Metro-East Living

Fashion Attic in Columbia offers stylish bargains for women, kids

Fashion Attic owner Lori Prior adds a sweater to a gray top and jeans at her consignment boutique on Main Street in Columbia.
Fashion Attic owner Lori Prior adds a sweater to a gray top and jeans at her consignment boutique on Main Street in Columbia.

On Tuesday, I stopped in at Fashion Attic in Columbia. The consignment boutique, which carries women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, is a bargain shopper’s find at 126 S. Main St.

Owner Lori Prior, with help from assistant Lisa Crosson, have creatively stocked a cool space — with high ceilings, plank flooring and brick walls — with a wide choice of gently used items, including designer brands. I spied a small Dana Buchman leather and tweed handbag for $19.99, as well as jackets from Jones and Talbot’s under $20. I saw a gorgeous Halston black velvet cape that hadn’t been priced yet; perfect for Halloween. Lots of nice costume jewelry and a good selection of $25 to $70 party dresses for homecoming.

Lori has been in business six years and moved into this location in February. You’ll find three big rooms artfully decorated; even the dressing rooms are stylish.

“The fun part is putting things together,” she said, slipping a necklace over a mannequin.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays; to 5 p.m. Fridays and 4 p.m. Saturdays. If you have items you want to consign, it’s appointment only by calling the shop at 618-281-7467. Also check out and Facebook.

Mobile outerwear

So, just how mobile is your lifestyle? I throw all my electronics in a giant handbag and go. Lots of friends stick their phones in their back pockets, then try to sit down.

SCOTTeVEST is a 16-year-old online retailer that specializes in streamlined men’s and women’s jackets and coats with places to comfortably hide your electronics. I will emphasize the word “comfortably” because today’s technology can be cumbersome: phone, tablet, reader, earbuds.

The company announced this week that it is releasing its Laptop-Ready OTG Jacket ($215). As the name implies, the nylon quilted garment can hold a slim laptop, unseen, among its many pockets, many of which are hidden inside the lining. No lumps, no bumps and easy access. You have to see the video at to believe it. If you don’t want to carry a laptop in your jacket, the company has a pretty extensive line of everything from hoodies to puffer jackets and trench coats that do the same “it’s gone” trick with smaller technology.

If you’re wondering about lugging the weight of those personal electronics around on your body, SCOTTeVEST has engineered its outerwear to balance the weight load across the entire garment, so the wearer’s movement is not impeded and the upper back won’t get tired or sore.

IKEA birthday bash Sept. 30

Hard to believe it’s been one year, but IKEA in St. Louis is holding a first birthday bash. Mark your calendar for Friday, Sept. 30. From 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., here’s what you can expect: Be one of the first 500 people in the door and get a mystery envelope for a chance to win an IKEA gift card worth $5 to $500. (Every envelope is a winner.) Get dessert for a buck in the restaurant, check out the anniversary sales and take part in free, family-friendly activities.

Comfy but stylish flats

For those of us who have shed the need to wear heels to work or just prefer flats, DWS, the shoe “wearhouse” in Fairview Heights across from the mall, has a great selection of comfort flats that combine support and style. I like Dr. Scholl’s Sidney flats ($49.99) with a memory-foam insole and what the company calls an “almond toe,” which means it’s halfway between pointy and round; a good compromise, I think. The store also carries Eurosoft, Aerosole and Easy Spirit footwear.

Trunk show and new website

The big news this week at Peace by Piece in downtown Belleville is twofold: A Before+Again Fall Trunk show runs Thursday to Saturday. Perhaps even bigger news is that the boutique’s web site is now live at You can shop, get event info and more. Plus, you can order online and pick up at the store.

Pick a pumpkin

Ready to find your fall pumpkin? Starting Saturday and running through Sept. 30, Eckert Farms is offering its pick-your-own pumpkins for 34 cents a pound (half off) at the Belleville, Millstadt and Grafton locations.