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Archive for the ‘Key Largo Shops’ Category

The Perils of Holiday Shopping

Posted on: December 20th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

I have a confession to make. I hate shopping over the holidays. The long lines, abundance of shoppers, and packed parking lots instantly turns me into the Grinch. Lucky for you, we live in the Florida Keys, far far away from those crazy shopping malls packed with overzealous holiday bargain hunters.

Our shopping options consist of beautiful boutiques where you’ll find friendly locals eager to help with everything on your shopping list. For a pleasant shopping experience this holiday season, take a look at a few shopping tips to help you get into the shopping mood.

Wear comfortable clothing

Whether you’ll be shopping in the Florida Keys or traveling to the mainland, comfortable clothing is a must. I recommend dressing in layers as stores are usually air conditioned and can get cool. Also, make sure your footwear is appropriate for the hours you plan to spend perusing racks of ugly Christmas sweaters, candy canes, ornaments, and stocking stuffers. You may also want to pack a hair tie to pull your hair back in case you have to fight someone for the last $5 bejeweled tree topper.

Create a List and Budget

Make a list of all the gifts you need to purchase for the holidays. By having an idea of what you need and writing it down, you can save both time and money. When you don’t have a list, it’s much easier to over buy and over spend.

Look for the Bargain but Don’t Buy Just to Buy

Bargains are great but you should never purchase something just because it’s a deal. If the item is for you, make sure you will absolutely use it and are not just buying to buy.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to buy cold weather festive items. After all, we do live in the Florida Keys were its warm year round. Instead of sweaters and boots, consider a more fun approach and buy some new swimwear this holiday season. The owners of the Waters Edge Gift Cottage opened the new Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in October. Located at mile marker 99 at 99228 Overseas Highway in Key Largo, this new boutique offers cover ups, beach fashion accessories, beautiful swim wear and unique gifts. Plus, your cold weather based friends and family will love receiving something beachy along with an invitation to come visit. It will help them get through their cold winter knowing they have something cute to wear or enjoy on a future trip to the Florida Keys. Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique is open Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in Key Largo

Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in Key Largo

In the Iconic 80’s flick Troop Beverly Hills, Phyllis Nefler says, “I may be a beginner at some things but I’ve got a black belt in shopping.” By following these tips, you too can earn your shopping black belt. Remember, no hair pulling…after all it is the season to be jolly.



Survival Guide for a Florida Keys Fashionista

Posted on: September 5th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

There was once a time when Florida Keys settlers didn’t have the luxuries we have today to survive. They fought extreme heat and giant mosquitoes without (gasp!) air conditioning, bug repellent, or sunscreen. Although these are common luxuries today, it’s never fun to forget to wear the right apparel which results in looking or feeling like a settler from the early days. Below is a survival guide for every Florida Keys fashionista.


Keep the blood suckers at bay by always having bug spray available. Pack it in your car, purse, and house so that you never have to go without it. A word of caution: Some bug repellants will take off your nail polish and can discolor clothing and leather. Be careful where you spray so you aren’t left in dire need of a pedicure.

Keep practical footwear in your car at all times.

When one regularly wears inappropriate foot wear, aka sky high heels, access to more practical shoes is a must. Tennis shoes would come in handy if your car stalls on one of the stretch. You can walk in tennis shoes a lot quicker and more comfortably than you can in heels.

Likewise, flip flops are another practical shoe to keep handy. For last minute invites on the boat or to a waterfront restaurant with dock beams, throw on your flip flops. Wearing heels will only result in ruined shoes and getting stuck in dock beams. Both of which will make you look more like an amateur than a fashionista.

heel in dock


Your makeup and everyday lotion should both include SPF. If you’re going to be outside for a period of time, make sure to apply more sunscreen with a higher SPF. This means keeping sunscreen in convenient places such as your boat, car, purse, and house. Applying sunscreen while naked is the best way to make sure you don’t miss a spot. The most commonly forgotten places to apply sunscreen also happen to be some of the most sensitive. Pay extra attention to your hands, lips, nose, ears and toes. There is no reason to look like Rudolph in July. Protect your skin so that it’s as beautiful today as it is for years to come.

