Island Stylin’

Patchington Specializes in Timeless Looks, Seasonal Must-Haves

By SANDRA WEYANT | Aug 22, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Patchington, run by store manager Vera Wilkie and assistant store manager Mari Cusma, is the ultimate resort shop in Haven Beach. Catering mainly to mature women, Patchington has been providing classic, “go-anywhere” fashions to Long Beach Island for the past six years. The store’s headquarters and other boutiques are located in Florida, but the casual-chic clothing also found a home here at the Jersey Shore. LBI residents and tourists alike flock to the store for everyday attire, or formalwear for laidback weddings and events.

The company prides itself on the quality of the garments – they are comfortable and long-lasting, and there is something for everyone. The clothing ranges in size from extra small through XXL, and the prices are accommodating to all.

Wilkie has been in the retail industry for nearly 40 years, and she has enjoyed every minute of her career. She even put her plans for retirement on hold to work for Patchington because she truly believes it is the perfect fit for both her lifestyle and fashion taste.

“I love it. I like to talk, and retail is social, especially for smaller companies. It’s nice because you develop friendships and relationships, and that’s what draws people in. The people on Long Beach Island are very friendly, and that’s who our customers are,” Wilkie said. “They are here to relax and leave the stress at home. The women come in together before or after lunch, and they are truly enjoying themselves.”

Cusma also has a passion for fashion, and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. She later became an art director at Wentworth Art Gallery and has an appreciation for all forms of creative expression.

“I’ve always sold beautiful pieces and beautiful things. I moved to New Jersey six years ago, and I was going to an art show and I saw an ad in the paper for Patchington, so I stopped into the store. The fashions were so ageless and unique and geared toward a woman who had an influence in style but not over-the-top trendy, and I had to be a part of it,” Cusma said. “It’s a nice camaraderie with everyone. We really want to help the customer. It’s a team effort to make them feel welcome, and when they walk out, they are a walking billboard for our store, so the styles speak for themselves.”

Whether you’re visiting LBI for summer vacation or you’re a local beachgoer, you’ll want to explore this store and discover all of the clothing treasures yourself.

Go Crazy. Krazy Larry pull-on pants and capris are customer-favorites at Patchington. Women of all ages love the basic, comfortable silhouettes and the variety of colors: navy blue, white, black, khaki and patterns, too.

“They are washable, they wear, they pack. They are a complete hit. It’s all about the fabric – it lasts for years. They look as nice today as they did two or three years ago. For the fall, they come in different styles and textures, but they are still equally popular,” Wilkie said.

Cut It Out. A little detail goes a long way. Bottoms with cut-outs on the pantlegs allow for ventilation and draw attention to your lower half, and vice versa. Cold-shoulder tops add a touch of sexy to a more conservative style. We hope this trend never ends!

“We are known for our cold-shoulder tops,” Wilkie said. “They are great for women who don’t want to wear a revealing outfit, but want to keep cool.”

Bling It On. Shine like a diamond. Rhinestone details (in moderation) are feminine and striking and can really dress up any look. Try out a top or bottom with jewel accents! There’s nothing wrong with a little embellishment.

Rainbow Bright. Color your closet with every shade on the spectrum. If you’re crushing on coral, you’re in luck: It’s everywhere this year. Even though coral is in the red color family, it is not as vivid and still works as a substitute to give the same dramatic effect. Say hello to yellow. Don’t be afraid to wear this color and shine like the sun.

Cool tones are equally radiant and flattering. The nautical color palette is always in, especially on the Island. Expect to see a lot of colors that resemble the sea (navy blue, seafoam green, etc.) We wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Wearing color brightens you up and makes you feel happy. Some ladies have lovely silver hair, and when they put on the bright colors, it really looks beautiful,” Wilkie said.

Prefer wearing neutrals over bold hues? No problem. Black and white is the color combination that never goes out of style, and Patchington has plenty of monochromatic ensembles to choose from.

Go Away. Labor Day weekend is coming up, and now is the perfect time for a summer vacation. Patchington will help you get prepared for your next getaway with its Destination Collection, an assortment of sun dresses, T-shirts, wraps, collared shirts and more. These travel clothes are wrinkle-free, easy to pack and made to flaunt at your beach resort!

Sunny Day Style. Patchington not only has some of the most fashionable brands, but it also carries two sun-protective clothing lines, Eniwear and Coolibar. The UPF 50+ fabrics shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Coolibar is a special line of casualwear with an activewear look and feel. These sporty-chic styles are ideal for your most active days in the sun or out on the water.

Popular Ponchos. If you’re searching for an easy, breezy top to wear all year long, look no farther than the popcorn poncho. This poncho features an airy knit fabric with an asymmetrical hemline that complements every body type. The convenient pullover style can be worn over a camisole in the warm summer months, and is an excellent choice for nighttime walks on the beach or boardwalk. Layer up in the fall and winter months by wearing a poncho over a long-sleeved shirt or turtleneck. It’s a simple way to make an instant statement.

Accessorize Your Look. Your summer ensemble isn’t complete without some gorgeous accessories. Choose from stylish beach hats, costume jewelry pieces such as charm bracelets or beaded necklaces, and lightweight scarves. For your feet, don’t forget to try a pair of comfortable Oka B flip-flops, available in white, navy or pewter. Each pair is made with pretty embellishments on the thong. Crocheted tote bags are a smart option for beach days with friends or a picnic at the pool. Gear up for the fall season with Patchington’s array of handbags and backpacks, designed for students, teachers and non. Backpacks are trending this year and are a functional choice for everyday wear. You’ll be able to fit everything you need in these cool bags.

Get Shredded. Dona Bela Shreds, a brand of unique fashion neckwear, debuted last year at Patchington, and these styles are still going strong. The scarves are crafted from recycled textile remnants and transformed into stunning seasonal accessories. The name Shreds fits the product description to a T. They are quite literally shredded pieces of fabric that are sewn together with different patterns and colors to create a gorgeous piece.

“People love them. They are circular, infinity scarves, and they don’t sit uncomfortably or too high over the throat. They totally enhance the look of any top,” Wilkie said. “Some have long tassels, and others are shorter. Some people even wear them as a choker or a headband.”

Wilkie believes the key to Patchington’s success is the way in which the associates care for their customers.

“We’re a social company. I have a lot of regulars that call my personal number to say hello and ask about my life and the store. This is a relationship business, and that’s exactly what it is. We know our customers by name, and it’s the relationships that really carry our boutiques all over,” Wilkie said.

Just as the company tagline states, when you shop at Patchington, “It’s all about you.” Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Haven Beach store to get the VIP treatment, or shop online at patchington.com to see the latest arrivals.

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