Store owners talk summer trends on Martha’s Vineyard


Summer 2012 is turning out to be a scorcher, so why not look hot yourself? To get you looking your best, I have asked a host of Island clothing stores to give their take on this year’s summer clothing trends and their own popular accessories.

In Edgartown I spoke with staff at Bryn Walker and The Great Put On. At Bryn Walker, a popular women’s clothing store located on Kelly Street as well as Main Street in Vineyard Haven, owner Leslie Sterns said, “Our summer is trending toward the layered peasant look in linens and gauze, with the peasant tops having a flowing arm. Also popular is stripes, which you will likely see in every store you visit. Our most popular store accessory is the wide belt that is long enough to wrap several times around the waist, and they are flying out of the store.”

Nicole Bilzerian, who is the buyer and co-owner of The Great Put On, located at 1 Dock Street, shared her view on this summer’s trends for both men and women, which you will be able to find in the designer boutique. “Color is very, very big this year for women and men. Women are leaning towards denim as well as items with an animal print, which we have in ballerina flats to blouses. Men have been gravitating toward the color orange as exhibited by our customer’s top pick of an orange linen shirt we carry. Also popular with the men is our line by Robert Graham, whose cool patterned shirts with coordinating colored cuffs and collars are unusual and whimsical.”

Oak Bluffs is home to the stylish women’s clothing and accessory store b*tru. “This summer’s biggest trend is the high-low hem line: high in front low in back,” owner Dulcie Rutherford said. “It can be found on tops, dresses, and flowing skirts. Scarves are still our strongest selling accessory, with lightweights, gauzy material in bold prints.”

Vineyard Haven is a fashionista’s heaven, with many clothing options. One of newest stores to hit Main and Union Street is The Collection MV, a women’s boutique specializing in resort wear, shoes, sandals, and specialty items. The most popular trend for the summer? “Versatile pieces that take you from beach to dinner, like a cover-up that can act as a top or dress,” said owner Kerry Quinlan-Potter. “Our most popular accessory, the Mystique Sandals line, can help you with this transition. They are gorgeous little shoes, like jewelry for your feet, and are super sparkly so they can dress up any outfit.”

Also on Main Street is Alley Cat, a long-standing eclectic women’s boutique where finding a unique piece can be a breeze. According to manager Daisy Kimberly, the top draws this season are “dresses of any style. We have been extremely busy with special occasion dresses, from cool printed tee-shirt styles to ‘I would like to thank the Academy’ dresses. Then there is our most popular accessory, the shoe. From summer sandals to pretty shoes, people have been crazy over our shoes.”

Judy Hartford, owner of both Red Mannequin on Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs and Yes, We Have No Bananas on State Road in West Tisbury, said, “With the hot summer we are having, people are looking for the lightest weight fabrics they can get. They are also staying away from black and instead going for colors in the form of lightweight cover-ups and lots of dresses versus pants. Our current must-have accessory in both stores is shoes. Women love the flat canvas espadrilles and our boldest shoppers are going for statement-making reds, yellows, and purples in any shoe style. Another trend that is still in is the lightweight scarf.”