Galapagos Offers Casual Chic in Charlestown

Dress for the journey of life

So Rhode Island Magazine ·

Old Man Winter may think we’re all going to crumble at the mention of yet another snow storm, but if he had visited Galapagos Boutique recently, he’d realize that spring is on the way and with a vengeance! 

You can’t drive down Route 1 heading into Charlestown and not notice the charming, rustic building set off on that beautiful hillside, that Galapagos calls home. The creamy red exterior pops against the brilliant yellow umbrellas and picnic tables scattered in front of the building beckoning shoppers to turn in and see what all the fuss is about. 

Despite the icy weather that has become the norm for Rhode Islanders recently (hey folks, it is winter in New England, after all) there is always a very decent following shopping at this Charlestown landmark boutique, and after visiting myself last month, I know why. 

For starters, the staff at Galapagos loves fashion, and it shows with their warm, outgoing approach in how they interact with their customers. Next, when you step foot inside this chic boutique your heart is sure to go pitter-patter because of the amazing array of easy-breezy styles showcased at every turn. 

This quaint old building is cavernous yet cozy with intimate displays of pretty clothing thoughtfully arranged both up and downstairs. Owner Sandra Lanning has been working her magic at Galapagos for 18 years now, and the creative and eclectic displays of both men’s and women’s fashion and accessories are both timeless and fashion-forward. 

Sandra not only has a keen eye for trends and classic pieces she’s also not afraid to mix it up. Patterns, textures and mixing and matching color hues are what it’s all about at Galapagos. Though Galapagos does carry several well-known labels, Sandra is not focused on names, she’s all about combining the elements of great fashion to help women and men stand out in a crowd. “I hear customers say to me ‘Where would I wear this ensemble – I never go anywhere?’ Of course you are going somewhere. Every day you are traveling the journey of life,” she exclaims. 

Her words certainly rang true with me. For years I was a stay-at-home mom – the majority of my time was spent in the car shuttling kids back and forth to school and their activities and events, but no matter how much time I spent alone with just my family, I never left the house without lipstick and a decent pair of jeans on. 

Why? Not so I could impress the staff at the nursery school my eight kids attended (or God forbid, I were ever to be in a car accident and had to be taken by ambulance in a pair of stained sweatpants) but because I always felt better about myself when I took a few minutes to care about how I looked leaving my house. 

Galapagos definitely gets this and has plenty of fashion choices on hand to help you feel great about yourself, too. Sandra and her staff want their customers to feel terrific about themselves and to embrace every day as a celebration of life, so the fashion across their store is totally geared to make that happen. 

There’s cashmere – lots of soft, silky, heavenly cashmere – shift dresses that will flatter any body size, funky tunics, forgiving jackets, tailored slacks, easy-going knits and sweaters, crisp cotton blouses in both bold and soft shades, stylish shoes and boots, silk and gauzy skirts, sweet handbags, soft ponchos and wraps, business attire, evening wear, and tried and true basic tees and jeans. “We love showing our customers how to dress up a nice pair of jeans,” shares Sandra. 

Galapagos also has an entire section of their store devoted to men. Button downs, sweaters, chinos, jeans, leather shoes – something for the working guy or pieces for a casual weekend with friends and loved ones. 

Jewelry is also plentiful at Galapagos, both designer and everyday casual. The artisans that design the bracelets, earrings and gorgeous necklaces bring unique pieces that are vibrant, tasteful and work for all women, at great prices. 

Another note of interest is that over 90% of the merchandise on sale at Galapagos is made In America, something very important to Sandra. “We have great designers here in this country that always deliver high-quality merchandise that just gets more and more beautiful,” she nods with content. 

The style here at Galapagos is notably “casual chic” – a grown up casual that 20-somethings can wear with passion as well as those who still love looking great in their 50s and beyond. Don’t let Old Man Winter get the best of you this year. Come get a taste of fresh, flirty, colorful fashion at Galapagos and let Mother Nature know you’re ready for spring! 

5193 Old Post Road, Charlestown

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