The Not So Ugly Betty

Brazen Betties in Torrington brings us coveted Connecticut-made fashions.

Now that we still have you riding the wave of Green Week, if sorting your cans and installing solar panels isn't in your future, we can at least guilt you into the easiest form of eco-support, by encouraging you to shop local.

We know Connecticut isn't on the cutting edge of fashion design, but we must admit that we have overlooked some of the fab products to come out of the Nutmeg State in the past. One true believer of local-made fashions is Julia Sloan, who has curated and stocked her shelves with exclusively Connecticut-made collections for her Torrington shop Brazen Betties.

With a retro glam interior that channels Bettie Page and lives by the mantra, "Be fearless without being foolish," Sloan handpicked some of the best Connecticut designs and art to showcase throughout her shop. Much to our delight, there were no signs of hemp or fleece anywhere and the shop features frocks, mixed media artwork, and bows and baubles that surprised us... in a good way.

Sloan's own line, "...and then she smiled," features handmade satin embellished corsages, ready to be ribbon tied or pinned to your increasingly dull winter wardrobe. Priced between $30-36, 10 percent of each sale from "... and then she smiled" will also be donated to First Candle, a stillborn and SID awareness fund.

Additionally, Bristol's Megan Hull showcases her vintage finds jewelry and art card collection, Peaches & Peonies, along side, clothing by West Hartford's Rebecca Reinbold Couture, New Britain's Daniela Vlad Studios, and many other Connecticut designers and artists.

Brazen Betties will also be hosting an Artisan Bazaar and Food Drive at Coe Park Civic Center on November 27, from 4:30 to 8 PM. The event will feature fashions and goods from the Betties, a can drive to benefit the Friendly Hands Food Bank, and the annual tree lighting at Coe Park, featuring 300 luminaria and complimentary hot chocolate.

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