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The Bermudian

Award of Excellence: A.S. Cooper & Sons
Family owned and operated for over a century, A. S. Cooper & Sons has earned a fine reputation by consistently supplying Bermudians with quality clothing and accessories, which culminates this year with a well-deserved Award of Excellence. In 1897, when Alexander Samuel Cooper first purchased the stock and trading rights of the Bermuda Furnishing and Supply Company, he could not have foreseen the evolution of his business into today’s chain of stores. From the mosquito nets and onion seed of yesteryear to today’s finest fashions, jewellery, cosmetics and more, A. S. Cooper & Sons is now a treasure trove for the discriminating shopper. Bringing the hottest brand names (Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Vineyard Vines) to Bermuda and pairing them with excellent customer service, inviting store environments and—best of all—U.S. prices, the group of stores just seems to get the details right, year after year, award after award.  “I feel like I could be shopping anywhere—even in New York,” a  judge said.

Women’s Wear
Is there anything a woman likes more than a full wallet and a free afternoon to shop? Well maybe, but the racks of gorgeous clothes in styles both urban chic (Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, DKNY) and contemporary classic (Liz Claiborne, Jones New York) in a layout that is both organized and appealing make shopping a not-so-guilty pleasure at A. S. Cooper & Sons main store (59 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3961). Large dressing rooms and friendly sales associates add to the refreshingly enjoyable experience.

Women’s Business Attire
No longer confined to reception or secretarial duties, women in the workforce are now running the companies they work for—and looking good doing it. When these high-powered, high-heeled executives want to find a balance between powerful and polished, Boutique CC (1 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3935) fits the bill time and again with never-go-out-of-style collections from Karen Kane, Tahari and Donna Morgan and current trends from cutting-edge designers such as Ali Ro, Joyous & Free and Trinity.

Men’s Suits
Forgive us, sir, but your ill-fitting off-the-rack suits and casual-Friday carpenter jeans are getting you nowhere fast. Time to pay a visit to the Alexandre of London department, upstairs at English Sports Shop (49 Front St., Hamilton, 295-2672), whose experienced sales associates are schooled in the ways of the well-crafted suit. The team there know there’s no better sandpaper for a man’s image than a well-tailored wardrobe.

Ties
While women can dress up a work outfit hundreds of ways with a variety of glittery accoutrements, businessmen generally have one—the humble, and often undervalued, tie. We know many of you have a graveyard of old ones dating back a decade (or five) in your closet, but the tired excuse that there is no selection in Bermuda simply doesn’t hold water at A. S. Cooper MAN (30 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3961). With a dizzying selection of styles, colours and patterns, you can find a tie to match any shirt in your collection—no matter how old it is.

Men’s Business, Casual
No matter how casual Friday may be at your office, there is no excuse for wearing anything ripped, faded, hooded or below-the-butt baggy. In order to always appear sophisticated and smooth from the first morning meeting to happy hour at the Hamilton Princess, polished professionals head to A. S. Cooper MAN (30 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3961) for the perfect work ensemble whether their personal style is classic (Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger) or contemporary (DKNY).

Trendy Wear, Men’s
Listen up, gentlemen: casual wear is fine for casual moments, but your big date, your mom’s 60th birthday party and your best friend’s wedding call for something far spiffier. Owner/buyer/stylist extraordinaire Ronnie Baksh of The Edge (Washington Mall West, Hamilton, 295-4715) can outfit even the most style-challenged khakis-and-polos wearers among us. The result: seriously smooth.  

Trendy Wear, Women’s
Benetton’s fashion-forward sister store, Sisley (7 Front St., corner of Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton, 295-2112), is chock full of the latest trends for leaders and followers. Its dramatic layout and impeccably styled sales assistants add to the cutting-edge flair.

Trendy Wear, Teen Girls
With twenty-first-century technological advances, teens can spot a trend in an instant, and usually they’ve got to have it. Fledgling fashionistas find au courant clothing and requisite accoutrements these days at A. S. Cooper’s Express (Washington Mall, Hamilton, 296-6525).  

