Dress Boston, a Beacon Hill Boutique, Expands to the South End

The retail shop started by childhood friends opens a second location on Tremont Street.

Ulla Johnson “Indra” large saddle-and-canvas tote, $990, available at Dress. / Photo by Leonard Greco / Styling by Madison Trapkin

What woman hasn’t fantasized—at some point in her life—about opening a business with a close friend? Chums since the fourth grade, Martha Pickett and Jane Schlueter were able to make that dream a reality when they opened their clothing boutique, Dress, in the early aughts. Nearly two decades later, they’re expanding on that venture with the launch of a second location in the South End.

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When the two twentysomethings first left their corporate jobs and decided to become entrepreneurs in 2005, the concept for their original Newbury Street boutique was based around Coco Chanel and “the little black dress,” says Schlueter, “representing staple pieces in a woman’s wardrobe.” In their quest to curate a fresh and inspirational assortment of clothing, footwear, and accessories, they introduced cutting-edge lines such as Vanessa Bruno, Nili Lotan, and Ulla Johnson. The concept was a hit, but by 2012, Newbury Street had evolved into a vast hub of big-name luxury retailers, and Schlueter and Pickett were ready to move their boutique to Beacon Hill. “We wanted to be part of a smaller, local community,” Pickett says.

A selection of vibrant Krewe sunglasses (starting at $255) from Dress. / Photo by Leonard Greco / Styling by Madison Trapkin

Dress’s new Tremont Street outpost stems from that same desire. “Like Beacon Hill, the South End has a strong sense of community that was a real draw for us,” Schlueter says. “It’s a community that seeks out authenticity in the products they buy.” The store will feature a collection similar to that of the Beacon Hill trove, though a handful of new lines will be exclusive to the South End, including TWP, a New York City–based brand that specializes in luxury basics; London’s Erdem, known for vibrant prints and detailed craftsmanship; and Belgian brand Bellerose.

The new location will also offer the same modern perks as Dress Beacon Hill, including remote styling, at-home dressing, and same-day delivery. “With the rise of online shopping, the world of retail has become increasingly accessible, but also increasingly less personal,” Schlueter says. “We recognize that we are fortunate to have so many longtime customers continue to shop with us.”

70 Charles St., Boston, 617-248-9910; 575 Tremont St., Boston, 857-449-9100.

First published in the print edition of the April 2024 issue with the headline, “In the Bag.”