Editor’s note: It’s my opinion that behind every good shop is a good shopkeeper. Boston’s Top Shops is a look at the city’s best stores, and the ladies (and occasional gents), behind them.
In Boston, it’s easy to get stuck in a weekend shopping routine. Copley, Newbury, Beacon Street, repeat. The thing about routines, though, is that they get pretty damn boring. So, whenever I begin to find myself on retail autopilot, I hop on the red line and head out to Harvard Square. Because tucked away in the land of co-eds and coffee shops is the most delicious little boutique, Mint Julep. Just as intoxicating as its name suggests, Mint Julep is colorful, feminine and fun. Plus, it seems like their well-curated selection of contemporary clothing and accessories is almost always changing.
With that in mind, when I recently had a chance to chat with Marissa Mintzer, manager of Mint Julep’s Cambridge location, one of my first questions for her was “What’s new for fall?” (Not to rush summer or anything, but when you love to layer as much as I do, fall clothes are an exciting prospect.) But enough about me. Here’s what Marissa had to say about her personal style mantra, her favorite Cambridge watering holes and, of course, what’s in store for fall.
TSG: First and foremost, what designers will shoppers usually find at Mint Julep?
MM: Tibi, Milly, Shoshanna, Citizens of Humanity, Free People, Tracy Reese, Beth Bowley, BB Dakota, Splendid and many more.
What are some of your best-sellers?
Jo Jo Bling earrings and our knock-off Van Cleef clover earrings (They look JUST like the real thing and are only $24!)
The Cambridge store is in the middle of a college campus. Do you have items to fit a college budget?
We have been carrying Adia Kibur rose rings since the day we opened our doors, and they are $10, but we carry a huge range of price points, from cotton dresses that are $78 to silk Shoshanna dresses that are $400.
It’s never to early to start thinking about next season’s wardrobe. What are some of the clothing trends we can expect to see in-store for fall?
Colored denim is a trend that I love. We have some J Brands right now in Juniper (mint green) and we are looking forward to seeing styles from Citizens Of Humanity in fun fall colors, along with some printed denim. I hear that going into the holiday season, velvet pants are going to be huge this year.
What about accessories?
For accessories, printed scarves are always in style. We carry cashmere Yarnz scarves every winter that make great gifts for someone special (or for yourself!).
What three things should every woman have in her closet?
Obviously a little black dress that makes you feel fab is a must for any lady. A go-to pair of skinny jeans are great for wearing with sandals and a tee when it’s warm or in the Fall with boots and a cozy tunic. Citizens of Humanity makes the best pair of stretchy black ones that are so comfortable, I could wear them everyday. Lastly, I think a pair of nude pumps. That way you can buy all the fun and crazy, colorful, printed dresses you want, and you’ll always have a shoe to match!
What’s your personal style mantra?
It’s always more fun to dress up!
What’s your go-to weekend outfit?
Well, seeing as I usually work on Saturdays, I love to dress up in a cute frock since it just seems to make the day feel more special. Saturday night means I get to take out a fancy Lauren Merkin clutch and wear a new dress, and of course, lazy Sunday afternoons usually call for a burnout tee and my favorite pair of jeans.
What’s the best way to spice up a boring outfit?
It’s all in the accessories. Add a neon bag or a big necklace to any outfit and it will become the centerpiece of your ensemble.
Favorite spot for drinks or dinner in Cambridge?
There are so many good places! Grafton Street and Tory Row are two of my go-to’s, but Veggie Planet is a hidden gem if you’re looking for some comfort food. Delish!
Mint Julep, 6 Church Street, Cambridge, Mass., (617) 576-6468, www.shopmintjulep.com