216 Main Street
Bay St. Louis
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Every woman’s closet contains a Wardrobe BFF. It might be a tunic, a dress, a pair of pants or a jacket. While it’s made of fabric like the other items hanging alongside, it’s a cut above in quality.
It’s a trusted friend, too: whenever you wear it, you know you’ll turn heads and get compliments from strangers.
Best of all, you can be yourself in this clothing. You’ll feel completely at ease, comfortable. Happy together.
Unless you know about California Drawstrings. On the Gulf Coast, it’s source central for wardrobe favorites. Year-round, the racks are packed with potential new BFFs, all with the right stuff — comfort, quality and distinctive style.
There are three California Drawstrings locations on the Gulf Coast. The one in Bay St. Louis is located at 216 Main Street and has become an Old Town anchor. The original mother ship location is in the New Orleans French Quarter at 812 Royal Street. There’s an outlet store too — California Drawstrings Last Call — in the heart of Covington, Louisiana at 827 Walker Alley, right off Lee Lane.
“I look for comfortable clothes that are extremely well made,” Linda says. “I also look for outstanding design that sets you apart so you don’t blend into the wall.
“Sometimes it’s all in the cut of a garment and the drape of a good fabric. The design may be deceptively simple and then someone tries it on and goes, ‘Wow! I look great in this!’”
As more and more national chains and big box stores offer “disposable" clothing, Linda says women sometimes fall into a trap and purchase something that’s inexpensive and cheaply made just for a quick shopping high.
Unfortunately, the high doesn’t usually last through more than a few wearings. The clothing often fades or shrinks or becomes shapeless after the first wash.
“We’ve become such a throwaway society,” Linda says, “But I’ve noticed that it’s beginning to swing back the other direction now. Even young women are realizing that it’s better to have a few fine quality outfits than a closet filled with poorly made clothes.
"Good clothes save you money in the long run and you’ll be happier with the way you look. You’ll be wearing them in five years and still be in style.”
Linda says that her sales team helps make the shopping experience fun and easy. Each salesperson is knowledgeable about how the different lines fit, so they can save shoppers lots of time in the dressing room. They’re also expert at putting entire ensembles together, with jewelry, hats, scarves and accessories.
“If you’re wearing the right outfit, you’re going to feel like a million bucks. It just doesn’t have to cost that,” Keenan says, laughing.