Beautiful styles at new Bella Boutique in Freeport
The holidays are upon us! It’s a time for celebrating with loved ones near and far, a time for connection and a time to gather. Of course, this also means it’s a time to rifle through your closet, sigh and determine that—despite it being full—you have absolutely nothing to wear to this year’s festivities. Alas!
But the holidays are also a time for a little self indulgence, self care and shopping.
As we’ve been getting into the festive spirit—planning out our wardrobe for holiday parties and more low-key family gatherings—we were thrilled by the one-stop-shopping experience we found at Bella Boutique, located at 34 Main Street in Freeport. Opened just this September by former Rapid River proprietor Colette Wold, Bella offers a unique shopping experience that is for women and by women.
Sometimes a mission just speaks to you, and this small, locally owned boutique is one such establishment. Bella brings customers a unique mix of beautiful new trends, classic investment pieces and accessories for women of all ages. They choose to feature designers not only for their style and selection, but also for their eco-friendly manufacturing, reduced chemical use and energy and water conservation practices. Although it’s a small space, the carefully curated selection offers a range of colors and prices for every shopper. Wold selects fashions that work for real life, and for a range of ages, not simply trends that are dominating our social feeds. The tight curation of essential looks channel an upscale bohemian air, a love of your body, and an easy sophistication.
We immediately honed in on the Avalanche Bell Sleeve dress by Bailey 44 for our party look. Bailey 44 is known for creating fashion that works for your real life, and this piece is no exception. The thick ponte fabric is extremely forgiving, the long sleeves provide warmth for winter evenings, the cut and fabric allows for freedom of movement and the bell sleeves are, quite simply, fun. While the flowing sleeves mean this dress is not ideal for hostesses who like to fully dress before preparing party food, they are simply irresistible and will look fabulous as you mingle or dance the night away at any holiday party you’re attending this season. A lovely deep shade of merlot, this easy dress provides the perfect base that can be accessorized to accommodate any sense of personal style. The Bailey website suggests sizing up for this dress, and I’m glad we did. (I typically wear a size 6, which often means I hover between small and medium sizing, and found medium to be the best-fitting size in this dress.)
You can’t escape the need for sweaters through a Maine winter, but you CAN make the most of it by snuggling up in a cocoon of alpaca warmth. We are positively smitten with this Krimson Klover wrap cardigan. Not only does Krimson Klover believe in quality, sustainability and supporting women-run businesses throughout their manufacturing and sales process, but the sweater is simply a dream to wear. With plenty of classic button-up cardigans in our closets, we loved the ease of this wrap style. It could just as easily be worn open and tied loosely in the back—at least until temps drop below freezing. The heathered forest green is a subtle nod to the season, the crinkled white of the layering tank provides a crisp contrast and the gold necklace dresses it up as befits a holiday outfit. We kept things casual with a standard dark denim. This was my first time trying out Jag Jeans, and I was generally pleased. I found them to be comfortable and flattering, though they did run large. I grabbed my usual size 6, but a 4 would have provided a better fit.
4 OF AMY & AMANDA’S FAVORITE APPAREL GIFT IDEAS
Moose Maine Hoodie
Super soft and cozy, this hoodie’s vintage graphic is the perfect blend of nostalgia and style. Also available in other colors with a similar graphic, available at Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine locations in Bath and Portland and online. ($36, lisamariesmadeinmaine.com)
Warm scarf in a fun pattern!
We love the range of colors, sizes and wool/cashmere blends offered at Gingham, Bliss and Bella; all are so soft and there’s a pattern and price point for everyone! Pictured scarves available at Bliss. (Green solid—Chan Luu, $172; plaid—Mois Mont, $162; blissboutiques.com)
Bean Boot Shearling Inserts
Nearly everyone has a pair of Bean Boots these days, and winter is ALL about keeping warm. Available in three colors and a variety of sizes, the inserts fit in most styles of boots (and can also extend the life of your wicked good slippers once you wear out the existing shearling sole)! ($29.99; llbean.com)
Mini Maine Earrings in silver
Cut from a hefty sheet with just enough detail, their mini size makes them an ideal gift for Mainers (or Maine-lovers) of any age, and you can also show your home state love with a charm necklace! Made by local metalsmith Amy Rose Goodness, available through her website and at Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine store locations. ($85, amyrose.me)
Amy Power and Amanda Whitegiver are co-founders of East Coast Inspired, a fashion and lifestyle blog. Amy is a mother of two (and the model featured in this column’s photos) who spends her days dreaming of the ultimate craft room and intending to go for a run. Amanda is a lifestyle family photographer who adores dark chocolate and singing with her two daughters.