by Jennifer Burns
photography by Julie Morales

1 Azura

Stepping foot into this new boutique, you feel like you've just been transported out of Peoria and into New York City. Located at 4703 North University, Azura carries designers such as Christopher Blue and Blue Cult jeans, Isda & Co., Betsey Johnson, and many more. Azura is also the only place in Peoria to find Christopher Roca Studio and Judith Jack jewelry. "We really want to cover every aspect of a woman's life," owners Danielle Pflederer and Wendy Sommers said.

Featured: Think white is over after Labor Day? The women at Azura show an easy way to wear white without looking too summery by layering an elegant sweater over a basic, but dressy, camisole, paired with a luminescent skirt.

2 Belle Mie

For those looking for that perfect piece, step into Belle Mie. Owner Jade Venovich wanted the focus of her shop to be on the clothes, which are surrounded by completely white walls, minimally accented with pink. "It's meant to be plain so the focus is on the merchandise," Venovich said. Located at 5901 Prospect Road, Belle Mie carries high-fashion labels such as Nicole Miller and BCBG, along with True Religion and Citizens of Humanity jeans, and C&C California and Three Dots tops, plus jewelry and shoes.

Featured: Venovich shows a simple way to wear a jean jacket by pairing it with a basic t-shirt, cute skirt, and a chunky necklace.

3 Hayloft Shops

The Hayloft Shops, located at Old Galena Road and Route 29, is for the mature woman looking for something special to add to her closet. Though they're known for their lovely mother-of-the-wedding dresses, the shop, owned by mother and daughter Joanne and Becky Schotthofer, also carries brands such as Geiger of Austria, Fantazia Finnkarelia, Country Clothing jeans, LaScala, and Icelandic sweaters. The Hayloft Shops also carries the popular Brighton jewelry and accessories.

Featured: Turn an everyday outfit into something special when pairing bright, fun colors and shapes with simple black.

4 A Perfect Pear

Customers will be blown away by the quality and variety in A Perfect Pear boutique, located at 4544 North Prospect Road. Owners Debbie Stewart and Libby Koszuta strive to spread the word that "Fashion is ageless." While the store carries designers such as Michael Stars, Rock & Republic, Laundry, For Love & Liberty, Charlotte Tarantola, and Juicy Couture, the women want everyone to be comfortable coming into their shop. "We want to help you take fashion and apply it to your lifestyle," Stewart and Koszuta said.

Featured: This dress from Laundry by Shelli Segal can be "Your Perfect Look" when paired with a trendy Patooties Smadar wrap bracelet that can be worn as either a bracelet or a necklace.

5 Pink Sugar

The newest of the Peoria boutiques is Pink Sugar boutique located at 2027 W. Farmington Road. Owned by sisters Erin and Cory Crusen and their mother Terry Crusen, this boutique is most unique for the fact that it offers clothing for both men and women. Some of the labels carried for women include Free People, Kenzie, Hazel, Sweetees, and AG jeans. The 2000-square-foot store has a wide selection, and the prices make it easy for anyone to pick up something. "We try to be price conscious," Erin said.

Featured: This outfit provides the perfect opportunity to take a summery outfit into cold weather by adding leggings or cozy sweater boots. Also, while this is great as an ensemble, each piece can add a basic to your closet that can be worn with numerous outfits.

6 Sassy Lady

This boutique is for the woman who isn't afraid to be a little feisty. With clothing ranging from comfortable sweat suits to dresses fit for a night at the opera, a sassy woman is sure to find what she is looking for. Located at 4111 North Prospect Road, Sassy Lady not only carries clothes, but a wide variety of shoes, bags, and specialty gift items. Owner Pat Drake's motto is "Life is too short to not be sassy," and she says whenever you come into her boutique, "Your sassyfaction is guaranteed."

Featured: This dress is a prime example of sassy style with unique colors and a fun design, layered with a fun, chunky necklace.