Holiday dressing, Chestnut Hill style


Whether you celebrate the holidays at black tie soirees with Champagne or in fuzzy pajamas with a mug of hot chocolate, the distinctive clothing shops of Chestnut Hill have just what you need for yourself and those lucky people on your gift list. The variety of fashions for men, women and children on the Hill are no accident. Each and every shop reflects a specific type of customer, as diverse as Chestnut Hill itself.

The Springside Grad

You were a legacy student at Springside; ditto for the Cricket Club. You winter in Hilton Head or Jackson Hole, summer in Maine and mix a killer Martini. Your style? Classic. Sara Campbell on the Avenue near Graver’s Lane has your number. 

Choose from a floor length black velvet dress, a hi-low, ruffled burgundy satin wrap or a white satin peplum top paired with black velvet skinny pants. It’s easy to imagine Audrey Heburn or Grace Kelly making an entrance in any of these ensembles because that is who Sara Campbell has in mind. A young, impeccably dressed, femme fatale.

You are probably already a repeat customer at Quelque Chose, next to Cure de Repos, which stocks the brightly colored Lily Pulitzer dresses you need for your beach life. This time of year, they also have silver and gold sequined separates, including a glittery floor-length wrap skirt you won’t see anywhere else and a sequined topper to be worn over whatever you dare – be it a pair of slinky black pants or a bikini.

The Chestnut Hill Academy Grad

You were on the lacrosse team back in the day, now you play a wicked game of tennis. Around the house, you wear a Penn sweatshirt, jeans and deck shoes, even though you sold the boat after the twins were born.

When it comes to the holidays, you know that shoes make the man. That’s why you’ve been pressing your nose against the window of Style by Blain, the only shop in the Greater Philadelphia area that sells exclusive brands: Paraboot, Alden and Gaziano and Girling. Once inside, be prepared to be seduced. These handmade leather shoes are as irresistible as a box of imported chocolates.

Owner Voltaire Blain will take into consideration your personal style, preferences and comfort. His shoes aren’t just stunning, they are also good for your feet. And your ego.

Professional on a Budget

You have Champagne tastes on a six-pack budget thanks to college loan payments and your mortgage. But you still want to knock them dead on New Year’s Eve, right? Fear not. Head over to Greene Street Consignment next to Tailored Home for a selection of party dresses under $25. Hot picks include black sequined sheaths with a 1920s feel and a white embroidered sheath cut down to there. These will definitely give your former college roommates something to ponder. Best of all, nothing sold at Green Street is out-dated. They have a policy of only accepting relatively recent fashions.

Lawyer/Soccer Mom

When it comes to fashion, you know exactly what you want and Noble Goods right next to Town Hall has it. Clean cut, classic clothes in lux fabrics and neutral tones that go from a boardroom to the bake sale. When temperatures drop, you’ll be toasty warm in an Ally Coat, a full-length, black, water repellent, puffer coat, filled with recycled down. Made by Stand Studio, a Swedish company, this lightweight, super warm coat has been a best-seller at Noble Goods for three years.

“As it gets colder, they will fly out the doors,” said Jennifer Spaeth, store manager. Which means, if you want one, better tell Santa now.

Unabashed fashionista

You’ve always been one step ahead of the latest trends and are unafraid to start one. That’s why you shop at Artisans on the Avenue where you never know what you’ll find. Slip into a pair of wide-legged cotton flannel pants in black and white check. Top it with a black cashmere sweater and a black beret with statement jewelry.  Speaking of flannel, Artisans has an impressive collection of women’s pajamas in flannel and satin which, if paired with pearls and stilettos, would make quite an entrance.

Ever since you discovered Jonesy’s Accessories, it’s become an addiction. When you receive compliments on their unique take on vegan fur and leather jackets, you just smile and say you found it in SoHo. Jonesy’s is your little secret.

 You have a little girl with princess aspirations

Only one shop on the Hill truly understands her infatuation with tulle, sequins and magic wands. Villavillekula, a fanciful children’s clothing boutique in the Community Center building, across the street from Weavers Way. This is the shop where you can make dreams come true for the tiny tots on your holiday list. Filled with toys, stuffed animals and books, the real standouts are the little dresses with furry tops and twirly ballerina tulle skirts. Yes, they have boys' clothing too.

You’ve got teenagers

For young ladies, head to El Quetzal, across from Weavers Way, and choose from a wide variety of dresses, fuzzy sweaters, separates, ironic socks, hats, scarves and jewelry. No teen ever has enough jewelry. While there, check out their eye-popping selection of glass Christmas ornaments.

If you’re shopping for a teenage boy, head over to Serendipity, located across from Starbucks, and get him a hoodie even if he already has half a dozen. All the hoodies at Serendipity come with the name of a sports team, school or neighborhood. You can’t go wrong with a “Chestnut Hill” hoodie. 

No matter where you shop on the Hill this holiday, you will receive a warm welcome from local retailers still recovering from the loss of business during the pandemic and deeply appreciative of your business.