Dressing Up with BitterSweet: VDay Edition

Posted on February 14, 2014 by


Linnea outfit 2 with rings

From the Dressing Up with Darling series comes our next local boutique collaboration – Dressing Up with BitterSweet.

BitterSweet moved onto the Downtown Mall from its location in the glass warehouse building in 2010, ushering in a whole new era on the mall for local boutiques, coined as The Garment District.

Owner Shannon Iaculli transformed the cozy, brick-walled Downtown Mall shop into a must-visit for ladies of all ages and styles in Cville. With a solid collection of TOMS shoes and Frye boots, not to mention the support of local designers, what’s not to love about this place?

For our first day of dress up with BitterSweet, we welcomed with open arms not only not one, but two VDay-inspired looks.

So whether you find yourself waiting for a special someone, or celebrating today with friends, may you find something you LOVE at BitterSweet!

To kick off this new boutique collaboration, downtown’s shop girl Aleen Carey chatted with us for a little Q&A about this local staple.

Linnea sitting with roses outfit 2

Look 1:

Black “va va voom” dress, TULLE, $74
Red leather zipper crossbody bag, SABINA, $132
Black “Jackie” short boot, FRYE, $322
Black and white triangle jacket, ARK and CO, $82
Elaine b jewelry heart necklace, $50, and rings, $20 each
Assorted Knuckle rings, $5-$10
Red drop earrings, $24
Spike bracelets, $18
{Outfit c/o BitterSweet}



Linnea Outfit One

Look 2:

Hi-lo black and white and red all over skirt, ARK and CO, $62
Cherry long sleeve cross-back blouse, PAPER MOON, $56
Black tuxedo-lapel blazer, PINK MARTINI, $122
Black “Jackie” short boot, FRYE, $322
Red chevron stud earrings, $18
Metallic chevron necklace, $28
{Outfit c/o BitterSweet}

linnea 1 outfit behind

three part series

Q&A with Aleen Carey, Shop Girl

When did Bittersweet officially open on the Downtown Mall?

BitterSweet opened two weeks after 9/11 in the Glass Warehouse Building [on 2nd St SE]. And [the] Lynchburg [store opened] in the summer of 2009. We moved the Cville location to the mall the following summer – June 2010.

How did the name “BitterSweet” come about?

Owner Shannon Iaculli picked the name BitterSweet because she wasn’t sure what kind of things she would carry and felt that the name was all-encompassing and allow the shop room to [evolve].

Describe Bittersweet in 10 words or less (be creative!).

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Customer-focused, Cozy, Local small business, Affordable quality, Timeless

What are some of the regularly featured brands at Bittersweet?

Our fave brands are: tulle, bb dakota and jack, gentle fawn, wooden ships, darling, FRYE, TOMS, mata traders (fair trade clothing handmade by women in nepal and india), and synergy (organic cotton, mostly from india, handmade in nepal).

Made in the USA lines are: lucy love, veronica m, hourglass lily, glam, and renee c.

How does Bittersweet support local designers as well?

We LOVE to carry local brands because it promotes a sense of the small business community that is such an integral and AWESOME part of Charlottesville. Customers who know that we feature local artists flock to us because it is important to them as well. And visitors come back to add to their collections!

We have participated in the AMEX SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY for the last two years (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), and have done giveaways to encourage people to shop locally around the holidays.

We carry local jewels from:

  • Ashton Keely, Va Beach;
  • Oliva de Soria, North Carolina;
  • And our FEATURED local designer, Elaine Butcher.

What’s next for Bittersweet? Any exciting changes, upcoming new designers, shipments, or sales?

It’s SPRING (inside the store)! So we have an absolute TON of ridiculously awesome new styles. This is when it is the most difficult to work here – when cute new thing after cute new thing arrives day after day!!! Also, we have bathing suits for the first time ever! We currently have a sale of 25% off tons of great items.


Thanks to The Flat Takeaway Crêperie for the fun backdrop!

— Photography by Megan Fox