PERSONAL SERVICE AND A FOCUS ON FIT

BY M.S. LAWRENCE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

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If you’ve ever hunted for the perfect jeans, these are magical words: “Beija-Flor jeans are flattering, comfortable and designed to work with a woman’s curves. They’re made in Brazil, but designed by a mother- daughter team in Greenville, South Carolina,” says Elizabeth Raub. “I love them and wear them almost every day.”

As co-owner and manager of Vivi & Kate, a women’s boutique in Mount Pleasant, Raub is thrilled to introduce customers to Beija-Flor and other progressive yet fit-oriented clothing lines. Too often, she says, women struggle through the maze of trends to end up with ill-fitting clothes that are uncomfortable, too.

At Vivi & Kate, women benefit not only from specially selected designers but also from the one-on-one attention, fit advice and styling suggestions that Raub and her staff are able to offer at the small and intimate shop.

A style expert who’s passionate about fit, Raub helps shoppers find flattering jeans, business and casual wear, special occasion pieces, and more, encouraging them to play up their assets by finding the right cuts and fabrics for their lifestyles and shapes. “I want women to leave here looking and feeling great,” says Raub. “Vivi & Kate has a well-edited selection of upscale, on-trend clothing that fills a need in Mount Pleasant,” says regular customer Melaina Jones. “I’m able to find clothing that’s current yet appropriate for myage and lifestyle. My focus is on well-made clothes I can dress up or down, that I will love and wear for years. I set the bar high—I have to love it, and it has to look good on me.”

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The shop’s handpicked contemporary and classic lines include Nic+Zoe—luxurious essentials designed to deliver comfort—and Katherine Way, which features kind cuts and thoughtful details that flatter and enhance a woman’s shape. The list goes on: Lisette L has good-looking and comfortable fabrics that hold and shape. Joules is playful and French in spirit, with fun stripes and flouncy hems, while Jude Connally is an active, often preppy line with tech fabrics that wick moisture. “Great for a full day of running around when you want to be comfy but look polished and pulled together,” says Raub. Cozy and soft pieces from both Comfy and Capote are an essential for every woman’s closet.

“We also have some terrific sweaters from Wooden Ships, as well as all-cotton wraps that are easy to wear and make great gifts,” she adds. The shop has many lines made in the United States.

Jewelry and accessories include new Brighton designs for fall as well as the latest from local jewelry line Currie Jewelry, which earned a national following after being featured in Real Simple magazine. “The designer’s work really is amazing— simple, elegant, unique— and people are drawn to her pieces,” says Raub. “Plus she’s always coming up with something new.”

“When I shop at Vivi & Kate,” says Jody Millis, another happy customer, “it’s like visiting a friend. Elizabeth knows her clothing and how to put pieces together that work for me. It’s her personal service that makes me feel special. She tells me if something’s not right for me, as well as when it looks good. She carries clothing brands I won’t see at the department stores in town—clothing that’s stylish and well made!”

M.S. Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Charleston. Email: mslawrence@bellsouth.net.