Never Say No to Invitation on the Water

Every Florida Keys fashionista should have a beach bag packed and ready to go at all times. It should include a towel, swimsuit, cover-up, sunscreen and hat so you have no excuse not to accept a fabulous invitation to lounge poolside or go boating with friends.

Wardrobe Malfunctions

Prevent wardrobe malfunctions with the life saving options from Hollywood Fashion Secrets. They produce double-sided fashion tape to keep clothing in place, commando underwear for invisible panty lines, and stain removing pens to stay looking fashionable throughout a busy day. Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo, carries a wide assortment of these problem solving style solutions. Located at 101401 Overseas Hwy in the Publix shopping plaza, you’ll find many style saving tricks to keep you looking confident and fashionable in the Florida Keys.

Prevent wardrobe malfunctions with the life saving options from Hollywood Fashion Secrets available at Wear With All Boutique.

Prevent wardrobe malfunctions with the life saving options from Hollywood Fashion Secrets available at Wear With All Boutique.

Summer Fashion Essentials

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The forever summer weather in the Florida Keys likely have most tourists wondering what could possibly be different about our “summer” wardrobe. However, we locals understand that summer means even lighter-weight materials in sweat proof fabrics that will keep us cool for the hot months ahead. Here are several wardrobe essentials for you to add to your closet the sweltering season ahead.

Bright Clutch

Let your accessories make the statement this summer with a bright hued or patterned clutch. Add a clutch to a basic ensemble such as a black dress or shorts and t-shirt for a pop of color. Try switching up your normal go to handbag by swapping it for a clutch for day. It’s a amazing what a cute clutch will do to make you feel more confident about what you’re wearing. Waters Edge Gift Cottage at 95175 Overseas Highway in Key Largo has a great assortment of summer clutches priced at around $30.

Statement Clutches found at Waters Edge Gift Cottage in Key Largo.

Statement Clutches found at Waters Edge Gift Cottage in Key Largo.


In the Florida Keys, sunglasses are a fashion accessory that gets worn daily. It’s also an accessory that you can never have enough of. All that wear makes them easy to lose, scratch, and break. So if you find a pair of sunglasses you love, buy more than one pair. I love buying sunglasses in multiple styles and colors to match to my outfit of the day. Miss Monroe Boutique located at 81868 Overseas Highway in Islamorada at the Village Square at Trading Post shopping area has a great selection of sunglasses in a variety of shapes and colors and range from $18-$24. At that price you can afford to buy one of each!

Fabulous sunglasses found at Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.

Fabulous sunglasses found at Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.


New sandals are a summer must have. I love updating my wardrobe with a fun new print, style or color.   D-Luxe Boutique carries a variety of styles in neon pink, white and black with gold accents and wedge sandals for dressier occasions. Summer is also a good time to review the sandals already in your closet. If they’re falling apart it may be time to replace them. Shop D-Luxe Boutique at 80925 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. Sandals start at $18 and everything in the store is under $50.


Affordable sandals in bright colors and patterns from D-Luxe Boutique

Affordable sandals in bright colors and patterns from D-Luxe Boutique

Bold Statement Jewelry

Most summer fashions tend to have simpler designs for easy wear in warmer weather. Shorts worn with tank tops and long solid colored maxi dresses need a statement necklace to create interest your ensemble. If you don’t already own a few, consider investing in one. If you wear a lot of blue, then try finding one in yellow or turquoise to add another color to your outfit. Terra Nova located at 712 Duval Street in Key West carries of line of jewelry called Nature Bijoux made out of natural components such as coral, leather and zebu horn. Ranging from $48-$325, this jewelry line is meant to start a conversations as when worn, everyone will be asking about your beautiful jewelry.

Origins Necklace by Nature Bijoux

Origins Necklace by Nature Bijoux

Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are the most comfortable summer staple. They aren’t too fitted so will keep you cool and in breezy light-weight fabrics are comfortable year round. Maxi dresses also have the added benefit of looking effortless. Pair one with wedges and a clutch for a night out or wear it with sandals and a statement necklace for day.   Wild Lily Boutique located at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada has an abundance of maxi dresses available this summer in a variety of colors, prints and textures.

