Flip-flop season is approaching, and many stores at Montgomery Mall are well stocked to help prepare area shoppers for warm weather.
Starting at Hanna Andersson, a Swedish clothier that specializes in apparel for children, you’ll find a bright array of swimsuits, cover-ups, swim dresses and matching water shoes, sunglasses and other accessories. All are offered at special prices during the store's dress and swim sale. Particularly eye-catching pink or purple flip flop sandals for young girls feature cheerful flowers across the top. Also available are Speedo "skoogles," or adjustable goggles meant for very young swimmers.
The shop, located on Level 1 near Nordstrom, touts itself as featuring "butter-soft fabrics and energizing colors" in its apparel, with "comfy shapes that aren’t too tight or grown up."
If you believe the giant sign in Naartjie Kids' window display on Level 2 near Nordstrom, then "It must be summer." Models wearing tie-dye T-shirts, bucket hats, headscarves, sandals and tank tops look ready for warmth.
Incidentally, "naartjie" (pronounced nar chee) is an Afrikaans word for "a small, sweet citrus fruit" found in Africa, and also found on the store's logo.
Just a few doors down at Janie and Jack, summer styles are making their way onto shelves as well. The most fun collection has to be a Jackie O-inspired line for toddlers and young girls that features oversized sunglasses that are strikingly similar to the ones that the former First Lady favored. Try a pair of the large black frames on your little girl and you'll be smitten. Add a bright red bathing cap adorned with rosettes and matching swimsuit, tote, cover-up and sandals, and your little girl will be the talk of the pool crowd.
If red's not your girl's favorite, then try the pink-and-white-striped variety of the glasses and add a yellow one-piece with attached tulle tutu for a beach-ready summer look.
Not to be outdone with colorful children's and baby clothes and accessories for summer is GAP Kids, also on Level 2. A very long line of strategically placed beaded and studded flip-flops stretches along the top of the store, catching the lights and sparkling as you enter the shop. Virtually every color combination of flashy flops are ready for your toddler through teenager to choose from. And for babies, how about some clear, pink or yellow jelly shoes? Children of the 1980s will remember these sandals well, and now they can put them on their own kids!
Once all their apparel is purchased, head over to Smart Toys! near Macy’s Home store on Level 2 to stock up on outdoor playthings for the kids.
Live butterfly pavilions, bug-catching jars and nets fill some shelves, while sidewalk chalk in regular and jumbo size are ready on another.
Ready to get wet? Then, grab some swim goggles, inflatables and snorkel gear before you jump around in one of the shop’s sprinklers or fill up one of its wide variety of Nerf Super Soaker water guns.
Kids who want to stay dry outside can choose from NHL street hockey sets, baseball gloves and bats or other similar playthings.
While the kids have fun outdoors, parents can get their grill on, buoyed by a super colorful collection of patio furniture, grills, melamine dishware and more available at Crate & Barrel.
Outdoor bean bag chairs, offered in peacock, daffodil or cayenne colors, would be a great addition to many area backyards for extra seating. The home store, located on Level 1, has everything from Weber grills to corn griller baskets, corn picks, and a chipotle-lime vegetable rub, as well as other grilling essentials that will make adults drool.
So if the springtime weather is too gray and chilly for you, then a trip to the Montgomery Mall is in order, for a colorful taste of summer.