Air of Sophistication

Founded by two women with a passion for dress-up, Lizzy & Jane recalls the glory days of fancy feminine attire.

Marilyn Evert and Pat Feighan grew up loving Pride and Prejudice. Now in their 50s, with five daughters between them, it's clear Jane Austen's peek inside an elegant, bygone era has stuck with the longtime friends.

"We walk together every morning, and we spend a lot of time talking about dresses, fashion, our daughters," Feighan says. "We loved to dress them when it came to all their dances, homecomings and proms."

Now with some of their daughters at college, Feighan and Evert have their boutique, Lizzy & Jane (named after two of Austen's characters), to feed their love for dress-up. The dusky-green space with leather furniture provides a sophisticated stage for delicate items such as a headband with turquoise roses ($65) and a gray sweater shrug sprinkled with mini sequins from London design house Nougat ($206).

"We wanted to juxtapose the rugged and the rough and the industrial against the feminine," Evert says.

They also wanted to offer something for every woman. Leather driving gloves ($65) and oversized distressed leather clutches ($122-$165) grace the shop's tables. A cream-colored dress with oversize rosettes ($306) shares space with a black silk crepe dress with a high ruffle neck ($245) from Chicago-based designer and Laurel School grad Jess Audey.

Lizzy & Jane is also known for its elegant and hip bridesmaids dresses. The store carries traditional lines (think dupioni silk) in modern cuts and shorter lengths. But it's not uncommon for bridal parties to take advantage of the boutique's bonanza of party dresses.

And while you'll pay for these fashions, know that Feighan and Evert carefully select their pieces to ensure you'll find something truly different. They search far and wide for designers not carried in Northeast Ohio and covet their favorites.

"The thing that surprised me," Feighan says, "is how hungry women were for a great, fresh new look on a dress."

When You Go
Lizzy & Jane
82 West St., Chagrin Falls, 440-893-9090,
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