Mara Hoffman Maxi Dress available at Wild Lily Boutique in Islamorada

Mara Hoffman Maxi Dress available at Wild Lily Boutique in Islamorada


Sizzling Summer Fashion Show

On Thursday, May 22nd The Village Square at the Trading Post will host the Sizzling Summer Fashion Show featuring summer fashions from Miss Monroe, Wild Lily and D-Luxe Boutique. The event will start at 6 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 8 p.m. and will include a complimentary champagne bar, mojito bar, cigar lounge and cigar roller, light hors d’hoeuvres by Bad Boy Burrito and lots of free giveaways. Tickets are available for $30 and are limited. This is a great opportunity to see some beautiful summer fashions for the Florida Keys from some of your favorite local boutiques. You can buy tickets at Miss Monroe, Wild Lily or D-Luxe Boutique. Hope to see you there!



Rejuvenate Your Workout

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

Just like your wardrobe, workout routines can start to feel a little old and bland. And there is nothing worse than dreading it or making it a chore. Rejuvenate your workout by trying something new, getting back into something you love or by adding something shiny and new to your athletic apparel wardrobe.

Stand-up paddleboarding (a.k.a SUP) is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. If you have not yet tried this fun pastime, it’s time to change that. Not only is it a great way to explore the shallow water in the Florida Keys but it also provides a great workout. SUP boards offer a wide platform for stability, excellent for standing or kneeling. If you do fall in, the boards are very easy to climb back on. You could also try a paddleboard yoga class offered throughout the Keys. The classes start with a nice paddle then move into a yoga instructed class and then end with a paddle back to land. Start by renting a board and then try out a class on the board. SUP rentals are available in the following locations: Key Largo Paddle the Florida Keys www.paddlethefloridakeys.com (305) 434-5930, Islamorada – MM88 flkeyssup@gmail.com(305) 753-1150, Islamorada Otherside Board Sports www.othersideboardsports.com (305) 853-9728, Keys Kayak in Marathon www.keyskayakllc.com (305) 743-8880, and SUP Key West www.supkeywest.com (305) 240-1426.

Leah Maki, SUP, Florida Keys paddleboarding

Want to buy your own paddleboard?  Check out the Bam Bam stand-up paddleboard by Michael Dolsey Design.  Durable, stable and light with a concave deck and wider profile for greater stability. $1,100 Florida Keys Kiteboarding and Stand-up Paddleboarding, 11201 Overseas Highway, Marathon, 305-942-9635 kiteboardingfloridakeys.com

If you’d like to keep your workout on dry land, consider taking up an old hobby you used to enjoy. As kids, most of us grew up on our bikes and used it as our main means of transportation. In the Keys, bikes are an excellent way to get around while also providing some great exercise. The trick to this sport as an adult is to invest in a quality bike that is the right size and style for you. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters in Islamorada not only has a great selection of bicycles for purchase but also has an abundance of Electra bicycles for rent. Stop in and check out their large inventory and rent one to try it out. I highly recommend investing in a basket for the front of your bike. It’s a great way to store water bottles, wallets, and sunscreen while out cruising the Keys. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters is located in Islamorada at 82240 Overseas Highway (305) 517-4177. For more information go to www.backcountrycowboy.com.

Leah Maki, Townie, Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters

Leah Maki with her pink townie from Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters in Islamorada

Just because you’re going to the gym doesn’t mean you should leave your fashion sense at home.

If you’re wearing old ratty t-shirts to work out, you are in desperate need of a new athletic apparel wardrobe. Workout apparel has come a long way. Workout tops for women offer built-in bra support and strategic color blocking for figure flattering effects. As exciting as it can be to put on a new dress, a new outfit for the gym can provide just as much enjoyment. Flex your fashion muscles by buying color coordinating outfits in bright hues. Make sure that whatever you buy, you feel confident in as that can be another incentive to work up a sweat. Islamorada Fitness at 85960 Overseas Highway offers a nice selection of workout apparel that will make you feel as good as you look.

Leah Maki, Rejuvenate Your Workout

New workout clothes are great for inspiration – Islamorada Fitness has a great selection of athletic apparel at their gym at 85960 Overseas Highway in Islamorada



Hotel Gift Shops Offer Great Finds

Posted on: September 9th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

Hotel gift shops have come a long way.  Many of these shops no longer merely provide a selection of items one may have accidentally forgotten while packing but instead focus on providing their guests the opportunity to do some actual shopping.  In the Florida Keys, many feature art, fabulous gifts, resort wear, unique jewelry and accessories.  These shops have a lot to offer hotel guests as well as locals.

