Hip Mom: Goes Shopping in Tulsa

Last month we explored a world of hipness inaccessible to most of us who have been knee deep in spit-up lately:  that of the pretty young thing. Glowing, lithesome seraphim who roll out of bed and are de facto gorgeous, without shapewear, without foundation primer, without under eye concealer. Most of their problems are no more pressing than whether that cute guy in pre-algebra noticed their hair today. Of course, it’s good to know where these ingénues shop, but perhaps even more interesting? Where their moms and their friends shop – women who have lived in Tulsa for a while, women who may have had a long career, women whose children are all potty trained, moms who have emerged from all the spit-up, carpool lines, soccer practices, teenage eye rolling, college applications, and can now say — I SURVIVED.

So to discover some of these sages’ secrets, I start my search at Donna’s Fashions at 101st and Yale. This is a sophisticated, well-edited boutique, definitely for grown-ups.  Carrie S. walks me through the store pointing out what’s chic right now. Colored jeans are the must-have this fall and winter, just like for the younger girls. I spy a delectable pair of hot orange jeans that reveal a subtle python print as I get closer. And skinny jeans and jeggings are still hot, but Carrie notes that if you’re like me and can’t get within eight feet of a jegging without wanting to do a juice fast STAT, slim cut jeans will provide the same silhouette. Boots are also red-hot – riding boots, Western boots, biker boots, booties. Another easy go-to, comfy look that is still au courant? Tunics with leggings.

Carrie also shows me some unique accessories to spice up your wardrobe — like some sexy scarves that appear to be feathers but are actually fashioned out of fur. They both keep you warm and boost your street cred. An intricate, layered necklace from “Religious Rock Star” boasts authentic medallions from Italy – it makes me feel like I’ve come straight from a Vatican pilgrimage just looking at it! Another find: a great brand of jeans called True Lux – with a bit of bling, they’re hip but aren’t as low rise as teeny bopper jeans.

Donna, the store owner, shows off a button-up shirt by George Roth – they make gorgeous floral patterned chemises with exquisite detailing, so easy to dress up or down. Some of them sport sequined collars – on the underside! Donna’s also has a beautiful assortment of tunics and shirts by Double D Ranchwear – comfy enough for moms, but carefully embroidered with such intricate designs you’ll feel like you spent a lot more time getting ready than you did.

Then I head out to survey some real-life hot and hip ladies. First, I talk to Lindy R., the principal at my kids’ elementary school. Every time – EVERY time – I see her she always looks soignée and put together – AND sporting an enviable choice of lust-inspiring pumps. So I pose some questions to Lindy:

Where are your favorite places in Tulsa to shop?

I am all over the place! My “go to” stores where I know I will find just what I need:  Banana Republic, J. Crew and Ann Taylor. I also love to boutique shop! I like Bella Dames, Ribbons and Francesca’s. When we travel, I try to find boutiques known to that area and grab a little something from them. My mom taught me early on that you buy some really nice pieces for your wardrobe that you can always go to, then add accessories along the way to update.

What items over the years have you found you keep coming back to – whether it’s a certain brand, item of clothing, or cosmetic?

I love my spring and summer clothes! I like to wear dresses and skirts, flip flops, pretty sandals and heels. But there is nothing better on a cool day then an old pair of Levis and a big baggy sweatshirt!

 Most critically: Where do you get your shoes?

I usually find my shoes in Tulsa at Dillard’s, Ann Taylor or Francesca’s. Also,  I had one child attend OSU and one attend OU. I was quick to find fun places to shop while visiting. Campus Corner in Norman has lots to offer and has one of my favorite shoe stores, “Shoetopia!” In Stillwater I am a fan of “Flynnagins” for clothing AND shoes. Do you see a theme? I am bad about buying my shoes first and then building the outfit around them. I recently bought a pair of Michael Kors wine-colored, suede pumps – I LOVE them!

 Where do you like to shop for holiday gifts?

