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A Girls Guide To Shopping and Style in South Beach

You may arrive in Miami new to the nightlife scene and notice that virtually every girl going out to a club is wearing a dress. The majority of SoBe club girls subscribes to the same concept-short, skintight, lots of cleavage, and paired with sky-high platforms or stilettos.
April 24, 2009 By Christy in Miami: Local News  | 12 Comments

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You may arrive in Miami new to the nightlife scene and notice that virtually every girl going out to a club is wearing a dress.  The majority of SoBe club girls subscribes to the same concept-short, skintight, lots of cleavage, and paired with sky-high platforms or stilettos.  Animal prints and rhinestone sightings are common here in South Beach.  Why do women in Miami seem incapable of putting an outfit together of say, a sexy silk top with trousers or a trendy camisole with skinny jeans and a vest?

South Beach women can, but we simply don’t want to.  There are many factors at play in our decision to wear a cocktail dress.  We want to show off our tan, show off our body, and it’s hot here!  We enjoy getting dressed up and looking as sizzling as our town’s nightlife.  We’ll save those skinny jeans for a night out in NY, thank you very much!  And most of Miami’s tourists play along.  A friend of mine revealed that, to her, one of the best parts of coming to Miami is being able to wear the racy dresses that somehow accumulate in her conservative closet!

If you look at your navy cotton eyelet dress and realize it’s more appropriate for your Aunt Martha’s New England clambake than a night out in SoBe, I can help.  But only if you realize (as your eyes glide over the rest of your unpacked dresses) that you have a serious problem that can only be solved with shopping.

The following boutiques offer up dresses with serious SoBe style

Sexy Rich Girl – You don’t need to be rich to shop here since every dress is under $60, but you’re guaranteed to leave looking sexy in one of their hot dresses. The fabric and quality isn’t great, it’s sort of a buy-and-wear-once type of dress.  At Sexy Rich Girl, you’ll find very short and flashy dresses in a wide variety of neon colors. They don’t carry a huge selection, and you
really need to dig through the racks to find what you’re looking for.  They do, however, carry the ever-popular banded mini-dress and tunic dresses. Promise me you’ll make sure they’re not too short. If the sales person convinces you that you just need to wear the right underwear, put the dress down and walk away.  You know you’ll be dancing and you don’t want to constantly worry about flashing crowds of people.  If you need an inexpensive but trendy dress to just wear once, you won’t be disappointed.  1629 Washington Ave., prices from $29-$69.

Bebe- Most of us are familiar with this chain store featuring skimpy, yet trendy and flattering clothing at an affordable price.  I haven’t shopped here in ages; that is until I arrived in South Beach and noticed what I saw in the windows is what I saw on the streets - not the classic little black dress, but the tiny black dress!  A tiny shiny, skintight, black strapless dress with an exposed metal zipper, and some padded detailing at the bust, caught my eye and although it is something I would never wear, I decided to try it on along with a few others.  All zipped in, the dress made me look 10 lbs thinner and suddenly a cup size larger!  I also tried on a neon blue strapless 80’s style that looks great with a tan.  And it screamed take me out dancing!  I must confess, there was a bit of dancing going on in the dressing room!  The reason Bebe is a successful chain is because they know how to turn out a great product-good quality, trendy, dresses that flatter.  This is a must since they carry tons of SoBe style dresses at reasonable prices.  1029 Lincoln Rd., prices from $89-$179.

U-Rock Couture- Couture-Like all the other little boutiques on Lincoln Rd., you’ll see sparkly Ed Harvey and Christian Adler shirts in the store window , along with a dress or two, and stacks of jeans.  Only 15% of the store is dedicated to dresses, but the buyer has a great eye.  Lots of bejeweled necklines, quality fabric, sexy cuts, and total south beach style all the way!  There are other boutiques along Lincoln Rd. that carry dresses, but if you’re in a time crunch just head here for the nicest pieces.  Although the styles and colors are limited, you won’t leave empty handed.  And because they have a limited inventory, chances are you won’t see anyone else at the club in the same dress.  635 Lincoln Rd., prices range depending on designer, $150-$500.

Atrium- Writing about Atrium is like writing about my true love.  This store is pure shopping heaven. It’s a tightly edited collection of all the clothes you could ever need in South Beach. For our purposes here, sadly I must only speak of the dresses.  Get out of my mind Sergio Rossi black gladiator style heels at $890! Actually those would go perfectly with one of their edgy dresses. They feature so many different small name designers, but have no more than 3 sizes of every dress, so you need to get lucky.  I found a turquoise halter wrap dress with gold metallic stripes for only $255 that’s also available in black, and a beautiful, silky number that I didn’t try on, for fear of not being able to leave the store without it.  A gorgeous gold pailette dress stood out at $2,400. Unique cuts, edgy styles, and quality pieces make this my number one pick.  Helpful, no-pressure salespeople make it a great shopping experience.  Since the dresses are trendy and unique, remember to fall in love with one that fits and flatters you, not just the hanger.  You can accessorize your new frock with their stunning collection of shoes and several amazing evening clutches.  1931 Collins Ave., prices range from $250-$1000, with several one of a kind pieces priced above $1000.

