Summer-loving shops to master the season
1. Flipping Out
This summer do your feet a favor and head over to the Flip Flop Shop. The bright, airy space (it smells like suntan lotion!) makes you want to kick off your shoes and stay awhile, at least until you find the perfect pair. The walls are covered with colorful and varied options. From the bedazzled—think leopard-print, flowers, glitter and jewels—to laid-back and beachy, there’s something for the whole family. Brands include Reef, Havaianas, Quiksilver, Flojos and iPANEMA. The store sells a lot of OluKai (with a surprising amount of arch support) and cushy-soled Cobians for the kids. 1552 Post Rd.;
2. Pop Go The Shops
To celebrate PopShop Market's first birthday, cofounders Andrea Espach and Ashley Kane are going back to where it all started: The Fairfield Theatre Company. On June 8, this European-style open-air market returns with local vendors and even a few imports from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Previous vendors include Charlie Dog Boxer Company, Anita Designs home furnishings, the Buzz Truck and Ellsworth & Ivey. What shops will pop up this summer? “We like to mix it up for each PopShop,” says Andrea, “but expect favorites like The Local Meatball, Du Grenier, Mister and His Sister and Lola Richards.” After a long day of shopping and snacking, swing by the signature BarCar for cocktails and a Connecticut craft brewer and live music.
3. Budding Fashions
The Children's Place's spring/summer line for girls (at left) is awash in colors, from vibrant to soft pinks and purples. Girls can choose from fit and flare dresses with rosettes and skirts with patterned lace. And for the boys? "The boys are more laid-back," notes Joanna Muniz, a manager at the Fairfield store. Classic khakis, a pink-and-blue-plaid button down and chambray vest are effortlessly cool for those special outings.
2183 Black Rock Turnpike, 203-331-0443; chidrensplace.com
4. Dad Paddle
Dad’s a stand-up kind of guy. Get him a gift that’s in sync with this quality—a stand up paddleboard. Imagine a surfboard, only larger, that you use a paddle to maneuver. To get the right size—about eight to ten inches longer than the paddler—turn to the folks at Eastern Mountain Sports (1939 Black Rock Turnpike, 203-334-7006; ems.com) or Fairfield Board Company (1700 Post Road, 203-955-1132; fairfieldboardcompany.com) for help. Both offer a great selection and help getting started.