Shopping for late summer/early fall

The air’s a little cooler, the shops are a little fuller, the clothes are a little cuter … what’s a girl to do but add to her wardrobe?

And if you’re my husband, stop reading right now. There’s nothing here for you to see. Nothing at all.

Is he gone? Okay – here’s the report on some early fall shopping I did around the Shoals in the last couple days.

A comfy knit Lily dress in cool fall colors.

A comfy knit Lily dress in cool fall colors.

First, a new boutique called Lynda’s Loft is open on Woodward Avenue in Muscle Shoals, Mondays-Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (4 p.m. on Saturdays). It’s owned by two friends named Lynda/Linda and has been open a week or so — and most of Muscle Shoals has gone to visit. You’ll find Kenzie separates, Lily dresses (like the one I bought, pictured left), embellished T-shirts and It jeans (which are about $75) as well as Alabama/Auburn wear, chunky bead jewelry, handbags and a line of bath and skin products. 

A cute coffee-themed long-sleeved T-shirt and cardigan. Who could resist? Not me!

A cute coffee-themed long-sleeved T-shirt and cardigan. Who could resist? Not me!

Prices were moderate — not scary at all. I especially liked that there were neutral basics of skirts, linen jackets and white button-down blouses — perfect for mixing-and-matching a stylish coordinated work wardrobe.


Then, today I went to Audie Mescal in Tuscumbia. Leslie Cassady, the owner of this upscale yet affordable boutique, does such a super job of finding creative and wearable pieces — and she knows how to put them together.

Three tops for early fall.

Three tops for early fall.

She sells Kenzie, Velvet and other fun lines as well as jewelry, shoes and under pieces (I just can’t say “underwear” in public!) I bought three versatile tops that will perk up my work-at-home wardrobe of jeans but I can still wear them with nicer skirts and pants for church and dressing up. The Velvet green with navy-gray embroidery is a thick knit that will also be great for next spring with white pants. The Kenzie black T-shirt with a big button at the neckline looks tres sophisticated with a simple five-year-old knit black skirt I’ve got. (I threw that “five-year-old” part in in case my husband’s still reading — See how frugal I am, dear???) And I can’t wait to wear the Ivy Jane silky scarf-print top with jeans — it seems very French to me, although all I know about France is they smoke a lot there and don’t like Americans. I also bought an adorable dip-dyed brown puffed-sleeve Kenzie dress with neckline embellishment.

I love this Kenzie dress!

I love this Kenzie dress!

When I first tried it on, I put it in the “no” pile since it was a little short. But I loved it, and Leslie suggested pairing it with opaque tights and a lightweight long-sleeved T-shirt for fall. Bingo! Thanks, Leslie, for helping me spend my money! I don’t know why this style dress as well as the pullover Lily I got at Lynda’s works for me — usually non-stick-skinny women like me need more structure in dresses, such as those with higher waists that sort of skim over my ample bottom half. But sometimes loosely-shaped styles fit well and disguise lumps and bumps, so I hit the jackpot here with these two. It works that way sometimes — I’ve got a couple of knit black pullover dresses with ruching along the waists that do a great job of hiding trouble spots, although on hangers they don’t look as if they’d be flattering at all. Bottom line (sorry for the pun): Always try on. You never know what will work.

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