If clothing stores were beverages, Lila would be an ice-cold glass of lemonade. Sunny in decor and disposition, with prices that will make you say “ahhh,” this newcomer on North Highland has a simple goal. “I wanted to bridge the gap between people who shop in high-end stores and people who are stuck at Target,” says owner Salima Manji, a Montreal native. “If you just want to look cute on a cheese day and spend less than a hundred bucks, you can get a full outfit.”
Save a handful of “investment pieces” (AG Jeans, Hobo bags, a Hale Bob screen-printed dress last seen on Salma Hayek), most of Lila’s offerings stay comfortably below that mark. You’ll find lots of clean lines and solid colors—a navy capelet by Piko 1988, jersey dresses in edible-looking hues by Color Me Red—along with more whimsical items, including a retro print dress by Collective Concepts and an embroidered ivory sundress by Minuet. The jewelry selection includes delicate gold-dipped creations by Top Shelf as well as wood pieces of Manji’s own design. Handbag favorites include Shiraleah vegan leather bags (priced around $60) and leather messenger bags by The Sak that fold over to become clutches. At less than $30, TokyoMilk perfumes are pretty enough to top any vanity, and they smell good, too.
Manji cites Inman Park’s walkability as one of its chief appeals, and Lila pulls in its share of passersby—women on their way back from kickboxing, or perhaps drawn by the “Beck disco floor” mural on the back wall. “I wanted people to drive by and be like, ‘What the hell is that?’” Manji says of the yellow, green, and blue blocks that preside over the store. The motif, inspired by a Beck music video, extends to the price-tag art, the cube-shaped seats, and the swinging square dressing room doors. Manji cautions: The doors are very swingy. Also: She might be tempted to play stylist and throw another outfit over the door, or offer feedback if you’re willing to model. It’s a boutique, after all, where personal service reigns and shopping often consists of spirited debate and adventurous assembly. If you’re not into that, there’s always Target.
Address/Phone: 240 North Highland Avenue, C-2, 404-584-5452
Hours: Tuesday–Friday noon–7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday noon–6 p.m.
Tag Line: The look is minimalist meets whimsical. Soft jersey dresses for day, tailored jackets for work, and festive jewelry for night are available for less than $100. Denim lines include AG, Miss Me, Level 99, and Anoname.
Photo by Lauren Rubinstein