Normal is boring. That has always been Ellen Lazenby's motto and it is reflected on her store 432 West Side. The spacious boutique in Belleair Bluffs offers eclectic wardrobe choices for women like herself, who refuse to blend in.
Aimed at women 50 and older, 432 West Side came to exist at customers' requests. After closing another store and going into retirement, Lazenby was constantly asked to return to what she did best, and 13 years ago she finally obliged. Soon after, the store and its customer base outgrew the initial location and moved to the current one on Indian Rocks Road.
Scarves made of antique saris ($55), pleaded skirts with a contrast back ($156) and a flower pin that attaches by magnet so it doesn't ruin the clothes ($40) are some of the atypical items available at the store. Each of the pieces on the floor is handpicked by Lazenby for her loyal following.
Sometimes customers need some guidance and a reminder that style, not age, defines them, which Lazenby and her employees are happy to give and show with their own outfits every day. At others, the pieces are just a natural choice or long-sought-after solution to a wardrobe need. One of the best sellers, for example, are Sleevey Wonders ($42), lace sleeves that can be worn under sleeveless tops and dresses to mask and trim arms.
The goal is to dress customers uniquely while still remaining quietly elegant and timeless. To ensure that happens, all pieces are never bought in large quantities, are always made with quality fabrics and, for the most part, made in the United States. The inventory is also updated with new pieces often to make sure there's always a variety of available options and, most important, that the selection is never boring.