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The Lilly You Can Wear

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You don't need to be a youngster to shop at Palm Patch (5933 Magazine St., 899-9797; 2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-0039) -- sizes run the gamut from 2T to adult women's sizes -- but once you pull on the fashions, you'll definitely feel younger and owner Aaron Shaffer says you'll look younger, too.

Shaffer operates the store on Magazine Street, which opened in January, and his wife runs the Metairie Road store, which has been open about three years. Between the two locations, shoppers will find the complete line of Lilly Pulitzer fashions, which include pants, tops, coats, skirts, dresses and shoes.

"Lilly Pulitzer is a real lifestyle brand," Shaffer says. "It's really bold and you have to be comfortable with yourself to wear it, because you're going to be noticed. It's really a statement.

"Lilly Pulitzer is an addiction. Once you see how you look in it, you'll be hooked. It takes years off your life."

The Old Metairie shop is a Lilly Pulitzer signature store, the only one in Louisiana. The Uptown store, however, also offers other designers whose styles blend well with Pulitzer's sensibilities and fashions. Those include a half-dozen styles of Dr. Scholl's shoes in about nine colors; Taylor New York, offering great wardrobe basics in prints and solids; monogrammed bags by J; Jade, whose designs are more sophisticated; Will River, which has attractive, stylish clothing at very affordable prices; and Matisse, fashionable shoes.

"There are so many high-end stores on Magazine Street that I like to do lots of great pants under $100 ... and where you can leave with an entire outfit for $200 or less," he says. "I want it to be a store that you can come in and feel like you don't have to spend your last dime, where you can leave with an outfit and still afford to go out to a nice dinner."

Fall (at the Uptown store) presents the most diverse mix of styles and labels, Shaffer says. "Soon, however, both stores will be filled with Lilly's resort wear, then spring and summer styles close behind. The spring collection will feature Pulitzer's take on parties, with all the prints following a celebratory motif. The resort wear collection is influenced by the Bahamas, with images including tiles from the Atlantis Hotel there and more.

"This stuff is really fabulous," Shaffer says. "In November and December, when a lot of people are thinking of traveling for the holidays ... they don't know where to find a bathing suit or resort wear. We're perfect for that look. We are definitely a one-stop shop for shopping for a cruise, a trip to Bahamas or Hawaii, when people are trying to get into brighter, sunnier weather for the holidays." The resort, spring and summer lines also will include ties, polo shirts and swimwear for men and boys.

Both Palm Patch stores also carry the Lilly Pulitzer-designed scarf, which sells for $30, with all proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen Cancer Fund. Shaffer says the two stores have sold more than 250 of the scarves since they became available less than a month ago.

 

New Place for an Old Friend

On the Other Hand, one of the city's first purveyors of vintage and "gently worn" previously owned clothing, is celebrating the grand opening of its new shop at 8204 Oak St. (861-0159). The store recently moved to Oak from Hampson Street, where it had operated for decades.

The merchandise, however, hasn't changed. Shoppers still will find everything from moderately priced casual and business wear to vintage and designer furs, evening gowns, jewelry, hats and accessories.

 

Great Meeting Place

The renovated Valentino Conti House (840 Conti St., 568-1984; www.valentinocontihouse.com), has opened as a venue for celebrations and business meetings, just in time for the holidays. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, the historic Valentino Conti house has banquet and reception facilities that can comfortably accommodate as many as 200 guests as well as smaller gatherings.

The building is an 1835 townhouse constructed by famed New Orleans architect James Gallier Sr. that has been restored and renovated with historical accuracy.

 

Walk Through History

A new tour company, Old World Tours, has started a trio of explorations of the city's cemeteries, legends, architecture and history that operate every day except Christmas and Mardi Gras.

City of the Dead tours begin at noon every day except Sunday, when the cemeteries are closed, and include a guided trip through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The French Quarter Odyssey tour begins at 3 p.m. and combines history and anecdotes about the lives of the city's noted ancestors as well as information about architecture and more. The French Quarter Ghost and Vampire Tour begins at 7 p.m. and features a walk through New Orleans' occult history.

All tours are about two hours long and leave from inside the Tricou House (711 Bourbon St., 944-8189). Reservations are required.

Assistant manager Katie Sweet (left) and sales - representative Kristy Tramuta stand among the - offerings in the kids' department at Palm Patch - Uptown.
  • Assistant manager Katie Sweet (left) and sales representative Kristy Tramuta stand among the offerings in the kids' department at Palm Patch Uptown.

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