A few of my favorite hotel gift shops throughout the Keys include Kona Kai Resort’s art gallery and botanical gardens, Cheeca Lodge and Spa’s Signature Store, Island Trendz at Hampton Inn, and the Ocean Key Resort and Spa gift shop.

Kona Kai Resort

Offering a beautiful international fine art gallery featuring pastels by Beth Kaminstein, Dirk Verdoorn’s ships on canvas, paintings by Italian Franco Passalacqua, and Antarctic ice paintings by Xavier Cortada.  Located at 97802 Overseas Highway in Key Largo and open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.  In addition, tours of their award winning botanical gardens are open to the public.  Their ethnobotanic teaching garden is one of only two frost-free tropical botanic gardens in the southeastern United States.   Garden tours are available Tuesday through Saturday for $25.00 per person, of which $20 is tax deductible.  Advanced reservations are required by calling 305-852-7200.

Cheeca Lodge and Spa, Leah's Fabulous Finds, Leah Maki

Tommy Bahama resort wear available at Cheeca’s Signature Store

Cheeca Lodge and Spa

Cheeca’s Signature Store offers a large variety of men’s clothing by Tommy Bahama that include dress shirts, linen slacks, relaxed shorts, swim trunks and sandals.  In addition, the Signature Store features a great assortment of women’s clothing, resort wear and swimwear by Lily Pulitzer, Debbie Katz and Island Company.   Buy an entire outfit for dinner as well as a casual look for on or off the water for both men and women at this specialty store.    I especially love their fun sun hats, jelly sandals, island decor, and beautiful handmade jewelry.  Located at 81801 Overseas Highway in Islamorada open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday -Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Hampton Inn, Leah's Fabulous Finds

Statement Necklaces and Clutch from Island Trendz at Hampton Inn

Island Trendz at Hampton Inn

Island Trendz boutique is located within the Hampton Inn in Islamorada and features an amazing collection of bold, colorful, and affordable statement jewelry, beautiful women’s cover-ups and dresses, a wide selection of bags and clutches, and ocean-themed house wares.  Pick-up a great dress and statement necklace for dinner or wear it over a swimsuit for day.  Open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays. Island Trendz is located at 80001 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Ocean Key, Leah's Fabulous Finds, Leah Maki

Bejeweled sandals and nautical clutches from Ocean Key gift shop

Ocean Key Resort and Spa gift shop

At the very end of Duval you’ll find this great gift shop tucked inside Ocean Key Resort and Spa.  Shoppers will enjoy the ever changing selection of clothing for men, women and children, local artwork, handmade gifts and home accessories.  I especially love the choice of women’s bejeweled sandals, nautical themed clutches, cute gifts, and colorful sunhats in a variety of shapes and sizes.   Ocean Key Resort and Spa is located at Zero Duval Street in Key West open daily from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Conch Style: Wearable Art

Posted on: February 8th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

One of the best things about living in the Florida Keys, is the amazing amount of art and culture.  So many artists have chosen to make the Keys their home and that means that we have access to some beautiful local art work for our home and our wardrobe.

Art galleries are one of my favorite places to shop for statement jewelry.  Unique, handmade wearable art is a great conversation starter and sure to elicit the question from your friends. “Where did you get that?”.  Wearable art can be fun, interesting and even glamorous and in most cases, the price point is very affordable.

Ariella Hogan has been making jewelry for more than 30 years.  Originally from Israel, she settled in Key West in 1989, inspired by the diverse colors of the sunset and the unique wildlife of Key West.  Her handmade jewelry is not only incredibly affordable it’s also durable.   She uses a synthetic clay that is flexible, unbreakable, lightweight, water proof and if it gets dirty, it can be cleaned with soap and water.

Ariella makes rings ($12), earrings ($18), bracelets ($28) and necklaces ($40-$60).  You can buy a matching set or you can buy individual pieces to add to your jewelry collection.  My favorite is her bracelets that wrap around your wrist for an effortlessly chic look.

