As Labor Day approaches and summer draws to a close, we’ve been hunting at Birmingham’s best boutiques for the perfect end-of-summer buys. From back-to-school looks and home decor pieces to drool over, here are 18 FINDS perfect for taking you from one season to the next.
FASHION & ACCESSORIES
Statement patterns + a neutral bag
Tucked into Lane Parke in Mountain Brook is B. Prince, a store we can’t get enough of. If you’re in the market for a stunning top to pair with white pants before Labor Day (if you still ascribe to the old rule!), try this Ulla Johnson Gaia patchwork top, which retails for $475. We’re also loving the Pennyroyal Dany bag, which we found for $360. Neutral pieces like these can easily be dressed up or down, and they transition beautifully from late summer into fall, making them well worth the splurge!
At Dirty Hippie in Vestavia Hills, this $72 Meely piece immediately caught our eyes. Hand beaded with a scalloped edge front flap, this bag can be worn as a crossbody or clutch (just tuck the crossbody strap into the bag). Perfect for a glam night-out look, or for elevating a casual pairing of jeans and a tank top — we love its versatility!
The perfect slide
We found our favorite summer sandal — the Ella Block Slide — at Mia Moda Boutique in Vestavia Hills. (We were drawn to the black, but these also come in silver and a black snake pattern.) The shoes retail for $80 and go with literally everything. Plus, they’re a chic, comfortable all-day choice.
If you prefer to stick to solids, we suggest this gorgeous Cynthia Ashby jade knit tunic from Bearden Design et Boutique in Homewood. This long, sleeveless tank looks great worn on its own in late summer, but it travels beautifully into layering for fall — it’s yours for $115.
Charm set necklace
Elia Fulmen, founded by Whitney Wright, is a Birmingham-based jewelry brand with a mission that goes beyond fashion. This jewelry line is designed to create moments of connection between women all over the world. The 14k gold vermeil jewelry is made to be worn, shared, and traded through symbolic charms designed to attach and detach from your Elia Fulmen chain jewelry with ease. Each charm is uniquely numbered, so recipients can log their charm and story to create a living record to celebrate each woman who has worn it. This modern set, celebrating energy and light, was designed with a nod to old-world opulence. Find it for $325 at Elia Fulmen.
FOR THE HOME
If mirrors could talk! This painted walnut mirror from Mountain Brook’s Henhouse Antiques is steeped in history. This French piece, circa 1870, retails for a hefty $3,400, but it would make a fabulous, one-of-a-kind addition to any home and will quickly become a treasured piece to pass down from one generation to the next.
Light the way
In keeping with the French design theme, we love this wrought-iron hexagonal lantern with glass panes, which we found for $1,900 at Lolo French Antiques et More on 1st Avenue South. Its elaborate design features a stylized fleur-de-lis and was created in the early 1900s. Another stunning one-of-a-kind piece!
Dishing it up
We can always find a good buy at Pepper Place’s Design Supply, and during our most recent trip, we fell in love with these dishes from the Slim Collection, which can be bought as a set or individually. The bowl is $37.75; the smaller side plate is $41.50; the larger side plate is $43.50, and the dinner plate is $54.
Artisanal wine glasses
Chic and whimsical at once, we adore this pastel wine glass set. We opted to share the blushed pink, but there’s also a mint green set available at CIRCA in Mountain Brook. The full set of six stemless glasses — hand-blown by glass artisans in Poland — is $160.
We stumbled across this Braxton dresser at At Home Furnishings in Homewood and wanted it for ourselves. For $825, it makes a lovely storage solution for bedrooms and beyond. Sturdy design and tasteful hardware round out its list of features we love.
Huge Dutch Euro pillow
Dorm Decor’s signature pillow, the Huge Dutch Euro, is the perfect addition to any bedroom — it’s not just for dorm living (though any college student would LOVE to receive one). This oversized pillow is custom-made for Dorm Decor and is stuffed with a premium fill. The 15 cover styles include a forgiving linen and rayon blend, a plush, washable velvet, and a faux suede, so you’re sure to find the perfect design to fit your aesthetic. The pillow can also be monogrammed for a personal touch. Order yours today, starting at $219, from Dorm Decor.
FOR THE KIDS
One for her, one for him
Our new favorite kids’ clothing store is Dear Emmaline in Vestavia Hills — and trying to pare down our selections to one girl and one boy look was nearly impossible. We opted for this pink scallop collar knit dress from Zuccini for $48 and this light blue knit longall, also from Zuccini, which was originally priced at $38 — but we found it on sale for $19.
Gypsy Girl in Mountain Brook specializes in tween fashion — a market all its own. We were drawn to this adorable Sadie & Sage chambray romper for the tween in our lives, which retails for $52.
Retro is always in — from fashion to lava lamps, it seems. We spotted this tie-dye pink spiral lava lamp at Learning Express Toys & Gifts in Vestavia Hills for $29.99. Recommended for kids 8 years old and up, this lava lamp is updated and improved — a fresh take on an old trend.
Red currant and orange candle
We love a good candle — and this one smells divine! You can’t go wrong with a candle from The Cottage Basket in Homewood, but this red currant and orange scent is particularly enchanting and retails for $24.
Send the college student in your life back to school with a gameday bag from The Warehouse Collective. Each bag comes with a detachable strap that represents their favorite team’s colors. Plus, each bag is clear and meets most NCAA and NFL stadium rules. Find your team’s colors (including the University of Alabama and Auburn!) for $155 each at SB Shop.
Happy August, Birmingham!