EgoFebruary 22, 2012 at 5:30 am

Pretty Colors

An Old City standout with Old City prices

Sarah Tse

Kaleidoscope Boutique holds true to its title. It’s a trendy little store, hosting a variety of chic designer clothing with a psychedelic twist. A sapphire dress, simple in the front and flashy in the back, greets passers–by from the door and shows off the flair of the place. It’s classy, but with a funky edge.

The whole ambiance of the place plays off of this vibe, making Kaleidoscope a fun walk–through, if nothing else. A mannequin strapped in a leather jacket sits atop a motorcycle behind the counter, and plush chairs and couches are scattered about the space’s open floor. A chain–link curtain drapes from the ceiling, and mirrors reflect wall–to–wall. Despite the potential for discordance, however, Kaleidoscope manages not to feel too cluttered. It’s cleanly–designed and doesn’t act pretentious.

In fact, the mix proves to be one of the store’s highlights. Whatever a shopper’s taste, Kaleidoscope likely has something to fit. Shirts studded with skulls hang on racks not far from understated dresses. The boutique offers cutout swimsuits from designers like Chio — think Sports Illustrated — along with flowy pieces from designers like Miki Mialy — think springtime and nature. There’s Brian Lichtenberg across from vintage Chanel. It’s like having the essences of Lady Gaga and Zooey Deschanel somehow coherently embodied in the same place.

Kaleidoscope’s selection of accessories adds spark to the already eclectic collection. Retro hats with wispy feathers seem almost like decorations. Miniature busts don necklaces with scissors and mustaches, and other jewelry made with guns and crosses gleam inside their cases. It’s the combination of classy clothing and a slightly offbeat atmosphere that allows the boutique to hold its own with other shops in this strip of Old City.

What makes the store stand out, however, also produces its drawback. All that ambiance doesn’t come cheap, so make no mistake — they have designer clothes at designer prices. Much of the boutique’s merchandise rises over several hundred, easily busting most student budgets. If you’re looking for a splurge, then Kaleidoscope delivers. If not, a trip here could turn to a quick browse through high price tags.

Kaleidoscope Boutique
151 N. 3rd St.
What you’ll find there: Trendy and cool designer clothing with psychedelic accents
Bottom line: A notable boutique even among its numerous Old City competitors

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