By Yvonne Pesquera
Winter in Taos is a time to shine. Taos women – from locals to visitors – are dressed for comfort and style befitting our high-altitude environment. There are several women’s shops around Taos to find trendy fashions at affordable prices.
One such boutique is Wanderer – located on the main road right in the heart of the historic district.
In the tradition of Paris boutiques, owner Ashley Arabian is personally on hand to answer questions for browsers and shoppers alike. As the curator and the buyer for the brands of clothes that Wanderer carries, she is able to make recommendations for a warm and comfortable “mesa-meets-the-mountains” look.
“I opened Wanderer in 2015. I had lived in Taos before doing an Earthship internship. I wanted to be part of such a great community. Coming back to Taos is what I was seeking. I moved here and opened my store a month later,” says Arabian.
Her store’s location is hard to beat. Wanderer is diagonally across from the Taos Inn and is part of a courtyard of shops, as well as next door to galleries.
Therefore, as people walk by, Arabian is inspired to present new ideas to help women look their best and be comfortable in the winter months.
“For winter, you need to be warm. I have fleece-lined tights or leggings that you can wear under your jeans. It can be slippery out there. So I carry non-slip shoes that are waterproof and under $100. I have ‘texting’ gloves that look like mittens. And I have slouchy beanies and felt hats that look fantastic,” Arabian says.
Indeed, Wanderer carries name brands for a full line of apparel: pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, shoes, coats, jackets and a varying range of accessories, such as bags, jewelry, hats and scarves.
Arabian named her store Wanderer because she was inspired by Taos’ natural surroundings. She considers the apparel to be “bohemian” style and says it is “for the wanderer who immerses herself in nature, embraces the open road and nurtures her creative energy.”
Others have taken notice of her sense of style.
Hotel Luna Mystica is a vintage trailer hotel located next to Taos Mesa Brewing. Arabian was hired to assist with interior design of the trailers.
Ryan Irion is the manager of Hotel Luna Mystica and explains that their accommodations are old vintage trailers from the ’50s and ’60s that were refurbished into nightly hotel rentals. They took beautiful iconic relics from the past and gave the interiors a fresh, comfortable and hip makeover.
“Ashley did that and more,” Irion says. “Infusing her style of the desert wanderer into contemporary midcentury design, our trailers have been transformed into something timeless that speak to the soul.”
Some future plans are for Arabian to help to create and run a product line and gift shop for Hotel Luna Mystica.
It is worth nothing that Arabian knows products. “I feature local jewelers, local apothecary items, local teas, beauty products for yourself or to bring home as souvenirs. In winter, everybody’s skin is dry, so I have face lotion, lip balms and skin-healing salves and lotions,” she says.
As a merchant, Arabian takes her place in the long legacy of downtown Taos as an active trading and commerce center.
“I like the idea of having my own little store. You can feel the history in Taos. It’s stunning to be up front and center. This is such a gift,” Arabian says.
Wanderer is located at 110 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Visit wanderertaos.com to buy a gift certificate, host a private party at the store or have an item shipped to you. For more information, call (575) 224-2626 or email email@example.com.
Wanderer’s top three winter picks
1. Fleece-lined tights or leggings to wear under jeans
2. Non-slip, waterproof shoes that cost less than $100
3. “Texting” gloves that look like mittens
Other women’s shops around Taos
Francesca’s Clothing Boutique
492 State Road 150, Arroyo Seco
Known for its slogan – “What a great time to be a girl” – Francesca’s carries comfy, feel-good apparel and yummy fabrics, such as silks from India, Thai dyes from Thailand and cottons from Hard Tail active wear.
216-B Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos
The pre-eminent source for right-priced, fair trade items – including women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, as well as accessories.
Overland Sheepskin Company
1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado
Specializes in leather, sheepskin, fur, wool, fabric and down coats and jackets, as well as a range of women’s clothing, footwear and accessories.
109 Bent St., Taos
Located in downtown Taos, Sam’s Shop is celebrating 40 years of contemporary women’s clothing in a groovy historic adobe building.
127 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos
Unique and fashionable clothing and accessories for any occasion.
102 Doña Luz St., Taos
Clothing and accessories are thoughtfully chosen and translate easily into an existing wardrobe. Pieces are selected for their beauty, detail, function and quality.