Find her jewelry at The Island Arts Coop at 1128 Duval Street in Key West open Monday – Sunday,  9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  For more information go to: ariellacreations.com.

Wearable Art

Handmade Jewelry by Ariella Hogan, Florida Keys artist

Wearable Art by Florida Keys artist Ariella Hogan

Great selection of wearable art by Florida Keys artist Ariella Hogan

Stephanie Martin has been working with glass for 12 years specializing in glass fusing and combining dichroic two-toned glass and artisan glasses.  Her pendants and earrings have a beautiful metallic coating on its surface that reflect light creating a beautiful glow.  Because these pendants are actually clear, the colors will change with what you’re wearing, picking up blues, pinks or yellows based on your outfit.   Each piece is unique, ranging in price from $40 to $65 for a pendant and $20 for earrings.

Stephanie’s Seaside Glassworks has two storefront locations.  Located in the Rain Barrel at 86700 Overseas Highway on Plantation Key open Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and a south location at 81902 Overseas Highway in Islamorada open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information go to seasideglassworks.com.

Wearable Art by Florida Keys artist Stephanie Martin

Glass Jewelry and Art Work by Stephanie Martin from Seaside Glassworks

Sand Dollar Pendant by Stephanie Martin, Seaside Glassworks

Sand Dollar Pendant by Stephanie Martin, Seaside Glassworks


Conch Style: Dress-Up Your Look with Timeless Vintage Jewelry

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

I fell in love with vintage jewelry at a young age, playing dress-up with all of my grandmother’s bold clip-on earrings and dazzling brooches.  And lucky for me, vintage jewelry has never really gone out of style. It’s timelessness and one-of-a-kind allure are admired by both avid collectors and fashionistas who covet the charm of these intricately designed pieces full of history, beauty and mystery reflective of a different time.

Vintage costume jewelry can be an affordable way to make a statement and is the perfect accessory to add some old Hollywood glamour to your look.  As we approach the season of fundraisers, galas, prom and formal events, consider making your look more unique by adding vintage jewelry.

Don’t worry about the jewelry matching exactly just stay within the same stone color.  If you already own a pair of diamond studs, add a vintage clear-rhinestone brooch to your dress for a bit more glam.  If your dress has a belt or some side ruching, consider adding a brooch to the waistline of your dress to emphasize your waist.    You can also add a brooch to an updo with a bobby pin.   In addition to brooches, you can find some really fabulous earring/necklace sets that will instantly transform your look to be completely chic.

Go big in only one place.  Vintage costume jewelry is dazzling and beautiful and will easily draw attention.   If you’re wearing a statement necklace, go smaller in the earrings and practically bare on your arms.  Use statement pieces to draw the eye to one area, not five.  Wearing too many statement pieces tends to be overkill and will only distract so use vintage costume jewelry sparingly.

When buying vintage jewelry, make sure to examine it with care.  Does it have any missing stones?  Does the piece look like it was crafted well?  Vintage jewelry is timeless so buy what you like and don’t worry about the trends when it comes to investing in a piece you love.  Vintage costume jewelry can range from $10 to $1,000.  However, the pieces that are on the expensive side are typically those that are incredibly rare or were designed by a high-end fashion label.  However, the majority of costume jewelry you can find very inexpensively for under $100.  If you compare this price to something you’d buy at a department store, the price is virtually equivalent so perhaps invest in a quality vintage piece that you will have for a lifetime and pass down to the next generation.

Most jewelry we buy for special occasions tend to be pieces we will only wear once a year, however, consider how you might incorporate a vintage piece with other outfits in your wardrobe.  A brooch, for example, can really be worn with a variety of items.  Wear it on the lapel of a jacket or try combining three brooches and wearing it as a statement on basic shift dress.  You can also use a brooch to secure a scarf around your neck.

Below are two of my favorite local boutiques that sell an amazing assortment of vintage costume jewelry.  Stop in the next time you’re in need of a vintage statement piece for your next event.

Pink Junktique – 98275 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.  Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

In One Era – 227 Petronia St. in Key West. Open 11:30 a.m.  to 4 p.m. every day except Mondays.

