5 Essential Boutique Essentials to Stock

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1. White tees, please.

You simply can’t get more versatile than a basic, white, 100% cotton t-shirt. It’s thin enough to layer and timeless enough to wear with not much else without looking boring. The most important part of shopping at wholesale clothing stores for white tops is the fabric. Steer clear of acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate and nylon if you can, as these aren’t the most feel- good fabrics, are often treated with chemicals and don’t feel or breathe as well as natural fabrics, like cotton. If you can, search your favorite clothing wholesaler for organic or Pima cotton.

Visual merchandising tip: show how a plain white tee can be paired with all sorts of other merchandise: under a chambray button-up shirt or denim jacket, supporting turquoise jewelry, with a chunky cardigan, tucked into a flared skirt, under black overalls or with a pair of medium-wash jeans and white Chuck Taylors.

2. Medium-wash denim jackets.

No matter the season or trends, denim jackets seem to always look fresh. We recommend going with a medium wash that will play well with most tops, bottoms and footwear.

3. Go back to the basic booties.

Whether it’s the dead of winter or the dog days of summer, booties are always in style. Since booties can be casual, cozy, work-appropriate or club-ready, be sure you decide how you want to visually merchandise your footwear choices first. Your outfits will need to make sense for your customer to be enticed. A trick to keeping booties seasonal is the fabric. Leather is great year-round, while velvet and suede are typically warmer for the wintertime.

4. Hi, high-quality denim.

This one may seem like a no-brainer. You’d be hard-pressed to find an American who does not own a pair of jeans. But does your store currently possess a wide range of cuts, washes and styles? It’s important to offer your loyal customers seasonally appropriate lengths, denim in classic and trendy hues and trendy denim pieces too. Some of your customers are searching for funky, ’70s-inspired bell bottoms with floral patchwork, while others simply need a dark pair of skinnies for their weekly rotation. Cater to both!

5. Say it with a graphic tee.

Let’s face it: the soft graphic or band tee is the casual weekend look’s brightest star. Their popularity never seems to wane either! They can be dressed up with a smart blazer and a pencil skirt or made edgy with leather jackets and skinny pants. We recommend only carrying cotton and jersey tops and handpicking graphics that fit your store’s brand messaging.

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