Fashion / Shopping

River Oaks District’s Hidden Finds and Unexpected Bargain Splurges

This Shopping Wonderland is Not Just For the Super Rich — Get the Inside Intel


River Oaks District evokes feelings of swanky luxury — and the picture of the perfect place to splurge when money is no object. And while that is all true, there are also plenty of things a discerning shopper can do and buy in the District with a more modest budget.

Houston’s most plush shopping wonderland may be a place that billionaires, millionaires and celebrities love. But one need not be in those tax brackets to enjoy the luxe life. In fact, a day at River Oaks District can be an escape from the everyday like few other places in Houston. You don’t need a black card to enjoy life here.

Traipse through the sleek, well-manicured and elegant grounds and stop to smell the roses at L’Occitane or Diptyque, celebrate with a spa day at Bella Rinova or get your sweat on with a specialty class at Equinox.

You can make a day of it at this outdoor shopping extravaganza, full of global luxury brands, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and an even an iPic movie theater. There are plenty of hidden spots and hidden deals to be had at River Oaks District.

Why not catch a movie matinee to kick your day off? iPic is no standard theater. There are plush leather seats in pod twosomes (all the better for snuggling during the movie), gourmet food and drinks from a menu crafted by renowned chef Sherry Yard and service straight to your seat from black-clad ninja waiters.

Once you’ve had your entertainment, it’s time to shop. This is no ordinary mall of course. A day at River Oaks District means strolling in the sunshine between stores — and having plenty of prime restaurant choices to pop into for a bite whenever you need some subsistence.

Chic brand Alice + Olivia takes it to the next level with trendy, feminine styles in splashy colors and bold designs. Fashion-forward to the max, Alice + Olivia boasts collections from ready-to-wear to gowns, from shoes to handbags. Prices range from $200 to $2,000.

Stella McCartney needs no introduction, as you’re sure to know all about her sustainable luxury fashion and all-vegan clothing and accessories. What you probably don’t know is that can you get a cute-as-can-be tee for $285.

Vince brings a California vibe and plenty of cozy classics that are fit for any international lifestyle.

Theory is the revolutionary go-to brand for those looking to update or expand their urban uniform. The accessible, elevated essentials, whether simple classics or work wear, can be had for $150 to $400.

Give a warm welcome to Hello Fox, the premier place for stylish jumpsuits, versatile maxi dresses and adorable wrap dresses. The trendy styles all come in at under $150, quite the steal. You’ll be looking foxy in no time.

Luxury Italian label Intermix is hands down the place for an edited selection of the most sought-after styles from coveted designers. The curated clothing is all yours for as low as $95.

The floral, feminine and clean looks at Joie are as low as $115 while accessories run about $50. Expect savvy styles from the Paris-meets-Cali clothes, including simple and lovely eyelet mini dresses and cozy crew neck sweaters.

If you’re on the fun and flirty side, make sure to explore the offerings at Planet Blue, where you’ll find fashions like Free People, with a SoCal vibe. Prices range from $80 to $200, for everything from beachwear to sundresses and jumpsuits.

Still feeling Cali-style? Venture to Vilebrequin, where men’s swimwear and women’s beachy clothes abound. The French luxury swimwear and ready-to-wear looks from St. Tropez can be scooped up from $140 to $400.

Vilebrequin River Oaks District.

COS has fantastic European-style basics, including several options in the $150 to $300 range. The contemporary fashion brand boasts reinvented understated classics and timeless essentials. There are choices galore for men, women, children and babies.

Tuck in for a shopping spree at Roller Rabbit, where you’ll discover the height of comfort. Women’s playful pajamas are in the $135 to $185 range, children’s fashions can be found for $55 to $85, and even luxurious bedding comes in the $200 range. Everything is refreshing, inspired by travel.

But if you’re preparing for the outdoors (and more importantly looking good in nature — whether that happens to be the side of a mountain or just a trendy coffee shop), head to Saint Bernard for a mélange of modern styles and ski and vacation wear, not to mention a bundle of accessories. Saint Bernard’s beloved Patagonia jackets will hardly set you back at $90, while swimwear, shoes and accessories fall between $60 and $200.

Pampering Retreats

Of course, clothes don’t complete your look. You need something fresh — a hint of a glorious fragrance to really feel like your best you.

L’Occitane could be your first stop, revered for smell-good and equally as feel-good skin care and body products. You can pick up their fine hand creams for as little as $20, while more coveted products like serums, oils and perfumes cost from $60 to $200.

Jo Malone’s dazzling fragrances go for $136, with bath and body products as low as $60. Complimentary samples are on hand, allowing you to find out beyond the shadow of a doubt which scent suits you best, like hemlock and bergamot cologne, tuberose extract and more.

And you don’t have to stop at sweetening up your own personal scent. Truly turn your home into a temple at Diptyque, the spot for amazing candles, ranging from $35 to $65, and home fragrance products for under $300. Swirling scents include cinnamon, moss, wood fire, cognac and so much more. The candles also make for perfect gifts.

If you’re already loving that crisp and clean feel, consider a stop at Switch 2 Pure, a divine pop-up for all beauty things non-toxic and natural. You can expect to spend around $20 to $150 for lavish full-priced products, from nutraceuticals to skincare, makeup to bath and body.

For classic cosmetics, you can’t skip a trip to NARS. The makeup lovers’ paradise provide products in a reasonable price range. Snag the Orgasm blush that put the brand on the map, or lipsticks in luscious colors and restorative night treatments.

And why stop there? Make it a spa day at Bella Rinova, a relaxing hair salon and spa with services for hair, skin and nails. Prices vary depending on the service, but brow waxing starts as low as $15. Haircuts for women run $78 and up, and hair treatments range from $50 to $350.

Venetian Nail Salon offers, manicures, pedicures and other beauty services at industry-standard prices that make your wallet happy.

Top it all off with a trip to Davidoff of Geneva cigar lounge. This is a true escape from the everyday, almost a trip into a different type of pampering world, with premium cigars starting at $60 for packs of four or five cigars.

You’re in River Oaks District. It’s time to relax — no matter how much green you have.

For more information on River Oaks District and everything that is happening there, click here.

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