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CityWalk – Clothe Thyself

Clothing, the kind that doesn’t advertise anything, can be found at several locations here. Fresh Produce, a large airy shop on the Plaza, features women’s, girls’, and infants’ casual clothing in a limited palette of vibrant pastels. Many dresses and blouses are imprinted with bold and simple floral or animal motifs, for a sort of summery backyard feel. The designers, twin sisters from Colorado, describe their products as “make you feel good clothing.”  What will also make you feel good are the prices, which are surprisingly modest for the obvious stylishness of the clothes. Many ensembles can be put together for well under $100. Mothers and young daughters should have great fun picking out coordinating outfits here.

More casual clothing, this time with the emphasis on men’s wear, can be found at Quiet Flight Surf Shop. It is easy to spot on your right, near the Cineplex, as you enter CityWalk; the display window framed by the huge curling wave is the tipoff. In this window, you will see from time to time a craftsman shaping a high-end surfboard. Although you can actually buy a surfboard here, the selection is small and most of the space is devoted to casual clothing designed to make you look like a well-heeled surf bum. There are wildly colorful print shirts for men and equally colorful “baggies,” the capacious swim trunks favored by surfers. Women get almost equal time with a goodly selection of swimwear and casual poolside attire. Here you will also find the kind of accessories no well-dressed surfer should be without, from ultra-hip sunglasses to waterproof watches.

Photo Op: Before you move on, check out that curling fiberglass breaker one more time. There’s a riderless surfboard perfectly positioned in the curl. Step aboard for a nifty souvenir photo.

Continue through the store and it turns into the Island Clothing Store, with another entrance facing the waterway. This is a great place to pick up Tommy Bahamas and other high-end "tropical" shirts for men. Not only that, but these back-to-back shops make for a great air-conditioned shortcut when walking to or from the Universal Studios theme park.

Still more casual clothing can be found at the Endangered Species Store, which is to your left as you enter CityWalk. The shop’s exterior has the look of some long-lost Southeast Asian temple complex, with the doorway flanked by twin elephants and guarded by a huge stuffed toy gorilla. The merchandise isn’t quite that exotic, however. There are animal-themed T-shirts here as well as more dressy (and gaudy) examples of the genre. For the rest, it’s a mixed bag of animal-themed gifts, figurines (some of them quite handsome), and bric-a-brac.

For accessories to go with your new wardrobe, head to the Fossil shop, which carries a selection of handbags, belts, and other leather goods, along with men’s and women’s watches in their signature retro-styled tins. You’ll also find a rack of sunglasses at prices that won’t blind you.

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Universal Orlando 2011


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