Posted on December 18, 2012
By Mara Higgins
One of the best perks of my job is getting to stroll around the Old Port popping in and out of my favorite boutiques. Sometimes it’s just window shopping, and the one window that always stops me in my tracks is Zane.
It was no different for my Shop Maine visit last week. Each of the mannequins in the window evoked the “I need that” feeling, as only the best-dressed windows do.
When you can pull an entire outfit off of a display and buy it as is, the store is doing something right. Zane falls into that category, thanks to the stylish and artistic eye of the store’s owner, Sara Bertland. Laid-back, casual, and with an obvious love for fashion, Bertland truly understands Mainers’ “effortless chic” style aesthetic.
Zane has all the things that qualify a fabulous Old Port boutique—immaculate denim wall, gorgeous jewelry selection, even a vibrant scarf wall (and the scarves by the way, are only $38!). But that’s not what struck me about this shop. It was the styling and store aesthetic that captivated me.
Zane’s décor is almost as beautiful as the clothes themselves. Smooth beach rocks resting next to cable knit sweaters, ruffled heels perch on distressed wood shelves, jewelry sitting on burlap fabric. This décor sets the tone for your entire shopping experience.
Bertland does something interesting with the styling of her clothes. I found full outfits not only on the mannequins, but also on the end-caps of each rack. No fuss, no wandering around the store trying to put a look together, it was all done for me. The first of two examples I took back with me was a snake print DL1961 skinny jean paired with a James Perse dip-dye terry cloth sweatshirt, and an open weave black infinity scarf. It was perfection on. The kind of outfit that says you understand fashion and trends but that you don’t try too hard.
The next outfit blessed with Zane’s styling was a Rachel Pally black knit dress and striped poncho cardigan. Simple on the hanger, little did I know the power of this outfit. “It’s like wearing your pajamas,” Bertland explained. “You can just throw it on, but still show off your shape and style.” Why can’t all outfits be that easy?
Tucked away on one of Zane’s walls is their shoe selection, which turned out to be a hidden gem full of dressier footwear, something that’s hard to find in the Old Port. Zane’s brand of choice is Seychelles, and Bertland curates the line down to a few fabulous pairs like emerald suede pumps, ruffled peep-toes, and snakeskin flats. Speaking of snakeskin, I found it impossible to walk by a python bag without trying it on for size. Two words: statement bag.
As you walk through Zane, you’ll find the locally screen-printed “Love Maine” T-shirt, which is not only one of the store’s best selling items, but what I saw as a hidden message. Zane has so perfectly captured Maine’s beauty, and most importantly, its unique style. So it’s pretty clear Zane loves Maine too.
41 Exchange Street | Portland | 207.420.1800 | shopzane.com