Summertime and the sea have long been synonymous and no place personifies nautical style better than Newport. From Jacqueline Kennedy in crisp white clam-diggers to the bow-tie and bedecked social set to folk festival hipsters, the City by the Sea has a panache all its own. Here are some local shops where you can channel the Newport look in your wardrobe, accessories and home. See more of Andrea’s sartorial inspirations at NewportStylephile.com
1. Sara Campbell
At least once a summer there will be a dress in Sara Campbell’s Bellevue Avenue window that commands my attention and makes my “must have” list. In a city with a jam-packed events calendar, not to mention weddings, parties and more, Campbell’s made-in-the-U.S. designs (the designer lives and works in Massachusetts) are feminine, flattering and timeless.
2. Lou Lou's Decor
Beaded table runners and napkin rings resembling scallop shells, coral decor, sea-glass-hued candles, monogrammed throw pillows and canvas totes, boat-shaped shelving units — interior designer Stacey Carlson has stocked Lou Lou’s Décor with some of her, and my, favorite finds. I’m currently coveting the piece by Newport/LA artist Chris Wyllie of a vintage-looking surfer girl painted on reclaimed wooded slats.
3. Pink Pineapple
I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen women of all ages start to walk past Pink Pineapple’s shop windows, stop, point, smile and go inside. Owner Stacie Hall has always known exactly what Newporters, and those who love Newport, will adore. Think trendy accessories – right now: tons of pom pom and tassel necklaces, off-the-shoulder tops and wide-brim hats with fun sayings including “Beach Bum,” “Mermaid,” and “Vitamin Sea” – to light cashmere sweaters, perfect for cool summer nights, emblazoned with anchors, lobsters and snarky quips like “Holy Ship.” Do I need reusable frost flex cups that say “Stay Salty,” “Seas the Day” and “It’s Always Happy Hour at the Beach?” Yes. Yes, I do.
4. Frazzleberries Country Store
The only problem when you go to Frazzleberries Country Store for a gift is that you’ll probably end up getting something for yourself as well. The Narragansett Bay nautical wall maps and stone coasters, wineglasses and mugs with Newport’s longitude and latitude, and plethora of signs touting the best local beaches for sinking your toes in the sand will be sure to remind you that there’s no place like Newport.
5. The Groovy Gator
The Groovy Gator offers whimsical and nautical clothing and accessories for newborns to tween boys and girls. Owner and designer Leslie Cathers has an unmatched eye for all things adorable and fresh. Bathing suits with palm prints and pom poms, glitter-emblazoned mermaid tanks, tutu dresses, colorful shoes and pint-sized fedoras — whether it’s the Newport or Portsmouth branch, this shop is for the pint-sized precious.
6. Brick Market
The Museum & Shop at Brick Market is a somewhat hidden gem located in the 1762 Brick Market on Washington Square. It’s unassuming, but always delivers when it comes to awesome, distinctive gifts like “Bad Girls Throughout History” notecards (each featuring remarkable women who changed the world), the Wine Wars trivia game, books of all kinds (cooking/recipes, history, fiction set in Newport) by local authors, Rhode Island–made jewelry, nautical decor and accessories and so much more.
7. The Newport Mansions
Admittedly, the Newport Mansions Shops are a haven for tourists, but they stock super unique finds (and locals know you’ll get the best bargains at the annual warehouse sale). I’ve slowly been building a “Votes for Women” set which toasts the slogan used by Alva Vanderbilt and her fellow suffragettes during rallies at Marble House and nationwide. The socialite-turned-activist had her china designed with this slogan, so why can’t I?
8. Michael Hayes
A Bellevue Avenue staple since 1983, Michael Hayes carries upscale lines for casual to formal looks. I’m currently loving the bright and summery off-the-shoulder dresses by Jude Connally that can be dressed up with heels or wedges or dressed down with comfy flats (I like Jack Rogers when in Newport… they were a favorite of Jackie O, too).