May 17th, 2011
Chick and Chica: An Excess of Tex-Mex Fashion
I recently stumbled out of Tacos a Go-Go, feeling like I would explode if I even visualized another quesadilla or Modelo. This was nothing new. Moderation and Mexican food just don’t mix. Not for me. I had indulged to that point of almost-misery and wanted nothing more than to hop the light rail home and curl up for a nice long nap. But the train had just pulled up at the Ensemble/HCC stop, and there was no way I was running down the block to catch it. Exertion isn’t good for the food baby.
So with time and calories to burn on that stretch of Main Street between Holman and Alabama, I shuffled up and down the sidewalk, wondering how long until the next train, how long until I could get to my well-deserved siesta. Then, something down the block caught my eye. Feeling slightly more awake, I headed for a sidewalk mannequin sporting a billowy Mexican style sundress. A wide window revealed silk-screened pillows featuring sequined mermaids and Vaqueros. When I peered inside and saw a shelf lined with fluorescent Day of the Dead paper-mache skulls, my fatigue was fully forgotten. I stepped through a pink front door and found myself inside Chick and Chica.
The boutique was a welcome assault on the senses with splashes of color draped across every surface. Embroidered belts and brass key necklaces dangled from shelf displays. Pastel rubber gloves overflowed from an old wash tub. I was investigating a bright patchwork dress with a raised waistline that would thankfully hide any future food babies I might acquire, when a little Chihuahua mix scampered up to sniff my ankles. As if it wasn’t enough to find a store that seemed to fully appreciate the diverse potential uses of a Bedazzler; they had an adorable little mascot, too. That, my friends, is what I call a jackpot.
The woman offering coffee near the back of the store turned out to be Lupe Pozas, one of the owners. She opened Chick and Chica in November 2010 with co-owner Sharon Haynes who, in the coincidence to end all coincidences, also happens to be the mastermind behind my beloved Tacos a Go-Go. It’s a partnership that has spawned a charming store that screams “ask me about my artistry.” Lupe’s front window displays would make the high-and-mighty décor crews at Anthropologie shrivel up with envy. Merchandise signs are hand-written on embellished paper bags that hearken back to elementary school projects. Baby onesies that read “I Love Novelas” are pinned to a clothesline or wrapped up in foil á la Freebirds.
Much of the inventory is found at Dallas markets, in Mexico, or from local artisans such as Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno (that name says it all). Chick and Chica is eclectic in a way that very few stores have the courage to be. The clothing and home décor items are obviously selected, not with the motivation of any particular theme or audience, but rather on the basis of solid, clever style. The forced sense of haphazard uniqueness inherent to so many boutiques is entirely avoided, as Lupe and Sharon present an inventory effortless in its diversity. This is the place to find that little something special for your kooky aunt, your eternally tee-shirt clad boyfriend, the Earth Mother in your life, or… me. Just sayin’.
The afternoon I wandered into Chick and Chica, I managed to add some sorely needed color to my wardrobe without making my Visa card writhe in agony. Clothing prices ranged anywhere from $25 up to just-under-$100. The local artist jewelry (which included some pieces made by Lupe herself) was a downright steal. And as for the aforementioned bedazzled Day of the Dead skulls; they were less than $50, so if you’re on the cool-enough-to-appreciate-it section of my Christmas list, you now know what you’ll be getting eight short months from now. Sure, I was still suffering a bit from my epic quesadilla binge, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a “Make Tamales, Not War” tee. I’ll have to work on my tendency to overindulge in cheese-oozing tortillas, but when it comes to flashy Tex-Mex fashion and style, I doubt I’ll ever get my fill.
Where – Midtown – 3710 Main Street, 77002 (Google Map)
What – Fashion on Main Street
Wear – Whatever inspires the next ensemble
How Much – Under $100
Hours – Late on Friday and Saturday
Web – Twitter; Facebook; Website