Quality, selection and style are just three of the adjectives shop owner Tim Keyes employs to describe Dixon & McAllister, the clothing boutique that he opened on Wayland Avenue in December. Keyes, who lives in Newport, has been in retail since 1976. Thanks to his experienced eye, shoppers can expect top-notch classic and contemporary picks at a variety of price points.
Upon first glance the shop is nautical meets Anthropologie: its anchor logo and airy whitewashed interior provide the backdrop for an array of colorful clothing, shoes and accessories that are both fashionable and practical. My eyes dart between neatly folded cashmere sweaters, nubby knit scarves and velvety- soft corduroy pants. I’m surrounded by luxurious texture. It feels fantastic.
I spot some cozy fleece pullovers hung along the right wall and reach out to touch one; it’s as fluffy as it looks. “That’s Patagonia,” Keyes notes of the popular outdoor apparel and gear line that’s developed a bit of a cult following. “Brands are very important to me,” he says. “There are certain brands - like Patagonia and DL 1961 Premium Denim - that I’ll always have in stock.”
(Speaking of DL 1961, its skinny jeans are well worth their moderate price tag. They’re crafted with revolutionary four-way stretch denim; gone are the days of saggy knees and droopy bottoms. Hallelujah.)
Other recognizable brands at Dixon & McAllister include Sperry Top-Sider, Frye, Splendid, St. James, Peter Millar, Kuhl, Johnnie-O, OluKai and Kinross Cashmere. Whether you’re a surfer, a sailor, a hiker, a hipster, a businessperson, a country clubber, a jetsetter, a soccer mom or a doting dad – this is the shop for you.
I saunter over to one of two tables in the back of the store and pick up a familiar looking silver shoe. “That’s the classic Sperry Top-Sider slip-on boat shoe,” Keyes tells me. “They look great, they’re affordable, people love them.” He selects a di!erent shoe, hands it to me and instructs me to feel the inside lining. I realize I am feeling a marshmallow cloud of comfort. “These are also by Sperry,” he says, “but they’re the Gold Cup. They cost quite a bit more but the quality is wonderful.”
Just past the OluKai sandals I spot a stack of red, navy and cream cotton shorts for men featuring embroidered anchors; they’re totally cool kid shorts. “I love these!” I tell Keyes excitedly as I silently calculate how many pairs I can afford. They’re the perfect gift for a husband or a brother. A husband or a brother that you like, that is.
Keyes is both approachable and industry knowledgeable – feel free to stop by and pick his brain regarding what’s on trend this season. Like me, you’ll leave with some new favorite items and maybe even a little spring in your step. 192 Wayland Avenue Providence 383-6739.