Greater Palm Springs Retailers on How to Elevate Your Style

Outfit the year ahead with fabulous clothing from local boutiques.

January 7, 2024
Story by Tara Dupuis
Mimi & Rae in Old Town La Quinta.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRANDON HARMAN

As the seasons change, pieces that keep us cozy on cooler winter nights are paramount. But warmth is never far away in Greater Palm Springs, so layering is key. Investing in high-quality apparel ensures items will last throughout the year, while classic colors and silhouettes allow for cross-season wearability. Here, four boutique owners reveal what they’ll be wearing in the new year as winter slowly gives way to spring.

IBISS BOUTIQUE

Palm Springs

Ibi Oluwole, owner of Ibiss Boutique, emphasizes the importance of layers. “Anyone who — like me — is a transplant from San Francisco can appreciate the art of layering for significant temperature variations within the same day,” she says. “I actually quite love dressing for the fluctuating weather you get in between seasons.” Here in the desert, warm pieces are important on crisp nights.

Ibi Oluwole shows off the sleeveless felt jacket, available at Ibiss Boutique.
Oluwole suggests investing in a sleeveless felt jacket that seamlessly transitions from day to night or a long tulle skirt that can be dressed up or down as a year-round staple. “I’ve worn it for a New Year’s Eve gala and also to an Easter lunch,” she says of the skirt. “It also happens to be the most favorite item in my closet.”

MIMI & RAE

La Quinta

“My favorite thing about transitional pieces is the amount of use you can get out of them,” says Mimi Lawhon, who runs women’s boutique Mimi & Rae with her daughter, Raechel. “These pieces become the things you reach for daily, so you want to make sure you feel good in them.”

A constant favorite at Lawhon’s shop — with locations in Old Town La Quinta and Laguna Beach — is the classic sweater vest. “In January, you can pair them with cute turtlenecks, and in the spring, wear them with a white tee, a button down, or nothing at all,” she says. Additionally, Lawhon urges every woman to invest in a pair of ankle boots. “A great pair of black ankle boots are versatile enough to take you all year round. Paired with jeans, skirts, dresses, shorts — you can’t go wrong!”

Mimi Lawhon and her daughter, Raechel, the duo behind Mimi & Rae, show off a black jumpsuit and a sweater vest ith ankle boots.
Isamu Store proprietor Gil Gomez poses at the shop in one of his go-to natural fiber jackets, a versatile piece for transitional weather.

ISAMU STORE

Palm Springs

When it comes to cross-season layering for men, Gil Gomez, owner of Isamu Store at The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five, suggests investing in a natural fiber jacket or overshirt. “One of the biggest benefits is their ability to be layered, pairing them with lighter fabrics during the warmer months or heavier fabrics during the colder months,” Gomez says. The versatility makes them great investment items that transition from warm to cool days.

Among Isamu’s offerings, Gomez’s pick for this season is the flight quilted shirt jacket by Save Khaki. “It’s a fusion of a quilted bomber and a shirt jacket,” he explains. This aviation-inspired piece features poplin fabric with an expertly quilted pattern on the exterior crafted by a third-generation quilt company in Los Angeles. Diving into his own closet, Gomez says, “I tend to reach for my black corduroy overshirt from Corridor NYC most often. It’s a great fit with a classic silhouette and beyond comfortable.”

CHRISSY’S ON EL PASEO

Palm Desert

As Chrissy Armstrong sources womenswear for her boutique, Chrissy’s on El Paseo, she considers the seasonality of her clientele, many of whom may be back and forth from second homes in cooler climes.

Chrissy Armstrong recommends the Norma Kamali drop-shoulder dress from Chrissy’s on El Paseo.

“I love our pieces that can be worn in the warmth of the Coachella Valley and the chill of the Northwest,” Armstrong shares. “Our Norma Kamali drop-shoulder dress is one of our most sought-after pieces because of its adaptability to go from winter to summer and from daytime to evening.”

Another favorite piece from her shop is the soft and snug jacket wrap, available in an array of colors. The super-light, soft fabric can be worn across seasons on cold winter days or cool spring nights. They also make great travel companions, she says. “They are the best on a cold airplane.”