In addition, if you’re into online shopping try Ebay.com or Etsy.com.  Both have a great selection of vintage jewelry from a variety of sellers around the world.  The more specific you are with your search, the better results you’ll have.  I recommend searching for phrases such as: Vintage rhinestone brooch or vintage rhinestone necklace set.  Good luck and happy shopping!


Pink Junktique Key Largo Boutique - Great Selection of Vintage Jewelry

Pink Junktique Key Largo Boutique – Great Selection of Vintage Jewelry

Pink Junktique Key Largo

Pink Junktique – 98275 Overseas Highway in Key Largo. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

In One Era - Vintage Jewelry in Key West

In One Era – Vintage Jewelry in Key West

In One Era Key West Boutique - Vintage Necklace & Earring Set

In One Era Key West Boutique – Vintage Necklace & Earring Set

What to wear for the holidays!

Posted on: December 17th, 2012 by Leah No Comments

Sequins, sparkle and everything shiny go hand in hand with the holiday season. Not only will you find them wrapped around your Christmas tree but it’s also the perfect opportunity to add it to your wardrobe. In the Florida Keys, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to get decked out as Keys Casual really is, in most cases, the most dressed up we get, but the holidays are a perfect excuse to dress up a bit more.  And there are plenty of opportunities to wear all that sparkles –  holiday parties with friends and colleagues, family celebrations, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, and that’s all in the same month!

The easiest way to incorporate a little glam into your holiday outfits is through accessories. I can’t get enough of these vintage bags found at Pink Junktique at 98275 Overseas Highway in Key Largo! Starting at just $35 they are also a very affordable option for getting into the holiday spirit.  Look for sequins, metallic shades and beaded bags as these will easily glam up your outfit without a lot of effort. For a holiday party, I’d pair a glitzy bag with a basic black dress and heels for a wow look. Too dressy for your festivities? Try wearing a glitzy bag dressed down with jeans, black heels and a black fitted tee. This will still help you achieve a glam look without being over dressed. Although I would argue that it is always better to be overdressed then underdressed and being that it’s the holidays…just go for it.

Vintage Bags from the Pink Junktque in Key Largo are the perfect addition to your holiday outfit

Vintage Bags from the Pink Junktique in Key Largo are the perfect addition to your holiday outfit

For a really fun look try a sequin dress like this gold dress from Wild Lily at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.  Pair this with a basic black heel and black opague tights for an easy glamorous look perfect a New Years Eve party.  Black is always dressier so if you’d prefer a dressed down version of this, try pairing it with a fun color like bright pink.  Wrap a bright pink scarf around your neck and pair it with a similar hued shoe and you’re set. This look has a lot going on so pair down your bag and accessories by staying in the same color tones and go for simple elegant pieces like a basic gold bracelet and earrings.

Sequin Gold Dress from Wild Lily Boutique MM 81

Sequin Gold Dress from Wild Lily Boutique MM 81

Statement necklaces and flirty dresses are another easy holiday party staple.  I love shopping at Déjà vu at 608 Duval Street in Key West for affordable girly frocks and lots of statement necklaces.  Wear bright hued necklaces or layer multiple necklaces in bright shades, various metals or pearls to dress up your holiday look.  Déjà vu has a huge selection of fun costume jewelry and apparel, many of which are designed by store owner, Stephanie Carter, under the label Judith March.  Starting at just $20, the Judith March label is both adorable and affordable!

Flirty Frocks and Statement Necklaces from Deja Vu in Key West are Perfect for the Holidays

Flirty Frocks and Statement Necklaces from Deja Vu in Key West are Perfect for the Holidays

Happy dressing this holiday season and remember, the more bling, the better!


This article was also featured in the Florida Keys Reporter and Keynoter as a part of my “Conch Style” column that runs bi-weekly in the Friday and Saturday edition.  If you have story ideas on style in the Florida Keys, please send me an email at Leah@leahsfabulousfinds.com.

Conch Style: What to buy the girl who has everything

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by Leah No Comments

Holiday shopping for your friends and family can be a difficult task.  Especially if you have someone on your list who seemingly already has everything.  Luckily, we have so many wonderful boutiques in the Keys that offer an amazing selection of gift items.  Below are a few of my favorite finds from around the Keys that would make amazing gifts for the fashionista in your life.

