Photo courtesy of Bambi Deville’s Vintage Clothing New Orleans on Facebook
Shopping in New Orleans gives visitors another way to experience the city’s vibrancy. Clothing in the French Quarter runs the gamut of styles and this list of some of the area’s best women’s clothing shops reflects that. Whether you’re looking for vintage or contemporary, formal or casual, there’s something for everyone in the French Quarter.
Dirty Coast (713 Royal Street)
Dirty Coast offers casual New Orleans themed clothing and gifts for women and men. Their French Quarter location opened in 2016 “at the corner of Pirates Alley and Touchdown Jesus” (their description). Since 2002 the company has printed more than 250 local designs for t-shirts and posters that proclaim their love for New Orleans. Co-founder and designer Blake Haney was in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina and created the company’s first design, a bumper sticker that said “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are” and stuck 5,000 of them all over the city as soon as he could move back. Write ups in the Times Picayune and the New York Times followed. The company now has devotees around the globe, locals and visitors who want to celebrate how much they love New Orleans.
Bambi DeVille Vintage (818 Royal Street)
Bambi DeVille Engeran’s vintage clothing business grew out of a lifetime of collecting, inspired by her father’s antique and collectible business with a thirty year history on Royal Street. The shop features vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories from the turn of the 19th century into the 1980s, with dresses and casual wear for every occasion. There are vintage kimonos from Kyoto, mid-century Mardi Gras capes and headdresses, and thousands of pieces of Bakelite. Housed in a former private residence built in the 1920s, the space also features photography, fine art, stamps, and coins. The family’s history in the area and the building’s design make the shop an unforgettable New Orleans experience.
Trashy Diva started in 1996 as a traditional vintage clothing store and has expanded into five shops across New Orleans carrying vintage inspired clothing and lingerie with contemporary touches. There are two locations on Royal Street: a lingerie shop near the cathedral and a clothing boutique two blocks up. Trashy Diva’s lingerie shops offers custom fitted corsets, essential to the city’s burlesque community, as well as myriad other lacy undergarments. Many styles in the clothing boutique pay homage to the 1940s and 50s; bold Asian inspired prints and elegant florals decorate day dresses while evening options include velvet, bias cut gowns like something Audrey Hepburn might wear to Tiffany’s.
Hemline (609 Chartres Street)
Hemline is an elegant boutique with two locations in New Orleans. Their flagship store is located in the French Quarter and sells contemporary designers like Nanette Lepore, Tracy Reese, Amanda Uprichard, and Dolce Vita, among many others. Brigette Holthausen moved to New Orleans from Brazil at age 16 and started the business selling backpacks, sandals, and jewelry at the French Market, opening her shop on Chartres several years later.
UAL (United Apparel Liquidators) (512 Chartres Street)
UAL focuses on deeply discounted designer fashion. The inventory changes almost daily and the wide variety of merchandise in the store’s single room makes digging for the perfect look a lot of fun. Christian Louboutin heels, Kara Ross handbags, and Chloe blouses will fill the store one week, and next week that’s gone and Alexander Wang dresses occupy the racks along with Chanel and Valentino. Some of the pieces are sample items or marked as defective, so a careful eye makes for the best shopping experience.
All of these shops are in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, short blocks from the Prince Conti Hotel. Guests can enjoy first class accommodations as well as shopping that reflects the diversity of cultures and styles that make New Orleans unique.