Thursday, December 4, 2008

Downtown Monroe Holiday Shopping Guide, Part 3

Who knew there were so many options for local, independent shopping in Monroe's Downtown? The thriving community of independent businesses is on of the things that attracted us to Monroe when we decided to relocate here ourselves nine years ago. Please see Part 1 for downtown eating establishments and gift certificates or Part 2 for home decor, art and collectibles.

Up this time, clothing and accessories in the Downtown area of Monroe, WI.

Clothing is always a popular holiday gift, and there are a variety of places in the Downtown area to pick up exactly what you need.

Uptown Girl is located on the north side of the Square. Billed as a "boutique for curvy women", Uptown Girl specializes in excellent quality plus size women's clothing. Hard to find brands and boutique lines are well represented, and they also carry Haflinger shoes from Germany, Pandora and Trollbeads charm jewelry. If you cannot find the right thing there, pop over to Town and Country Styles next door where you will find an large collection of comfortable, quality clothing and an even larger collection of accessories.

Nancy's, on the south side of the Square, features women's sizing from 6 to 20 plus petites in a variety of quality brands like Woolrich, Picadilly, Pendelton and more. Also on the south side, you can stop in to pick up quality item for the children on your holiday list. Our Kidz Kloset is has been undergoing a renovation on the storefront (oh, it is lovely!), but the same high quality brands of clothing, accessories and toys are still found inside. For newborn through tween, you will find just what you need for a holiday, birthday, baby shower or baptism gift. It is my go to store for high quality girls tights, infant shoes and wooden toys! Sizes go up to 14 for girls and 7 for boys. We can't forget Monroe Mania! Their Monroe-themed apparel is just the thing for any Cheesemakers or Cheesemaker fans on your list. Das Baumhaus is on the corner. Yesterday I talked about their collectible gifts, but they have a very large collection of women's clothing, jewelry, purses, scarves and more. You can find a little bit of everything in Das Baumhaus.

Keep on walking over to the east side, and be sure to visit JoAnn's Dress Shop. Their variety of special occasion dresses is wonderful, plus they have a great collection of skirts and refined outfits for women who do not like to live life in jeans and sweaters. If my husband is reading this, I am rather partial to the red dress currently in their window (hint, hint). A full service dress shop, they do alterations as well. JoAnn's will make sure that whatever you pick fits and flatters.

Special occasion outfits can also be found at Julie's Bridal Gallery on the west side of the Square. New to Downtown this year, Julie has wonderful dresses, and it great to have formal wear on the Square again. Also on the west side is Burrington Shoes. The Burringtons offer men's and women's shoes, slippers, handbags, laces, etc. Brands include New Balance, Red Wing, Irish Setter, SAS and much more.

Slightly off the Square to the southeast is where you can find Heartland Graphics. More Monroe apparel is here or design a customized print for your family or organization. Heartland Graphics also stocks Girl Scout uniforms and accessories.

Why should you shop local? Each dollar that you spend at a locally-owned, independent business circulates six times more in the community than each dollar spend at non-locally owned businesses. Buying that skirt at the dress shop helps JoAnn to buy a book from Kathy at Fireside, allowing Kathy to purchase lunch from Cafe Claudeen, helping Claudia to pick up shoes at Burrington's. Keeping these establishments alive makes a difference in the quality of life we enjoy in our community.

And our series on keeping it local this holiday season continues. Check back tomorrow for Part IV.

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