Festive Frocks for Every Holiday Party

This month, we continue to celebrate the North Shore’s women of fashion while highlighting their stylish picks for the holiday season.

From shoes to jewels, this month’s group of boutique owners can easily dress any woman from head to toe.

Lori Miller and Brandi Secher


Shirise was opened by Brandi Secher and Lori Miller’s mother, Sherrie Oppenheim, in 1985. Known as “Sherrie Shoes” for years, she was the top shoe salesperson in the country at Neiman Marcus before opening her own store, Shirise, in Glencoe. Now that both daughters are heavily involved in the business, all three of them go on buying trips, each bringing their own eye for style. “It’s been 28 years, and Lori and I plan to do it for another 28,” Secher says

On Lori:

  • DAGMAR knit-lace cocktail dress lined with moss-green under slip: $698, Skandal
  • Aviva Rose Brent Collection pink amethyst with diamonds rose-gold earrings: $395, Shirise
  • Aviva Rose Sappina Collection oxidized sterling-silver cut chain with pave flower and leaf closure: $990, Shirise
  • B Brian Atwood gold snake-print leather pump: $325, Shirise 

On Brandi:

  • Aviva Rose Sappina Collection rose-gold diamond-cut chain with pave flower and leaf closure: $1,045, Shirise
  • 2nd DAY Birger et Mikkelsson plum silk chiffon sequined blouse: $368, Skandal
  • Sachin + Babi Leather pants: $395, The Lake Forest Shop
  • B Brian Atwood silver snake print heels: $350, Shirise

Donna Sternaman and Davi Berk

Initially a Barry Bricken store, Mattie M has been open for 16 years. Donna Sternaman opened her first store in 1990 on Michigan Avenue, and she explained the second location in Winnetka felt “natural” as many of her clients were from the North Shore. When Barry Bricken went out of the women’s clothing business in 2008, Sternaman changed the name to its current one, but it still remains as the go-to store for classic-but-modern clothing.

  • David Meister lace cutout dress: $458, Mattie M
  • Whiting & Davis black and silver clutch: $190, Mattie M
  • Marcia Moran three-tiered druzy earrings: $245, Willow Boutique
  • Oscar de la Renta black-crepe pump: $695, Shirise 

Davi Berk and Paula Zacharia have been friends since attending kindergarten at Willowbrook Elementary School in Northbrook. When they both returned to the northern suburbs as adults, they decided to open a jewelry shop together in Winnetka. Appropriately named Willow Boutique, their store sells all things that glitter.

Ellen Stirling and Kim Kucharski


The Lake Forest Shop has been an anchor of style on the North Shore for almost a century. Current owner Ellen Stirling’s grandmother, Margaret Baxter Foster, opened the store in 1922, and Stirling took the reins in 1987. The store has continued to evolve with the needs of everyday women—still the source for gorgeous gowns, but also a place to pick up a casual pair of pants and a top.

  • Algo of Switzerland dress: $1870, The Lake Forest Shop
  • Fur bolero: model’s own
  • CumuLLus diamond bracelets, necklace and earrings: price upon request, Lester Lampert
  • Jimmy Choo red-glitter low pump: $550, Shirise

Avenue Fashions carries on a family legacy of fashion expertise. Owner Sandy Panuce was inspired by her mother Florence, who was known as the “woman with the golden hands” because of her dedication to finding the perfect fit for her customers. After numerous years in Chicago and Lincolnwood, the boutique relocated to Deerfield in 2011. Sandy’s niece Kim Kucharski, a former speech therapist, joined her aunt at the store since it moved, carrying on her family’s tradition.

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