Sometimes a girl just needs the perfect dress. You can spend hours going through the department stores or sorting through all types of clothes at a boutique... or you can just take a trip over to Zuzu’s Petals, now with a new location in Barrington. Longtime owner Lois Hollingsworth started with her store on Thayer Street in Providence and has expanded to Cranston, East Greenwich and now the East Bay. Hollingsworth says, “Our customer is looking for something that has a classic long-term appeal to it in terms of being able to wear it and love it time after time. That’s something we strive for.” Beautiful designs will draw you in, but a delightful staff will keep you loyal.
When stepping into this new location, the openness and clean, organized displays make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. With some guidance from Hollingsworth, I fell in love with a Nicole Miller mid-length dress, but in this store you get so much more than just what meets the eye: You get expertise. Hollingsworth told me all there was to know about the dress and why it would suit my needs perfectly, from the fabric (55% linen, 42% rayon and 3% spandex, which I learned was just enough spandex to give some stretch and strengthen the fabric, while the rayon helps the linen avoid wrinkles) to the wrapping of the material (which would help hold in my girls without being too revealing). She enthusiastically pointed out the smallest details like the widened straps to just cover those unwanted arm folds and a banded waist that looks great on any woman. By the time she was through, I loved the dress as much as she clearly did. “You can go to a wedding, go to a party, dress it up, dress it down,” Hollingsworth says, “This is a dress you will pull out in five years and you will still love it.” Just in case I wasn’t a fan of deep blue (I was), I also learned that the frock comes in white, beige and terra cotta. I was sold.
Originally making her way to Rhode Island as a RISD student, Hollingsworth had dreams of traveling to Italy to be a painter; her artistic eye has not been wasted as it shines through in every corner of this store. She handpicks all the merchandise from shows in New York then brings items back to discuss them with her trusted employees. “I talk amongst a number of the people that work here,” she says, “because we are all different age groups and we like to make sure that we have things that span all age ranges.” This process en- sures that there is something for all different needs and incorporates not only today’s current trends but also the long-lasting designs that have proven to always stay in style.
Stop by to shop favorites like Nicole Miller, Lilly Pulitzer, Betsey Johnson, BCBG Max Azria, Milly, Shoshanna, Laundry by Design, Susana Monaco, Tibi and Maria Bianca Nero. Don’t need a dress just now? They also carry other items from their go-to designers that fit within the spectrum of their dress collections: coats and sweaters in the fall and a wide array of trendy bathing suits for summer. Personally, I am ready to go back for a navy blue anchor suit that is just adorable.