Owner Chrissy Armstrong discusses the philosophy behind her chic and ever-rotating offerings.
Story by June Allan Corrigan
Photography courtesy Chrissy's on El Paseo
In just three short years — and despite a pandemic — Chrissy’s on El Paseo has built quite a loyal customer following. Jewelry was the genesis for the enterprise back in 2020, but offerings soon expanded to include clothing and gifts. Now the little shop at the corner of Sage Lane and El Paseo is a fashion-forward destination for women of all ages.
“During season, we literally get new shipments of clothing in every single day,” owner Chrissy Armstrong says. The flair and originality so clearly evident in her up-to-the-minute style selections match her selling technique. “Something special I offer my clients versus other stores is I typically only buy one of each size of each style. There’s little chance you’re going to run into a mirror image of yourself walking around everywhere!”
With that kind of aesthetic, it’s no wonder shoppers are eager to stop in two and three times a week to find out what’s new. Once inside, they’re greeted warmly, offered a sip of rosé, and made to feel at home. Or as one of Chrissy’s seasoned sales associates puts it: “We’re like the Cheers of clothing boutiques.” If everybody there doesn’t know your name, they soon will because Chrissy’s on El Paseo strives to give customers a memorable shopping experience.
Odds are excellent you’ll find something unique to wear that is also uniquely you. Collectively, Armstrong’s incredible lineup of sales associates represents decades of retail experience. “These are experienced women who know how to fit a body, a shape, an age, and a personality with what we have in the store at any given moment.” In fact, it’s not uncommon for three generations of women to come in together — a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter — and for all to walk out with sensational new outfits that suit their individual sense of style.
“People are out and about, they’re traveling, events are happening, and everyone is just so excited to get dressed again,” Armstrong says. Fashion solutions for parties, showers, weddings, and bar/bat mitzvahs await inside her namesake boutique, as do plenty of options for casual attire and even sportswear such as pickleball, tennis, and golf.
Proud to be a female-centric business that’s owned and operated by women, Chrissy’s on El Paseo does its best to feature women designers and American-made brands. Not to imply that men aren’t welcome! Far from it. Look no further than the two comfy “husband” chairs situated in the center of the store. And once gentlemen get a sense of the boutique’s friendly atmosphere, there’s a good chance they’ll be back to buy a gift for their wife or girlfriend with assistance from a knowledgeable staff member. Complimentary gift wrapping included!
“Every single day, I have people come in and say, ‘Gosh, this is my new favorite store,’” Armstrong says. On the northeast corner of Sage Lane, look for Chrissy on El Paseo’s pretty floral-entwined awning posts and brick-paved entrance, and go in to experience the fun and fashion for yourself!
What’s In/What’s Out/ What’s Coming
Chrissy Armstrong weighs in on the latest trends.
This spring and summer, it’s all about color. “COVID meant we were all wearing gray and black and white for a very long time and now people can’t get enough color,” Armstrong reports. Think vivid brights and neons. “Anything from the 1980s and ’90s.” For instance, fuchsia pink is very big at the moment, as is Kelly green. And people are loving a very bright orange color called SOS that designer Norma Kamali is currently featuring.
Heading into fall, Armstrong sees vegan leather really coming into its own. “You’re going to see jackets, tops, pants, shorts, and skirts made of it. Vegan leather is huge, and what they’re doing with it is just incredible. It’s so soft and supple. And of course, it’s much less expensive.”
Meanwhile, faux fur is waiting patiently on the horizon for winter, and the outlook is very bright. “We have some amazing and incredibly bright colored faux fur selections coming in for the holidays. Our clientele is going to love it.”