Give the gift of relaxation.  Every girl would love to spend a night away while getting pampered with her special someone or her girlfriends.  Buy a gift certificate for a spa treatment and a night stay at Hawks Cay on Duck Key.    Their Calm Waters Spa offers an abundance of spa services including massage, facials, mani pedis, and hair cut, color and styling.  In addition, she’ll be able to enjoy the whirlpool, dry sauna, and eucalyptus steam room before or after her treatments. For room rates and spa services go to HawksCay.com or call 888.395.5539.

Gallery Morada in Islamorada is selling the cutest bottle insulators for only $10 that would make great stocking stuffers.  Called the Freaker, they insulate every bottle in your home from a wine bottle to a can of diet coke, keeping it cool or warm.  In addition, they’re made in the U.S. and are machine washable for easy cleaning and come in a variety of colors and prints perfect for everyone on your list.  Go to GalleryMorada.comor call 305.664.3650.


Freaker bottle insulator sold at Gallery Morada in Islamorada for just $10.

Freaker bottle insulator sold at Gallery Morada in Islamorada for just $10.

Give the gift of Chocolate.  The Key Largo Chocolate Shop located at MM 100 sells the most mouthwatering, handmade truffles that have ever existed, literally.  Hand-pick them out at their location or order them online at KeyLargoChocolates.com and have them shipped directly to your friends and family. My favorites… almond toffee, milk chocolate caramels with sea salt and key lime dark chocolate truffles.    They also just started selling boxes of 4 truffles that hook onto a wine bottle and would make a wonderful hostess or host gift for that next holiday party you attend.  Want to give a more interactive gift?  Key Largo Chocolates offers classes for adults and kids on how to make truffles.  The adult classes are served with wine and are a great way to celebrate the holidays with your girlfriends.  Call 305.453.6613 for more information.

Kiki’s Spa and Salon Saige in Tavernier has the most amazing all natural soy candles sold for just $22.95.  Called SOi, this candle is made with soy oil that burns cleaner and longer than traditional candles and doubles as a skin moisturizer.  Eco-friendly, biodegradable and available in a variety of scents including blood orange, amber & sandlewood and my favorite, creme brulee.  Stop by or call 305.852.0011 for more information.

All-natural SOi candles sold at Kiki's Spa and Salon Saige in Tavernier

All-natural SOi candles sold at Kiki’s Spa and Salon Saige in Tavernier

The Banyan Tree in Islamorada is selling Mini Emergency Kit’s For Her for only $16.  Available in glittery red, green or silver, this mini case would be great for your car or purse.  Offering 17 beauty and personal care essentials for the occasions when we don’t have access to our beauty tools at home.  The kit includes a bandage, safety pin, earring backs, deordorant towelette, dental floss, breath freshener, mending kit, tampon, nail polish remover, stain remover, clear elastics, lip balm, emery board, hair spray, clear nail polish, double sided tape and pain reliever.  Help your loved ones avoid near disasters with this adorably handy emergency kit.  Did I mention it’s sparkly?  They’re absolutely fabulous.  Call 305.664.3433 for more information.

Banyan Tree in Islamorada sells Emergency Kits for Her.

Banyan Tree in Islamorada sells Emergency Kits for Her.

Every Florida Keys girl should own a Lily Pulitzer dress.  Their bright patterns and classic shapes can be worn all year-round and the lady in your life will love it.  The Key West Lily Pulitzer shop features the iconic dresses along with women’s and kid’s clothing and accessories.  A Lily Pulitzer shift dress is a classic wardrobe staple she will have in her closet forever.  Located at 600 Front Street in Key West.  Prices range from $88 to $238.

Happy holidays and happy shopping!

This article was also featured in the Florida Keys Reporter and Keynoter as a part of my “Conch Style” column that runs bi-weekly in the Friday and Saturday edition.  If you have story ideas on style in the Florida Keys, please send me an email at Leah@leahsfabulousfinds.com.


Conch Style: Defining the Keys Casual Dress Code

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by Leah No Comments

The majority of the events in the Florida Keys all have one thing in common, the Keys Casual dress code.  By definition, the Keys are casual, laidback, and known for their “anything goes” type of attitude.  So what does this mean when it comes to what to wear to an event ?

