Nob Hill’s Wearit! Boutique, with 27 years in business, was one of the pioneers of Nob Hill. Born even before The Flying Star café, Janet Moses’ boutique has been through many incarnations, and she jokes that her building has had more facelifts than Joan Rivers. All her life she had a sense of style and an eye for retail. Moses notes that as a girl she used to go shopping with her mother and within three minutes inside a store she could tell if they were going to find what they were looking for or not. “How do you do it?” her mother would exclaim.
She doesn’t know how she does it, but she has made a successful career out of presenting style opportunities for New Mexican women that simply don’t exist anywhere else. Her business card states, “Trendy, but not tragically so.” This is a good description of the tweeds, beads, and other needs to be found at Wearit!, where sparkly Indian imports pair with bulky, textural, bohemian sweaters and dresses. The look is layered and emphasizes comfort while featuring unfussy embellishments: folds and wrinkles and unusual fabric pairings. Throughout this season’s stock of neutral-toned winter wear are sprinkled splashy accessories such as beaded silk purses, embroidered scarves and lacy camisoles. Moses describes her look as “European” in the sense that it is designed for women who are confident in how they dress and who buy items to last. She states, “I love it when a customer comes in and says they have a skirt from Wearit! they have been wearing for fifteen years. I just love that.”
“It can be so hard to translate what women see in a magazine to themselves,” she explains, and notes that her store tries to carry what real women, not fashion models, want. She offers styles that will make women feel good and beautiful and love the wonderful uniqueness about themselves. Many of the store’s lines are out of Paris, thus celebrate unusual European fabrics and cuts that are very flattering. Finding affordable fashions overseas is tricky, she notes, in today’s economy, but they have latched on to a few designers whose work really resonates with women in Albuquerque. “They give a lasting quality to the clothes,” states Janet.
Style and quality are hallmarks of Wearit’s look, but what of the store itself? Located at 107 Amherst, right across the street from the Nob Hill Shopping Center, the boutique prides itself both on its longevity (they sold the first Swatch watches in Albuquerque, displayed in a fish aquarium to show that they were waterproof) and its premium customer service. “The retailers here in Nob Hill are really focused on that,” she carefully points out.
Like Patrice Schooley of Chelsea Morning, Janet is proud to say she has customers she has known since birth, customers where all the women in the family shop at Wearit! and have done so for years. “We know our customers. We know when they get a new job, when they have a new baby. We are a little bit of a support group too, because we see that customer again and again.” They understand that if a shopper is looking for some real retail therapy, shopping alone won’t cut it. There is nothing like going to a store that knows you personally. Adds Janet, “Anybody can get a new customer, but we want to keep the repeat customer coming back…for years.”
Photos by Dawn Allynn