Vol. LXI, No. 19
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
NEW LOOK: "I love fashion. I love clothing, and I love to work with people who love clothes." Jennifer Hilton, owner with her husband, of Nick Hilton Princeton, is shown by a display of the store's new women's line. Above to the left is an ensemble featuring Pour Partir's short trench coat; New Scotland's navy and white V-neck cashmere sweater; Majestic's white T-shirt, and navy pants from Cambio.
Quality, style, and attention to detail have always distinguished Nick Hilton Princeton, the men's store at 221 Witherspoon Street. Now, the same description can be applied to the new women's lines.
"So many people had asked us for women's clothes that we started putting in some last fall," says Jennifer Hilton, owner of the store with her husband Nick Hilton. "We had a wonderful men's shearling coat, and decided to bring in a woman's version. We sold them all right away.
"Then, this spring, we really expanded the line, and have worked hard to find styles that will appeal to many different women and different ages. My customers tend to be in their forties to sixties. They are women who want fashionable clothing, but don't want to shop where their daughters shop."
The selection is intriguing. Primarily sportswear and career clothing that is also suitable for a dinner date, it is very versatile. Sizes are 2 to 12, with some 14s in pants.
The designers are European, exclusive to Nick Hilton in the area, and are noted for their flair and tremendous attention to detail. "Little zippers on jacket sleeves for accent, unusual buttons, unexpected trim on the shoulders, unattached pockets these are all touches that reflect a style and fun fashion sense," says Ms. Hilton, adding that "a wonderful black skirt with black and white bow tie accents, coordinated with white jacket and black and white bow ties, is another example."
A polo shirt from Fabiana Filippi offers a nifty twist, with a layered hem line of contrasting fabric. A white cashmere "hoodie" from New Scotland looks like an exceedingly stylish sweatshirt, and a raspberry "ballet wrap" in the softest cashmere can be worn over a tank top and is in the "Must Have" category.
Another New Scotland specialty is the chunky knit cotton sweater jacket informal yet appropriate for many occasions.
Beautiful made-to-order jackets are a bit more tailored for career-wear. A lovely light green and cream plaid is perfect for spring. Zanella is known for its tailored jackets and pants, and other Italian lines include Margon and LorePiana, offering top quality and fabulous fabric. Many jackets are of Chanel fabric.
Fuentecapala is a Spanish line noted for distressed linen and cotton jackets, and the French designers Petrovitch & Robinson are also known for "the most beautiful distressed linen, appropriate for work or dinner," says Ms. Hilton. "A long skirt is great for a cocktail party, and there's an ensemble of jacket, pants, and matching skirt. This is also wonderful resort wear."
Cambio jeans from Switzerland are big sellers, as are their Bermuda shorts. All the pants have stretch for comfort and retention of shape. The Majestic line from France is perfect for layering, adds Ms. Hilton. "Tank-tops, T's, and tunics are great for this."
Very soft T's of super-washed Elastin also have very graceful draped neck-lines. A lovely cross-over top can be worn alone or over a camisole or tank-top, and a charming little hooded tunic in the sheerest linen is versatile fashion at its best.
"The best designers are always creating new fabric and fashion," says Ms. HIlton, who formerly worked at Burberry. "And you can be fashionable at any age. You continually move on to a new phase, a new look. It's about what is appropriate for you. Every customer has a unique experience and a unique life. We try to fill her fashion needs and help her find a flattering look that suits her figure."
Popular colors for spring are pale blue ice, pale pink ice, and kiwi green, she adds, and a particularly popular look is the trench coat. It is evidenced not only in its traditional, original style, but in jackets and suits as well.
Short, lightweight trench coat-style waterproof rain coats from Mackintosh are favorites, as is the line in assorted colors from Pour Patir, including metallic gray with white lapels. Other outerwear includes rain-proof and wind-proof jackets from ValStar in Italy. "In maize and traditional safari tan, They are of the finest microfiber made. They are so light, you don't even know you're wearing them," reports Ms. Hilton.
She is very encouraged by the response to the women's line in such a short time. "Customers like our selection across the board, which pleases me so much. It's important to find lines they like, and I am getting to know their tastes. We offer very fine quality, high-end clothing, which is comparable to the men's line in prices."
"Also, we don't bring in lots of the same items, so customers won't see themselves coming and going. But do come early to find your size."
This is an especially attractive store, with an inviting ambiance and charming displays. Ladies' fitting rooms feature framed prints of glamorous Vogue covers from the 1920s, and the style and attention to detail which characterizes the clothing is reflected in the setting as well.
"I love working with our customers, and I love dressing women," says Ms. Hilton. "When you find the right item, and they come back later and say 'I got a lot of compliments,' it is wonderful. I've been in the fashion business for many years, and I think customers know that we are set apart by our personal attention. The experience and expertise that Nick and I bring to the business is important. If you love clothing and you're in retail, you look forward to everything. I can't wait for fall! Our fall collection is wonderful. You start planning for that the previous January and February."
In the meantime, she is delighted to introduce customers to the spring and summer collection.
The store is open Monday through Friday 10 to 6; Saturday 10 to 5. Gift certificates are available. (609) 921-8160.
Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton McCaffreys, Coxs, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszers (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell Village Express; Rocky Hill Wawa (Route 518); Pennington Pennington Market.
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