I love to antique shop, so I try to find gifts throughout the year. I like to attend craft shows such as “The Heart of Tulsa.” I love to pick up things throughout the year at Canterbury Lane at 101st and Yale or down the street at The Perfect Touch. For the boys, anything I can find that relates to sports or the outdoors, usually Bass Pro.

Then I speak to Nancy B., who is the editor of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s magazine, Intermission. Nancy’s boys are 25 and 27.

Where are your favorite places in Tulsa to shop?

I tend to frequent that wing of Woodland Hills Mall where Talbot’s, Chico’s and Ann Taylor are located. I also shop at Dillard’s and Macy’s. Away from the mall, I really like Compliments at 81st and Lewis. And I’ve found some cute things at the Mary-Ruby Shop, which was founded by grandmother, Mary Carle, and operated by her and my aunt, Nancy Bloomfield, for many years in various locations on Cherry Street. It’s at 61st and Yale now.

What items over the years have you found you keep coming back to — whether it’s a certain brand, item of clothing or cosmetic?

I never can seem to have enough scarves, cardigans and simple knit tops with bracelet-length sleeves.

When you’re over 50, it gets harder to look “hip” and also age-appropriate. But I don’t believe in that “rule” that says, “if you wore this trend the first time, you can’t wear it the next time it comes in fashion.” I loved bell-bottoms in the ’70s and again in the ’90s; the same for leggings in the ’80s and 2000s. I think it all comes down to what you’re comfortable wearing and what looks good on you.

You must get to go to a lot of parties/events related to your job (envious sigh…)…where do you like to buy more formal clothing?

I often find them at the stores I mentioned above, but sometimes I’ll go to Saks or Miss Jackson’s in Utica Square.

Where do you like to shop for holiday gifts?

Online! I really don’t enjoy schlepping around shopping centers when they’re crowded. If I don’t have time to order something online, I can usually find something unique at The Perfect Touch at 91st and Yale, whether it’s for Christmas or some other occasion, such as a birthday or baby shower.

Finally, I speak to Judy P.  Judy is a step-mom and new grandmother. Her multifaceted career included a stint as a Budgeting Manager for the City and an interim directorship at the Gilcrease Museum.

Where are your favorite places in Tulsa to shop?

When I was still working, I used to shop and spend a substantial amount on clothing. I loved Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Banana Republic, to name a few. Now that I no longer need “career” clothes, my clothing budget has dwindled; however, my love of fashion has not. So, to work within my smaller clothing budget, yet feed my fashion “ego” and desire for new trends, I shop at more affordable stores in Tulsa, such as Target, Gap, T J Maxx, Ross, Kohl’s, and DSW. Of course, you may have to spend some time looking to find the good stuff, but I have purchased some very nice, and trendy, items shopping in these stores. Don’t get me wrong, if I find a great pair of jeans at Buckle, or a beautiful handbag at Dillard’s, it’s mine.

What items over the years have you found you keep coming back to – whether it’s a certain brand, item of clothing, or cosmetic?

Denim! I love most anything denim – jeans, shirts, or a jacket. I own a lot of jeans – blue jeans, skinny jeans, corduroy jeans. And, of course, I have complied with the fashion demands of brightly colored jeans. Jeans can be dressed up, dressed down, worn with boots, high heels, or flip-flops. I wear them with sweaters, tee-shirts, or dress them up with a nice blazer. They are very versatile and easy to maintain.

Another “go-to” for me is anything black. Besides being “slimming” and neutral, black items make it easy to put together an outfit. I love to wear black and denim, black and white, black and gray, or black and a bright color such as hot pink. I have also found over the years that black items make packing for a trip much easier. I know I can throw in several black tops, sweaters, slacks, shoes and have several options for dressing each morning.

I’m not “label” or “brand” conscious. If I like a clothing item and it fits and looks right for me, it goes home with me.

So there you have it — Tulsa offers up enough options for these stylish, vibrant women to dress exactly how they please.  And they inspire me, and convince me, that yes, one day, I too will emerge and have time to think — and, more importantly, time to shop!Hip Shopping Secrets

Categories: Hip Mom