The latest stop in our quest to unearth great shopping spots across the country and around the world is Boston-area boutique Tess & Carlos. With three locations in Massachusetts and one in Pittsford, New York, this Boutique of the Week is well worth a visit if you’re in the market for impeccably constructed clothing from independent and up-and-coming European and American brands.
Boutique: Tess & Carlos
Locations: Cambridge, Concord, and Newton, MA and Pittsford, NY
Owner: Tess Enright
Launch date: 1995
Store concept: The concept behind my store is that the clothes we sell here are forever wearable. We carry brands that are off the beaten path, and I look for pieces made of beautiful, high quality fabrics. It's always been my vision that my store will carry a mix of great pieces that will become staples in any woman’s wardrobe. Because great style isn’t about trends and fashions, it’s about being confident in what you’re wearing and dressing to your own personal style.
Specializing in: Italian and French labels. Though we do carry many American brands and lines from other countries as well.
Best sellers: Samantha Sung, Organic by John Patrick, Ter et Bantine, and Hache.
Typical customer: Is a busy woman, whether a full-time mother or a working professional, who just doesn’t have a ton of time to shop. Our customer knows what she wants, knows we carry it, and comes in for what she loves. She’s classy, serious about her style, and trusts us to provide her with lasting, beautiful clothes.
Store aesthetic: Polished and sleek. The décor is minimal with pops of color.
Most unique items: Dresses and separate pieces from Ter et Bantine and Hache, Samantha Sung shirt-dresses and skirts, Biella Collezione scarves and sweaters, Layla shirt-dresses, and tees and sweaters from Organic by John Patrick.
Inspiration for opening the boutique: I opened the boutique because I wanted to work for myself, to be independent. I’d been in retail for thirteen years before I realized that it was my calling to open my own store. I’ve never looked back!
Listening to: Nina Simone, Al Green, Marvin Gaye….
The staff is talking about: Everything! We chat about everything from our families to what books we’re reading to what we’re going to wear over the weekend. And we talk about NPR; I’m an NPR nerd!
If I didn’t run the boutique, I’d be… Spending all my time with my children. I'd be a full time mother.
In my free time, you’ll find me… With my family, going out to dinner (we love Sportello in Boston) or to the movies! Oftentimes both.
All images courtesy of Tess & Carlos.