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As bay area festivals begin, shop local for smart fashion, gear

Because the weather can be go from blazingly hot to cool in Florida during the fall and winter, layering is crucial. Dress to impress — but comfortably — for the Florida Orchestra's Pops in Park concerts returning to Vinoy and River Tower parks Oct. 15 and 16, and countless other outdoor events scheduled from now until May. Lightweight clothing with jackets, hats and nifty outdoor accessories for picnics are also available at local indie shops.

Shandy Style

4336 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg

An ideal stop for moms and daughters shopping together, Shandy Style combines natural femininity with trendy sophistication. The store stocks a variety of S'well bottles ($44/$34), which keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, and proceeds go to charities. A pleasure to shop in, the family-owned Shandy Style has professional, cordial clerks and immediately soothes the weary shopper with its muted tones and elegant decor. Be sure to check out the affordable hats and scarves by the front entrance and handmade jewelry by Wild Nocturne, stunning pieces designed by local artist Emma LeBlanc. Celebrate the store's first anniversary with owners Cyndee Smith and her daughter Alexis Conway at the Shandy Style 1-Year Party from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature sales inside and outside the store, live entertainment and a bartender.

Buffalo Gal Vintage

A purveyor of vintage and vintage-inspired fashions, Buffalo Gal had a brick-and-mortar location in downtown St. Pete that closed in 2013. Now you can browse the online boutique for cardigans, windbreakers and light jackets that become indispensable at outdoor events. And guys, the word "Gal" might be in the name, but Buffalo Gal has stylish vintage shirts if you're after that Mad Men style and swagger.

Creme de la Creme

4246 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa

Whether you fancy a polka-dotted rain jacket that folds neatly into a square pouch or an earth-toned hoody-smock or just feel like browsing amusing novelties and travel accessories, Creme de la Creme will keep you occupied and remind you why it's called "Tampa's cutest gift shop." Owner Sharon Yerrid-Carneal puts the fun in functional with fashions and accessories that are ideal home and outdoors. Recently in stock: a Game Day Fan to cool you off at those mid-afternoon Little League or Bucs games. The small battery-powered fan affixes to the bottom of any cellphone and costs just $10. Creme is also one of Florida's top 5 retailers of S'well bottles. "The largest size we stock fits an entire bottle of wine," Yerrid-Carneal says.

Shops on Broadway

700 Block of Broadway, Dunedin

Dunedin's little Broadway strip has a mix of independently owned boutiques with accessories and stylish fashions, too. African imports shop Sleeperwoods, with downtown St. Petersburg and Dunedin locations, has colorful totes called Bolga Baskets, which combine the sturdiness of a basket and portability of a bag ($20-$38). A Ghana tradition, the weave derives from sturdy, sustainable elephant grass in Ghana, handcrafted by artisans in the Bolgatanga region. Proceeds from the purchase go to the African artisans. Thistle, another shop with sumptuous herbal-floral aromas, has cotton wraps and cardigans made in Thailand, perfect for evening cooldowns.


3007 Village Blvd., Madeira Beach

Insulated cups are ideal for any picnic basket, and there's a mini-superstore of high-quality themed cupware on the northern end of John's Pass Village. All sorts of colors and motifs fill the shop. Each cup at Cups carries a lifetime guarantee and is safe for the dishwasher, freezer and microwave. The double-walled insulation keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.

Osprey Bay Outfitters

160 N Belcher Road, Clearwater

No getting around it — some festivals are messier and wetter than others. A trip to outdoor music fests like Wanee in North Florida might involve camping and activities on the side such as kayaking and wading in nearby springs. Stop by Osprey Bay Outfitters for durable backpacks and dry storage options, Splash Gear, camping chairs and other accessories. The even have the portable (and handy) Boozie Buckets, which store beverages and double as a seat.

As bay area festivals begin, shop local for smart fashion, gear 10/06/16 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2016 9:51am]
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