Women seem to have this dress code figured out.  At “Keys Casual” events, you will typically see women wearing dresses or skirts with wedges or sandals.  Not only does this work for the warm climate but a dress can dressed up or down for the occasion by simply pairing it with the right accessories.  Worn with sandals and a light-weight scarf, your look will be more casual.  Pair that same dress with wedges or heels and a clutch, and the same dress will look more formal.  For women, dresses and skirts are really the perfect piece of clothing for the Florida Keys.

This dress code really gets interesting when it comes to men.  Typically you will see them in everything from cargo shorts and flip flops to slacks with a jacket.  This creates quite a range of looks on the spectrum of “Keys Casual”.

Keys Casual should really be defined as: “If you’d wear it fishing, don’t wear it to our event.”

Let’s start with the shoes.  There are really only two appropriate shoes to wear in the Keys for a “Keys Casual” event: a leather sandal or a loafer.  Leather makes both look more refined and sophisticated while still being comfortable.   It’s also important to think about the venue for your event, will it be held on a beach?  In the Park?  At a tiki bar?  Both of these shoes will still easily navigate the landscapes of many venues for Florida Keys events.  Reserve your dress shoes for a more formal occasion like dinner out in Miami.

Flat front shorts or pants are always going to be more stylish than a pleated front.  Pleated front pants and shorts scream old man.  If you’re still wearing this style, upgrade to flat front.  Wear slacks in more casual hues such as kahki, gray or even a color like blue or salmon.  Although you really can never go wrong with black, if you are going to wear black pants to a Keys Casual event, make sure you are wearing a more casual shirt such as a polo so that  you aren’t over dressed.

Acceptable shirts for the Keys Casual dress code consist of short sleeve polos, short sleeved collared button down dress shirts and Oxford long-sleeved, collared button down shirts.  Short-sleeve button down shirts made by Tommy Bahama are the perfect Keys Casual look and are easy to come by in the Keys.  But don’t confuse this with Hawaiian shirts.  Hawaiian shirts should really only be worn if you either a. live in Hawaii, b. are attending the Good Health Clinic’s Annual Luau fundraiser, or c. work at a tiki bar.  Instead, wear shirts that are going to be more complimentary on you.   My father once gave me the advice that it’s better to be noticed than noticeable.  Big red flowers covering every square inch of your shirt are noticeable.  Instead, try a shirt in black or white hues.  Both hues will always look dressier, more stylish and more current than shirts covered in prints.

The great thing about shopping for a Keys Casual look for men is that most of the places you already frequent for all your boating and fishing supplies already carry a good assortment of “Keys Casual” shorts, slacks, polos and button down shirts.  Take a look at a few below the next time you need some clothes for an event.

West Marine – located in Key Largo, Marathon and Key West.  This boating Mecca store also carries a nice selection of men’s clothing including polos, button down shirts, slacks, shorts, leather sandals and loafers.  Open Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  For store locations go to www.WestMarine.com

Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters – Located in Islamorada at MM 82.2, this retail store carries everything you need for your kayaking, camping, and outdoor adventure needs.  In addition, they also carry some great clothing for men including linen and knit flat front shorts, leather sandals and silk button down collared shirts.  Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m..  Contact them at 305.517.4177 or www.BackcountryCowboy.com for more information.

Florida Keys Outfitters – Located in Islamorada at MM 81.2, this retail store specializes in saltwater fly fishing offering fly fishing rods, reels, fly lines, flies and accessories.  In addition, they offer a nice selection of Oxford long-sleeve button down shirts and flat front slacks and shorts by Vineyard Vines.  Open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Contact them at 305.664.5423 or www.FloridaKeysOutfitters.com.

Blue Boutique – Located in Islamorada and Key West, this retail store carries a nice assortment of contemporary men’s clothing from sport jackets to casual pants, to premium denim, watches, wallets, belts and footwear.  Open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Go to BlueIslandStore.com for locations.

Florida Keys shopping, Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters, Keys Casual, Leah's Fabulous Finds, Conch Style

Owner of Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters, JC Mikula, models a linen button-down shirt, flat front shorts and leather sandals from his store.


Florida Keys shopping, leather loafers, west marine, Leah's Fabulous Finds, Conch Style

Leather loafers found at West Marine for $79.99.