By Joan Birsh
I’m happy to report that many Ocean Reef stores are now open and others are expected to open soon
– Joan the Shopper
I admit it. I’ve missed shopping in real time in a real store. Buying a dress that you “might” like online at 11 p.m. is just not comparable to a treasure hunt on a lazy afternoon in the Fishing Village for something you know you’re going to love.
But, happy days, some of my favorite Ocean Reef shops, closed for more than 60 days by COVID-19, are now open. And others (e.g. Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines) have promised “it won’t be long.”
Clearly the time has definitely come for me to don my “Joan the Shopper” hat and my “Cabin Fever” mask and embark on a tour of the “now open” Fishing Village stores.
It is only fitting that the first stop on my long-awaited shopping spree should be Burgee Shop, the first store on the right as you enter the Fishing Village… Here I found an adorable blue & white t-shirt dress from HiHo (pictured). It will be great for just hanging out at home or venturing to Palm Court for lunch. Also from HiHo the super comfy wide legs (new style) white linen Marigot pants.
Bless Dockside Living. This store remained open throughout those long at-home days. They frequently displayed masks (one says “Social Distancing”) and large bottles of hand sanitizers on outside tables…
Now that I could venture inside the store, I found a delightfully eclectic array of Kaftans (100 percent cotton with embroidery), stunning silk cover-ups that could go anywhere and tank dresses in black, navy, white. (pictured)
In this Corona Era, when we are all looking for comfort, you can be sure whatever you buy at J. McLaughlin will be figure flattering, washable, packable and always comfortable. Many of J. McLaughlin’s vast assortment of tops, pants, dresses are made of the company’s lovely soft, buttery signature fabric – Catalina Cloth… My choice: a red checked, sleeveless Durham shirt with a little ruffle at the neckline (pictured). I plan to wear it for dinner on the newly opened patio at the Islander restaurant.
The Leggiadro store isn’t open yet, but Ann Ross, the owner and designer of this chic boutique is doing a brisk “by appointment only” business… Call 850-502-3340 and Rhonda Smith will help you. She helped me find the perfect relaxed fit tee in Leopard Turquoise (pictured). Leggiadro tees are legendary and long lasting. What could be better than that.
On the deck, just around the corner from Leggiadro, is GLOSS, the newest boutique in the Fishing Village.. This small store is a magnet for the millennials, but you don’t have to be young to wear the lovely floral top by Misa (pictured). Pair it with J Brand high rise skinny white jeans and the next thing you know, the waiter will be carding you at the Burgee Bar.
Another fairly new entry to Ocean Reef retail is The Dress Code. Located on the ground floor of the Plaza Bldg., it is just a short cart ride away from the Fishing Village… Take the time to search through the crowded racks and you will find something special, unusual and just right for you… If you see me some summer evening at Gianni I’ll probably be wearing the super comfortable lightweight “Textured Leaf Dress” (pictured), that I bought at The Dress Code.
I ended my shopping tour on the porch of Port O’Call. Shopping brings its own reward but doesn’t every award-winner deserve a celebratory glass of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.
Addendum: In the next edition of the Ocean Reef Press (June 5) Joan the Shopper will cover the Golf and Tennis shops, the Gift Shop, etc…
ALERT: don’t miss the big Memorial Day sale (Friday-Monday) at the Golf Shop. Lots of golf bags, clothes, shoes, sunglasses at 50% off.
Note: Don’t have any illusions that “open” means no more rules. Masks are required for patrons and sales people. Going into a store without your mask is like arriving bare foot. Gloves are often provided. A hand sanitizer is generally available. The 6 ft’ apart rule prevails. Each store, depending on the size, will have a policy as to how many shoppers can be admitted at one time.