Trendy Wear, Teen Boys
It’s no surprise the BET and MTV generation gets its wardrobe inspiration from hip-hop stars and up-and-coming celebrities touting the latest fashion in music videos and other 24-7 media outlets. Always staying on that cutting edge of style is owner Keith Trott of Shannon’s Boutique (Windsor Place, Hamilton, 292-5349), who has consistently outfitted Lil Wayne and T. I. wannabes in the latest threads.

Plus-Size Wear
Big is beautiful—and stylish at Fine Things (19 Queen St., Hamilton, 296-1578). With grand and gorgeous fashions from Ann Gerlin, Kasper, Le Suit and Chancell, stylistas in all sizes are sure to find something for any occasion. (In our opinion, they are worthy of this award for their excellent selection of Spanx alone!)

Drop-Dead Evening Wear
There is never a hole big enough to fall into when you see another woman wearing your dress at a gala event—and, gasp, maybe even looking better in it. To avoid that embarrassing faux pas at the next wedding, cocktail party or soiree, trust the well-dressed staff at Boutique CC (1 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3935) to find you the perfect gown. Because they bring in a maximum of 2 to 3 dresses per style, you can rest assured that you’ll be whispered about for all the right reasons.

Sexy Lingerie
Step into Stacy Hill’s boudoir-inspired boutique and you’ll instantly learn the secret (to a stunning silhouette, a happy sex life and an I-have-a-secret swagger): sexy lingerie that fits, flatters and makes you feel like a seductress. Secrets (Washington Mall West, Hamilton, 295-0651) has an extensive inventory of intimates both naughty and oh-so-nice—plus a beautiful array of demure coverups just in case you aren’t quite ready to put it all on display.

Everyday Lingerie
No unsupportive bras or granny panties here. Marks & Spencer (17 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-0031) has built a reputation for their soft and comfortable range of well-constructed underpinnings suitable for any outfit or occasion. From basic nude cotton briefs to cheerful satin-and-lace boy shorts, M&S has all the unmentionables worth mentioning.

Workout Wear
Whether you are heading for the slopes in winter or the pool in summer, you can find essential apparel for your sport or exercise regime at Sportseller (Washington Mall, Hamilton, 295-2692). Now that you know, there’s no excuse for working out in the same tired, overstretched, skin-tight, electric-blue spandex we’ve seen you in at the gym time after time. Please do us a solid and update your workout wardrobe at least once a decade.

Chic Maternity
Okay, so your feet are swollen, your back is aching and you feel like the Goodyear blimp most of the time—but you still have to find something attractive to wear to work, a friend’s wedding or even town on Saturday that’s nicer than your husband’s oversized t-shirt. When stylish moms-to-be refuse to spend nine months looking anything less than their best, they head up the stairs at Benetton (24 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-2112), where they’re sure to find just the right outfit plus a cute little onesie for the imminent arrival.

Men’s Underwear
It comes as no surprise that even with something as basic as underwear, men are far less complicated than women are. The fairer sex has hordes of styles, fabrics, patterns and colours to choose from, while the gentleman’s choice is simple: boxers or briefs. Not to oversimplify (yes, we are aware of boxer briefs and, god forbid, men’s thongs), but the best basics a man can find are available at Gibbons Company (23 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-0022).

Dry Cleaner
Rest assured that nothing less than perfectly pressed button-downs and delicately laundered formal gowns are promptly returned to their rightful owners at Quality Dry Cleaners & Shirt Launderers (65 Reid St., Hamilton, 292-8193).

Shoe Store
Ladder-climbing power heels, strappy summer sandals and comfy ballet flats by 9 West, Bandolino, Aerosoles and more all share ample space at Trends (The Walkway, 22 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-6420) (and, yes, there is even a bit of space in the back for men’s sneakers and dress shoes). With enough selection to satisfy even the pickiest sole searcher, customers here are sure walk out with their best foot forward.

