Nestled in a NoDa shopping center, Peek-A-Boutique stocks vintage and one-of-a-kind items with a wallet-friendly price point.
Editor’s Note: Adventures in the Qcity is a series that spotlights local destinations in the Charlotte area. Click here to read about others we’ve featured.
When you walk in the door of Peek-A-Boutique, two thoughts immediately battle in your head: “Oooh, shiny!” and “Can I afford this?”
Thankfully, the eclectic frock and jewelry shop stocks vintage and one-of-a-kind items with a wallet-friendly price point. “Nothing is over $60,” owner Simone Jones says, with the exception of specialty items like the his-and-hers, full-length minks hanging in the back room. “Quality doesn’t have to be expensive.”
The shop, nestled in NoDa, is a goldmine of posh pieces — a 1920s-inspired fringed flapper gown, Sex and the City-style tulle skirts, statement necklaces and hand-dyed scarves — but what Jones likes most is when shoppers pair the fancy occasion dresses with cowboy boots or other dressed-down accessories for a chic, casual look.
That trend is spot-on for modern dressing, which is having a moment of high-low fashion (thanks, Mrs. Obama!) and taking the starch out of formal wear. Right now, there simply are no rules. Charlotte hasn’t developed as distinctive a style as, say, a Detroit or Miami, but it is coming along: In addition to the city’s two fashion weeks, fashion shows and trunk sales seem to profligate weekly, and the influx of transplants from the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast is having an impact on traditional Qcity modes of dress.
Jones does wish the women of Charlotte, particularly older African-American women, would take more chances, fashionably speaking.
“I would hope Charlotte’s more mature women wouldn’t be so inhibited, be a little more adventurous, so long as something fits and is age appropriate. Don’t lose your sexy, and don’t worry about a little extra this or that,” she says.
But for younger women, her advice is the opposite. “If you’d change the way you dress, you would attract a different audience,” she chides. “These sheer looks are cute for the runway, but not necessarily the highway or the street.”
Jones calls her own style minimalist. She sports a chic, almost Vulcan hairdo that emphasizes her wide, brown eyes. “I wear whatever I feel good in, whether someone else thinks it looks good or not,” she says, but not many people fall in the latter camp, as evidenced by the several gentlemen who stop in during our interview to see if she “needs anything.”
“I’m fine,” she waves them off with the friendly dismissal of cool girls everywhere.
Jones started out in the restaurant business and was owner of The Dog House in the former Eastland Mall, as well as the NoDa sandwich shop 5 on 15th. Peek-A-Boutique has been open for seven months, in a space once occupied by a dry cleaner, in the Amelie’s complex. Needless to say, the space has been completely renovated and re-imagined. Now, instead of leather, chrome and a prominent counter, there are Victorian couches, poufs and exquisite tableaus.
“I said, ‘Let me try vintage,’ because of the area. I love boutiques, I love vintage, I watch Mad Men just for the clothes. I like the elegant, chic, clean style you find in older eras,” Jones says.
Her shop, which also sells on consignment, is steadily building a loyal clientele that spans women of all ages. Peek-A-Boutique hosts book signings, photo shoots and parties, and stays open late Fridays and Saturdays. November 8, 9 and 14th, the store will present a staged theatrical event, Urban Autumn, by Charlotte performer Dawn Nicole.
GETTING THERE: Peek-A-Boutique is located at 2424 N. Davidson, Suite 105A, next door to the deli in the Amelie’s complex. From the Charlotte Transit Center, walk to Bay R and take Bus 23 outbound. Stop at 28th Street and walk into the Amelie’s complex parking lot. Peek-A-Boutique’s front door is located between NoDa Market and Deli and The Yarnhouse.