Before taking those tentative steps back into the world after more than a year of sheltering at home, it is likely that a wardrobe update is in order for many women. After all, if you worked from home, there was really nowhere to go, and what is the point of dressing up for a quick grocery run? Comfort reigned supreme in 2020, and though 2021 will continue that trend, a good number of women are ready to up their fashion game this year. If your closets are filled with fashions from 2019 and earlier, these Lawrenceville shops will be able to guide you back into the present day with chic and trendy styles for summer and beyond.

    Black Tanya top by ASTR The Label, in-store at Hazel Grey.

    Black Tanya top by ASTR The Label, in-store at Hazel Grey.

    Hazel Grey

    Located at the corner of 31st and Penn, this lifestyle boutique for women has been open since November. Named after owner Kelly Vigliotti’s dog, Hazel Grey will offer many dresses this summer. “The dresses are feminine, almost like baby doll dresses, with a lot of pastels, like baby blue and light pink,” says Vigliotti. She also carries midi and mini dresses, along with slip dresses and tank dresses. The key point with dresses is to keep them simple so that getting ready to go out is a quick process.

    Vigliotti says that this summer will continue to focus on all different types of sleeves, such as puff sleeves or bloom sleeves. “Shoulders will be elevated,” she adds.

    As for summer shoes, Vigliotti is seeing a smaller heel or shoes with a large, square toe. She carries shoes that are black, cream, or tan—easy colors that can be paired with many items.

    Adrie top and Louise short set for summer by 4SI3NNA,  available at Hazel Grey.

    Adrie top and Louise short set for summer by 4SI3NNA,
    available at Hazel Grey.

    “In the fall, you’ll see fringe is coming back; you’ll see jackets with fringes on it, or tee-shirts elevated with fringe,” she says, mentioning that blazers are very popular, as are “shackets,” a cross between a shirt and a jacket.

    Jeans are probably one of the clothing must-haves that truly never go out of style. “Denim is huge; I sell denim like crazy,” she says, but this year, think straight jeans versus skinny jeans. The fall will also usher in oversized, chunky sweater vests, some with houndstooth prints.

    Besides pastels, Vigliotti mentions that tie-dye will continue to sell this summer, but in the fall, look for olive green, burnt orange, and mocha. “My store is very neutral; we don’t do a ton of color. I tend to go for all the black, white, tan, gray … that is what you will see a lot of in here, but you will get pops of color. Blue is in right now, so you will see sky or cobalt blue. I have a lot of sage greens and subtle greens, which will be more for fall,” she says.

    One style of clothing that is decreasing in popularity is loungewear, perhaps reflecting the gradual reopening of the world. “People are excited to get out of the house again,” says Vigliotti.

    Moda Pittsburgh

    Perfect for summer, Scotch & Soda’s seaweed green midi wrap dress, featured at Moda.

    Perfect for summer, Scotch & Soda’s seaweed green midi wrap dress, featured at Moda.

    Formerly a clothing store exclusively for men, Moda recently began carrying women’s clothing. The newest branch of the Shadyside-based store opened in Lawrenceville on Black Friday in 2019 at the corner of 37th and Butler streets. Moda began to bring in women’s clothing in the fall of 2020.

    Moda, which means “fashion” in Italian, carries many high-end designers and opened with a mix of denim, clothing, footwear, and accessories from such brands as Scotch & Soda, Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, and more.

    The Lawrenceville store is owned by Kelly Barone, while husband Michael Barone is creative director. Michael notes that the biggest change in fashion from before the pandemic until now is the comfort aspect, which he says became somewhat more important than trends.

    Women’s gauzy white dress for summer from Scotch & Soda, available at Moda.

    Women’s gauzy white dress for summer from Scotch & Soda, available at Moda.

    “I would describe the current mix as ‘fashionably comfortable,’ though it will be evolving as things change in the future. This season was obviously very hard to predict, since regardless of trends there needs to be somewhere to wear them. As things open, the styles will get progressively more fashion focused, but it’s hard to say if people will be willing to sacrifice the comfort that we have gotten used to in the past year,” says Barone.

    Still, he believes that the trends for summer will be “bold patterns, bright colors, and soft pastels, with body-clinging fabrics, skin-revealing styles, and cinched waists, along with wide-leg pants and balloon-sleeve tops. ‘Boyfriend’ styles are a good choice if you want comfort but are tired of lounging.”

    Still popular are sweatpants and tie-dye, but Michael predicts those trends could wane by the fall, noting, “Fall trends will show a return—we hope—to normalcy in life and the things we do and what we wear. So, look for a bit dressier, a bit bolder, and more fashion than last year.”

    Violet Fashion

    Lilac laced-edge detail tank top by Hearts & Clips, in stock for summer at Violet Fashion Shop.

    Lilac laced-edge detail tank top by Hearts & Clips, in stock for summer at Violet Fashion Shop.

    Husband-and-wife owners Holman Nunez and Mayra Sangronis opened their violet-themed clothing shop on 3441 Butler Street in June 2019.

    The two focus on violet because they believe it makes people feel happy and hopeful and gives off a sense of positive energy—something sorely needed in a pandemic world.

    Although multiple tones and shades of purples, lilacs, and lavenders are plentiful throughout the store, Violet Fashion will also carry many bright, vibrant colors for the summer, such as yellows, reds, and greens. Floral prints will be popular as well.

    “We have a lot of requests for straw hats decorated with flowers,” says Nunez.

    Dresses have been a top seller for the shop since it opened. Nunez mentions that jeans are also big sellers, as is tie-dye, though the tie-dye trend may be leveling off a bit. Regarding summer skirts, Sangronis says they expect to see a trend in bell designs, with citric colors, such as yellow, mints, and oranges. She adds that crop tops are in and are here to stay: “Whether you are heading out to a club or to the beach, you will always find someone wearing a crop top.”

    Washed chambray jumpsuit shorts with rolled-up sleeves and a front button-up closure by Oddi Outlet, sold by Violet Fashion Shop for summer.

    Washed chambray jumpsuit shorts with rolled-up sleeves and a front button-up closure by Oddi Outlet, sold by Violet Fashion Shop for summer.

    Shirts can also serve another function by not only being visually appealing but by showing who you are and what you believe. “A lot of people are getting on board with graphic-design apparel. People want to raise their voices and buy a shirt that relates to what they are feeling, whether that is religious, social, or political,” says Nunez.

    Fall will be all about polished, chic casual, with a lot of neutrals and a lot of layering. Trench coats and sweater vests will also be seen. Once sweater weather arrives, the owners agree that cardigans will be popular as well as loose-fitting pullover sweaters. In terms of outerwear, they expect women to shy away from puffy jackets and instead choose thinner jackets.

    Sangronis thinks that in the fall, tracksuits and other comfortable clothes will still be trending, though as the world begins to reopen, consumers will start to dress with an eye toward getting back to life.

    Hilary Daninhirsch is a freelance writer living in the North Hills of Pittsburgh with her family and two dogs. She writes for a number of local, regional, and national publications on topics ranging from apparel and food to home design and more. Hilary grew up in Stanton Heights and ventures to the Strip and Lawrenceville as often as possible.