Claudio- Do you need something that is totally flashy and really special? Italian born, Miami-based designer Claudio offers beautiful and one of a kind cocktail dresses. If you’re wearing one of his dresses, trust me, your evening will not just end with cocktails.  Make sure to weed out the special occasion dresses that are suited more towards, well, a special occasion, and not a night out at a club.  The store carries a wonderful array of Swarovski encrusted mini dresses in a rainbow assortment of colors, guaranteed to say “Look at me! I’m fabulous!”  There are two racks of black and white dresses, if you want to stay with something neutral.  But if you’re at Claudio, neutral is not what you’re after!  If you’re searching for something bejeweled and dazzling, you will most certainly find it.  Shop here for a night out clubbing, and everyone’s eyes will be on you!  If you decide you’re ready to drop some serious coin bring your black AMEX, because prices start at $1000. 1661 Collins Ave., prices from $1000-$14,000.

Please note that in most of the above boutiques, you can negotiate on price.

Happy Shopping!

Related Categories: Shopping Miami: Local News,

Christy offers a fresh perspective on life and style in Miami. You can reach her at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Christy.

See more articles by Christy

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12 Comments on

"A Girls Guide To Shopping and Style in South Beach"

Curious Onlooker says:

Nice article.  I have two questions though.  When you mentioned “sparkly Ed Harvey and Christian Adler shirts” were you referring to Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier shirts?  Also, how does one go about negotiating the price on clothing?

Posted on 04/25/2009 at 5:48 PM

Christy says:

Yes, those are the shirts I meant.  For some reason, they’re still popular here. As far as negotiating price..Bebe won’t do that because it’s a chain. At Atrium it wouldn’t hurt to ask for 20% off. At U-Rock, Claudio, and Sexy Rich Girl ask for 30% or more off. Sometimes while you’re browsing, the salesperson will say, “I can give you a great deal on that dress today.”

Posted on 04/25/2009 at 6:41 PM

options says:

There is also the boutique on 9th and collins, the Webster, and they are moving into their self named building on 12th/collins.

Posted on 04/26/2009 at 11:46 AM

Christy says:

I’ve visited the Webster twice. Everything there is a major label-Gucci, Prada, Marc Jacobs, etc. I will definately review this store at some point for another article. It didn’t work for me this time because throughout the entire store there were only about four dresses that would work for going to a club. I also spoke with their PR person and she was going to give me a tour and tell me about the store but then decided they wanted no press until their 12,000 sq ft , 3 level store opens. I went to the store on my own since a PR person telling me no does not scare me, and decided not to include it due to the tiny selection of going out dresses.

Webster definitely has a great collection of sportswear, footwear, and handbags.

Is Webster one of your favorite boutiques?

Posted on 04/29/2009 at 12:22 PM

Christy says:

As far as negotiating on price, I just went to Atrium a few days ago and no discount. The last time the answer was yes…It makes sense to at least ask.

Posted on 04/29/2009 at 12:27 PM

Maria de los Angeles says:

Fabulous article, Christyl! I’m going to link to it from my blog.  Question:  I have never seen anything in these stores over a size 8, 10 if you’re lucky.  If you’re over that size, where can you shop for cute, club wear in SoBe?

Posted on 04/29/2009 at 5:23 PM

Sungal says:

I’m glad you enjoyed the article want it in your blog! I will check next time I’m out shopping and report back. There was a size 10/12 woman out and about in a black halter satin dress when I was taking photos, but she wouldn’t agree to being photographed.

Posted on 04/29/2009 at 6:16 PM

Maria says:

Thank you, Sungal.  I can’t think of anywhere else on the beach besides Macy’s where an average woman (size 12 or above, which is the norm in this country) can shop.

I find it a little disturbing that these shops don’t cater to the majority size, because a) they lose brisk business and b) it goes with the whole club mentality that you have to be a certain size to get in, which is discriminatory.  You cannot imagine how dismaying it is to go to a store and see so many beautiful things yet nothing whatsoever that caters to your size and that is appropriate for your figure.

I hope fuller-figured women who read this are not turned off and will still come to our fair beaches and enjoy the nightlife here.  While I am not a plus-sized woman, I’d love to see the day when South Beach has a Lane Bryant.  We all deserve to look good and have fun!

Posted on 05/04/2009 at 2:16 PM

nicole struelens says:

where else can I find dresses in sobe for under $60? Also I’m a DD, any shops catering to me?

Posted on 09/15/2009 at 11:19 AM

channiiee says:

What can i wear to j2 nitgh club with black high heels

Posted on 07/15/2010 at 11:55 AM

channiie babiiee says:

*night

Posted on 07/15/2010 at 11:56 AM

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