For Valentine’s Day present I decided to buy my girlfriend a cute red dress that works for play and business casual events. I planned on getting this dress a week prior to Friday and had been looking around in Northgate Mall, U-Village, as well as South Center. H & M is one of her favorite store but while it has decent selection I decided that I want to give her something very unique, something that you won’t find someone else wearing in the streets of Seattle.

Two days before Valentine’s Day I gave up the approach of going to centralized shopping districts with brand name stores. I asked one of my co-workers who happens to be an experienced boutique clothe shopper. She told me to check out smaller individual clothing stores instead, where I would more likely find selections matching the shop owner’s taste (and not from brand name market research results). Sure enough I stopped by a very tiny women’s clothing store call Bella’s next to Rain City Burger’s on NE 65th and NE Roosevelt. I immediately notice some cute jackets, scarfs and shirts. I spend about 15 minutes in this tiny store chatting with the shop owner, who helped me decide what might work best. I paid about $ 35 for a really cute red dress and my girlfriend was very surprised and pleased. Actually looks very good! (The alternative is to spend $40-$50 a store like H&M for something more generic)

I never really thought shopping at smaller stores (for women’s clothing) would be much easier (for clueless men like me). For what I got, the price was good and the quality really nice. I have never seen a dress like that before and I doubt there will be others wearing it on the streets. I think in the future I should try smaller boutique stores for something special. The small shop owners may provide much more useful suggestion since they are the ones hand picking out the clothes.


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