I don't shop well alone. I'm indecisive, overwhelmed by too many choices and tall in the kind of circus-freak way that makes finding pants nearly impossible.
My only hope is an honest girlfriend, a companion to keep me calm, shoot me straight and steer me away from ho-hum fashion choices toward pieces I'll treasure.
The next best thing? Shopping at Evie Lou, the new Tremont boutique owned by former Plain Dealer style editor Kim Crow. Crow's readers are familiar with her blunt style advice — like "you don't have to be sloppy to be comfortable" — and she brings that frankness and gal-pal encouragement to her new store.
"I try to be honest," Crow says. "With a lot of people, I feel I already have a level of trust and can say, 'I think we can do better.' "
The store's philosophy came from its namesake, Crow's 4-year-old niece Evie, who told her Aunt Kimmy while shopping that she wanted to be comfy but look nice. It's a refrain Crow heard often from her PD readers.
"Listening to people for six years, ... that was what I heard: 'I just want to be comfortable,' " she says. "I felt everything they needed was here; they just didn't know where to find it."
You'll find plenty of fleece, jersey knit and soft cotton at Evie Lou, even in sizes up to 2X in some lines, without a hint of frump. Take, for instance, the T Los Angeles black lace dress made of Pima knit (instead of itchy, crinkly lace) with a super-soft black slip ($114), the forest green cable-knit cardigan tunic made of organic merino wool by Stewart + Brown ($198), or the cashmere boatneck sweater in a pale gray ($298) by Inhabit, one of Crow's favorite lines.
I walked away from Evie Lou with a tunic-length Prairie Underground zippered hoodie in chocolate brown ($198) that saw me warmly through the winter months.
Evie Lou's lines are thoughtfully selected and reflect Crow's years of experience shopping and writing about style. You'll nearly always find Crow working the Evie Lou floor, ready to suggest a top to flatter your hourglass or a dress that shows off your legs.
Just like a good girlfriend should.