Best Man to Make Your Daughter a Knockout 2007 | Jaider Sanchez | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Jaider Sanchez knows a thing or two about turning a girl into a woman -- or a man into a woman, for that matter. This drag queen/stylist is the expert that many Denver padres turn to when it's time for their daughters to celebrate their fifteenth-year quinceaera. They know that Sanchez will make their girls beautiful and prepare them for their first step into womanhood. Cha cha cha.
Here's the skinny on too many women's boutiques: The clothes they sell fit only willowy sylphs, teens and anorexics. But the rest of us -- and that means most of us -- want to look good without having to fit into one of those narrow, clingy, nipple-loving things that hang on countless clothing-store racks. A friend to local and small-run designers, Harriet Gibson champions garments stitched from good-looking natural fabrics in saucy colors that complement your shape. How novel.
Sarah Lilly-Ray has raised the cheap shoe to stiletto-heel heights at her Broadway footwear emporium, where the prices rarely climb above fifty bucks a pair. And what pairs! Lilly-Ray's shelves are proficiently stocked with nearly 100 styles of inexpensive shoes, from ballet flats to knockoff wedges, made predominantly from vegan-friendly materials and oozing with personality. Walk on!
Tiptoe into Elyse Burja's posh shoe palace, breathe in the sexy aroma of butter-soft leather and keenly crafted stacked heels, and you'll know how shoes become a fetish. Swoon over the black Bronx peep-toe pumps with front-buttoned straps or a pair of teetery, strappy Kaju wedges. Never have shoes looked so cute or irresistible as they do sitting in this sleek, modern shop.
Bruise carries what must be the premier selection of pre-owned sneakers, including Adidas, Puma, Nike, Reebok, Converse and other favorites of the city's fleet-footed. Owner Dennis Bodley claims to personally scrub, oil, polish and waterproof every pair he puts on the shelves, so what's old can be new again. And stink-free.
Don't know what to do with that worn pair of jeans, a skirt from three seasons ago or your stash of old T-shirts? Chances are good that Tricia Hoke and Kimberly Robertson of Potential Fashions would have more than a few ideas. These ladies have made an art form out of reconstructing thrift-store clothing into something more whimsical and fashionable than the original ever was. Sweater collars made from the tops of jeans? You'd better believe it's cute. These girls have serious Potential.
Courtesy True
The relationship between a woman and her handbag is a little something like Kismet. Some people search for years for the right purse, carrying some ratty old thing while they look. One bag's not big enough, another's too heavy; the black bag doesn't go with your new brown shoes, but the brown one lacks that secret little spot where you can stash your lip gloss. Shana Colbin's year-old Highlands Square shop is a good place to start looking. With classic bags in soft leathers and luscious colors, Kismet promises that some day your purse will come.
There's only one place for a cowgirl to stash her keys and cash: in a classic tooled-leather saddlebag slung freely over her shoulder. Zelda's stocks the archetypal Western-wear purses in several shapes and sizes, plus plush cowboy-boot slippers, bejeweled belts, sterling silver and turquoise jewelry, fur-trimmed jean jackets and willow bentwood furniture. Annie, get your fun!
Finally, Sephora made it to the Mile High City. No more trips to New York and San Francisco to indulge in its plethora of tubes, pots and compacts. A veritable playground of choices, Sephora lets you peruse on your own or with the help of a skilled cosmetologist, picking and choosing from just about any skin-care, fragrance, makeup, bath and body or hair-care product under the sun. It's better than Prozac!
There's so much to love about Rare Bird Vintage Clothing, from the artful, ever-changing window displays to the great prices on cute couture from every decade. Owner Ian Nelson pairs old clothes with new ideas, which makes this Capitol Hill closet an ideal dress-up destination. The fun isn't just for grownups, though. In the back of the store, hidden behind mounds of retro dresses, kooky shoes and original pieces by local designers is a display of tiny treasures for tykes, from full cowboy outfits to onesies from the '50s, '60s and beyond. Jaw-droppingly adorable, these itty-bitty clothes are just the thing to get a future hipster through the early years in style.

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