Spanx founder Sara Blakely quips, “I’m in the butt business.” Recognizing that women need a firm foundation for their style, she’s built an empire devoted to defining our appearance. She’s also a no-nonsense shopper, a woman who can size up a boutique as fast as she can spot panty lines under white slacks.
“I’m not a browser,” the busy 38-year-old says. With her first child on the way (she was five months along in our photos!) and a business to run, she hones a finessed shopping technique.
We start our shopping trip at Tootsies, one of her favorite Atlanta spots (across from Lenox Square mall) where she selects tops and dresses off the racks and matches them with to-die-for heels within minutes (www.tootsies.com). She shoos us away politely, dashing into the fitting room to hobnob with Nanette Lepore, Diane von Furstenberg, Milly, Nicole Miller, and other designer labels. Sara emerges minutes later in the perfect summer dress you see in our photo. She’s a quick study, knowing exactly what she’s after―like the chandelier earrings and perfect strappy sandals in purple and red. Satisfied with the stash, Sara plops down to share more shopping secrets. Here are her favorite picks.
Sara’s Faves in the ATL
Aric C. Cosmetics
Sara frequently pops into Aric Castleberry’s chair to have her eyebrows and makeup done for special occasions (in fact, she wouldn’t even begin shopping with us until he did her eyes and cheeks). Aric’s products are sold exclusively at a booth inside Tootsies. Sara isn’t his only fan. Aric says he’s developed the reputation around Atlanta as the “Best pluck in town--and that’s no tweezing.
3209 Paces Ferry Place NW; (404) 237-9842
Here’s where she goes to pair high-end shoes with straight-leg jeans and casual tops. The selection (think Prada and Christian Louboutin) could make Sex and the City stars swoon (located in Phipps Plaza).
3500 Peachtree Rd NE # A3; (404) 237-9000 or www.jeffreyatlanta.com
Mixing new and vintage comes naturally, so Sara goes to Little Five Points for what she calls her “don’t-take-myself-too-seriously look.” “I scan and quickly pull out four or five things. I love to mix couture with inexpensive.”
464 Moreland Ave NE; (404) 577-3188
Range Clothing Boutique
For the most part, Sara likes a good buy, and Range fills the bill. “I go here for cute, affordable pieces,” she says. It stocks designer clothes from California and prices everything at less than $250. “They’ve got a great bead shop too,” she says referring to its Brina Beads counter where you can pick up unique necklaces.
3231 Cains Hill Place; (404) 816-8230 or www.rangeboutique.com
I like to make vintage-looking T-shirts by picking out screen prints here,” she says. This Little Five Points shop matches hundreds of prints to a variety of T-shirt styles. We can just imagine the cool little shirts she’ll make for her new baby this summer.
1152 Euclid Ave NE; (404) 222-6466 or www.bang-on.com
Sara slips into this Phipps Plaza lingerie shop for fancy and frilly under things. (Even Sara doesn’t always wear Spanx.)
3500 Peachtree Rd NE # E29; (404) 261-9333 orwww.myintimacy.com