Boutique Casual brands you need to know! There is room for discovering new things in fashion, and I’m all for trying out new stores that provide an effortless style to my clients.
Today’s guest is Aje, the owner of The American Alchemy in Ripon, Wisconsin. Her love for fabrics, fit, and textures is right up my alley, and when I send clients to shop from her store, I feel confident about the pieces they will buy. In this episode, we do another dive into casual wear and comfort because the last episode on How to Elevate your Style was a huge hit!
Topics we cover
- How your OWN personal style preference influences your casual wear
- Casual fashion brands you NEED to try
- What clients struggle with most when it comes to achieving a relaxed, comfortable look
- How to achieve an effortless style
How your OWN personal style preference influences your casual wear
Aje explains how her style preference influences her casual wear.
“It looks like an effortless style, but a lot of people overthink being casual,” she said. “It’s easy to look frumpy or not put together. Sometimes you can overdo with the relaxed pieces, and you no longer have a relaxed look.”
Aje’s style and The American Alchemy shop have excellent quality pieces and fit. The fabrics are going to fall nicely, and they’re going to fit really well. The silhouettes don’t look frumpy.
She looks for pieces like a two-piece jogger set she can wear when taking her kids back and forth on a Monday. She can throw a coat over the jogger set, making her look more put together and not be super fancy.
“Then I can work in that same jogger outfit on Thursday, put on Doc Martens and a more tailored laser-type longer coat and a hat,” she explained. “Now I just transformed that jogger set to look a little more polished, and I only added a coat and good, clean shoes.”
Casual fashion brands you NEED to try
“Perfect White Tee is handmade in L.A., and the fits are awesome,” Aje said. “Most of the products are 100% cotton, and when I first brought them into the boutique, people would cringe at the price, but when they tried them on, they would love them and come back to buy more.”
The American Alchemy’s top 10 pieces sold last year included pieces from the Perfect White Tee, including their Tyler Sweater, Blondie Tank, and the V-Neck. They perfected the perfect white tee.
Project Social T is also made in the USA, and their clothes fit all ages. “We carried them for six years. They give back to charity and the planet,” Aje said. “I love this brand because they really nailed the casual, upscale, sophisticated silhouette. They are so soft, and I can sell them to a 20 or 60-year-old client. They have a great fit for all ages.”
Aje’s third favorite casual brand is Richer Poorer. “They make the most delicious joggers and sweaters, and they make a thicker shirt, but it doesn’t feel heavier. They do responsible sourcing,” she said.
What clients struggle with most when it comes to achieving a relaxed, comfortable look
It starts with the clients first to see what they’re looking for. Then, she’ll guide them to the boutique’s best sellers or the best fits that work for most body types.
“We start out having fun,” Aje said. “When I show them something first, I look at their expression. Do they love it? Does the color already turn them off? Are they not feeling it? Then I start putting stuff in their try-on closet.”
But she doesn’t just leave them there! “When they put something on, I want to see it to help them see if the outfit works for them, so they look clean and polished,” she said.
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. If shopping is not your jam, and there are many things to see, Aje recommends asking the people working there because they know how certain pieces should lay.
How to achieve an effortless style
Aje insists on not giving up because you’ll have to play around a few times to see what feels good.
“We’re starting to see stars and influencers wearing these super casual jogger sets, neutral colors, and pulling it off in a photo or reel. You have to remember they’re basically like a stylist, so you’ll need to do a trial and error,” she said. “Be easy on yourself if you want to achieve it, and be bold and ask for tips and help whoever is there at the store.”
More from The American Alchemy:
Keep on building a life and style that truly reflect you.