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Boutique Buyers Guide: The Dress Shop

Molly Hoeltke shows the ladies how to embrace their bohemian side.

blog by Molly Hoeltke  • 

It’s official: The Dress Shop in East Aurora is a bohemian wonderland. I immediately felt my inner flower child kick in as I walked into the beautiful store in the quaint and bustling village. 

The Dress Shop has an abundance of unique clothing hanging from its ceiling. Beautiful, built-in accessory display cases line the walls. Vintage furniture and sewing patterns adorn every free space (note—there’s also a vintage archive that the Metropolitan Costume Institute could showcase. Seriously.).


The Dress Shop in East Aurora.


As I walked around this magical space, looking for a few outfits that inspired me, I ended up with about 10. The only problem you run into at The Dress Shop is falling in love with everything.

So let’s take a look at summer style for the Buffalo bohemian:

1.) Unique Summer Florals. There are so many variations of floral: embroidery, lace, laser cut and paisley, to name a few. There are also the types of floral: ditsy, retro and watercolor. Then there are the size and color considerations. Things can get…complicated.

While making floral decisions, figure out what look and color scheme you would like first. You can mix floral patterns within that vibe. Try to vary size: if you have a large floral, compliment it with a smaller one, or a monochromatic print with one with more colors. 


Molly Hoeltke models a floral look.


2.) Traveling Light. Bohemian ladies always seem to have lots of layers to their looks without appearing weighed down. You need to think about the way your fabrics hang order to accomplish this effortless vibe. Ask yourself—how do the fabrics will relate to one another?

This tip is also applicable to your summer trips. The less luggage you have to carry, the more enjoyable your travels will be. Pack smart! Bring a few statement pieces from your wardrobe and balance those with items that you can mix and match to make multiple looks.


Molly Hoeltke: traveling light.


3.) Incorporating heavier fabrics. Incorporating leather and suede into spring/summer looks seems counterintuitive. Leather and suede are not just winter fabrics! These materials are great for vests, big belts, jewelry and, of course, shoes and handbags. Leather and suede are great ways to add some edginess to light summer fabrics. Fringe is almost exclusively a summer staple, which leads me to my next point…

4.) You Can Never Have Too Much Fringe.

5.) Share. If you happen across a piece you think your friend would like, buy it for them! It’s always nice to buy things for other people and you can encourage their eccentric side.


True Americana.


6.) Embrace the imperfection. Don’t be shy. When you’re embracing your bohemian self, you can absolutely put things together that do not belong: mix patterns, pull jewelry of an influence outside of your outfit, add a random color or texture, pair contradictory fabrics. You can really miss opportunities for unique ensembles when you restrict your dressing too much. Avoid looking ridiculous, but try to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where you’ll find a unique flair.


Finding a unique flair.


7.) Color me happy. Picking the right colors for a bohemian flair is as easy as deciding what color feels good to you. What feels good one day may not feel the same on another day, depending on your mood and the mood of the day. Pay attention, because you don’t want to be in muted rose if your day ends up fluorescent pink. 

8.) The softer side of gypsy. Gypsy can go girlie as easily as a romantic floral or lace (typically in muted colors). To boho-ify your girlie look, add an awesome pair of boots and some super-chunky jewelry.

9.) You still need your staples, eccentric lady. A good pair of flare denim. Basic camisole for layering. Neutral lightweight cardigan. Classic pair of wedges. These items will take your bold pieces far.

10. The final and most important ingredient: a free spirit! Bohemian requires a certain amount of playfulness in your attitude, so conjure that feeling up and you are ready for any summer adventure—in style.


Embrace your sense of adventure.

Clothing courtesy of The Dress Shop. Photos by Don Nieman.

TAGGED: bohemian, don nieman, east aurora, fashion, molly hoeltke, style tips, the dress shop

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  1. The Dress Shop May 26, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Thank You Molly - lovely story… Your work with Don is beautiful!