Roots Boots
Oh. My. Goodness. I freakin love this girl’s boots. And her style. And her personality. And her adorable Airstream! We haven’t met (yet), but I love how much true soul she puts into her business. Every boot and everything you see is a representation of her authentic style and vision. I just love that. I think it’s about time for me to invest in a pair for fall, like this little number that seems totally Joanna Gaines-approved. Or this saucy pair (Flowers and Leather vibes anyone?).

VerClare Boutique
Royal and Reese
The Runaway Rack
gigi BOTTEGA
Midwest Blush

I feel like I’m blanking on a few more of my favorites, but I’d love to hear from you! Tell me some of your favorite local fashion boutiques so I can go support them!

Happy shopping local!! <3

Sara

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