For Jamie Stuart McLeod, fashionThe family tradition continues. Her newest clothing encounter is at Polly & Esther in Long Beach, which she opened on Aug. 6.
“I’m third-generation,”The mom and businesswoman who grew-up in Manhattan now lives in Neponsit (Queens). “It’s in my genes.” And her jeans.
Her maternal grandfather was an expert patternmaker. Lynn Stuart’s parents, George Stuart and Lynn Stuart, owned Mister Pants in Los Angeles. They loomed XL sportswear in the 1970s. Her mother also designed clothes for Lucille Bell and other stars.
Polly & Esther, a playful name inspired by a now-defunct New York City nightspot, grew out of Stuart McLeod’s 20-year-old wholesale label. The boutique specializes exclusively in “carrying what’s trending and what’s happening right now,”She said.
Polly & Esther in Long Beach has a relaxed vibe, much like the big-sister shops in Queens and Memphis, which opened eight years ago. “It’s for that girl who wants to dress up or just wants a casual look,”Stuart McLeod “We also have mom customers.”
The store stocks a variety of women’s clothing, including denim, loungewear, going-out and sweet 16 dresses as well as seasonal coats and seasonal dresses. “Jeans are a huge part of our business,”She said. Plaid shackets are a popular choice. They are the love child between a jacket and shirt.
Stuart McLeod also keeps accessories and masks. She started making them early in the pandemic to help essential workers.
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“My customer wants to look good and she’s tired of sweatpants,”Stuart McLeod “She wants to put on something cool and trendy and go out.”
And she doesn’t have to break the bank to do that. Prices range from $18 to $100
Polly & Esther is located at 158a E. Park Ave.; 516-548-7107; justpollyboutique.com. The shop is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday through Sunday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.
By Joe Dziemianowicz
Newsday: Special Features