By Janet K. Keeler
When in Naples, shop upscale. That is easily accomplished at Waterside Shops on the Tamiami Trail, better known as U.S. 41.
Naples, on the southwest Gulf of Mexico coast, has long been a haven for the wealthy to buy art and shop, and escape blustery weather up north. The well-heeled descend in the mild winter months giving it the second-highest per capita number of millionaires in the country.
Not a millionaire but still want to shop like one? Head to Waterside and its open-air collection of 60 stores, including some of the nation’s toniest clothiers (Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Brooks Brothers.) Waterside is technically in Pelican Bay, just north of Naples but it’s less than 10 miles from downtown Naples and draws most of its customers from there.
Waterside’s name comes from its many water features, including fountains and calming canals meandering through the complex. It’s nearly impossible to resist tossing in a few coins for good luck. It’s good to know that the money collected from the fountains and other water features is given to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, an organization dedicated to protecting the state’s water, land and wildlife.
After dropping a few coins in the fountains, design your day trip to Waterside with an eye on the designer shops.
If handbags are on your must-buy list there are several stores that will show the folks back home you are a slave to the latest trends, or just want something that will last for years. Michael Kors’ telltale MK logo on the front of your bag will signal to all that you are a fashionista. The same can be accomplished with a cross-body bag or a clutch from Kate Spade New York. The new mom on your shopping list will change her baby in style with a Kate Spade diaper bag, black and white stripes included.
More bags can be had at Tory Burch, where the new floral chain bag complements any summer dress. And think about this, if you’re a year-round Florida resident, you are wearing summer dresses year-round. Figure that into the price tag.
Speaking of Florida style, Lilly Pulitzer is all about that laid-back tropical look. The hallmark pink-and-green floral print dresses, pants, shorts and tops signal you are ready to play and maybe even for a pina colada. The Sunshine State boasts five cruise ports with ships heading for warm locales throughout the Caribbean and beyond. Lilly Pulitzer resort clothes would like fine on any ship’s Lido deck.
Continuing on in the resort/cruise theme, Calypso St. Barth peddles sophisticated leisure clothes. Swimsuit cover-ups in mini, midi and maxi lengths appeal to many shoppers (and body types). Hand-dyed silk and cotton clothes provide an international flair to the clothes with inspiration from India and the tropics woven through the collections.
For 40 years, designer Ralph Lauren has been redefining the American style with clothes that are fit for a grouper sandwich dinner or a night at the Oscars. That polo player atop a horse logo has long signaled quality and exclusiveness. A Waterside boutique stocks all the designer’s latest fashions.
All this shopping requires a stop for sustenance. True Food Kitchen specializes in healthful food that pays homage to ancient grains and modern trends. A poke bowl loaded with wild-caught albacore tuna, avocado and quinoa or a wild mushroom pizza will keep your motor well tuned for an afternoon of more shopping. Get a Cherry Chia Limeade to go. You haven’t yet stopped at Louis Vuitton, Lulelemon Athletica, Gucci or Ann Taylor.
Oh, and speaking of motors, how about ordering a new model Tesla electric car on the way out? After all, you have been shopping in the playground of the ultra-rich all day.
When you go…
5415 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34108
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