Kid’s Shoes
Since 1884, W. J. Boyle & Son (31 Queen St., Hamilton, 295-1887) has been adorning tiny tootsies for school, play and all kinds of special occasions. With awe-inspiring styles from Stride Rite and Sketchers, the younger set will always be right in step with their fashionable parents.

Kiddie Couture
Excuse our spit up, mom and dad, but gingham rompers and sailor suits are so last decade. Babes like us want to be part of the chic crowd, too, and with the latest styles from Diesel, Baby Phat, Anita G and more, Daisy & Mac (Washington Mall, 22 Church St., 295-7477) has us covered. There are great styles and accessories for big sis, too. Hand us a crayon, we’ll draw you a map.

Coolest Shades
We all know Bermudians like to see and be seen. To protect those peepers while you, ahem, check out the local scenery, head on down to Bling (Fantasea Diving, Albuoy’s Point, 5 Point Pleasant Rd., Hamilton, 238-1833), where the latest styles from Ray Ban, Gucci and Ferragamo can be found. Our judges just couldn’t let this category go without a mention of a trendy new kid on the block—Bellissima in the Clocktower Mall in Dockyard. Here you’ll find a surprisingly big selection of hot Italian eyewear in a surprisingly small space.

Cosmetics
With a sales staff who are as gorgeous as they are talented, MAC Cosmetics (Front St., Hamilton, 295-8843) offers more than just great products. Funky and fresh, the sleek black-packaged MAC line has been attracting the famous and the fashionable for years, but their makeup artists truly deserve the credit. Whether you’re seeking the perfect concealer or an entirely new look, they make sure you leave looking gorgeous.

Scents-ational Scents
One whiff as you breeze through Gibbons Company’s (23 Reid St., Hamilton, 295-0022) fragrance-and-beauty department and you’ll be hooked. If you urgently need a gift for your mother-in-law’s birthday and are, say, too busy to stop and sniff all the latest eau de toilettes on display, shop online and have them gift wrapped and delivered.

Casual Hats
Accessory Box (Washington Mall, 295-8712) may be super small, but it is brimming with a huge selection of fun and funky head wear for kicking around in all summer.

Sunday Hats
Your grandmother would be horrified if you turned up in church, especially at a wedding—gasp!—without a proper head covering. These days it is still de rigueur with the uppity class to cover ones tresses with an elegant hat at formal occasions. And they know the best ones are found at A. S. Cooper’s main store (59 Front St., Hamilton, 295-3961).

Hair Accessories
Basic elastics and fancy clips, irons to straighten or curl, brushes and combs, dye and conditioner galore… all the accessories you need to manage your mane can be found in abundance at People’s Pharmacy (62 Victoria St., Hamilton, 292-7528).  

Watches
While a basic polo and khakis don’t say much about a man, a Rolex or Movado certainly do. With countless styles from Tag Heuer, Philip Stein, David Yurman, Ebel and more, Crisson Jewellers (55 Front St., Hamilton, 295-2351) has the grandest selection of statement wrist wear available.

Dazzling Diamonds
Since 1922, the experienced sales staff at Crisson Jewellers (55 Front St., Hamilton, 295-2351) has been turning nervous boyfriends into confident fiancés with a perfect diamond capable of dazzling her into a resounding “yes!”

Trendy Jewellery
In love and on a budget? Everrich Jewelry (28 Queen St., Hamilton, 295-2110) stocks countless styles of basic bangles, charms, earrings and more in silver and gold that can make piling it on both stylish and affordable.

Handbags
Elegant, practical, innovative—Louis Vuitton (Butterfield Place, 67 Front St., Hamilton, 296-1940) has been creating “it” luggage, bags and accessories for over a century and a half. One of the most recognizable monograms in the world, local fashionistas can’t possibly live without at least one LV in their closet.

Women’s Swimwear
The store’s enormous selection has our judges singing the praises of Calypso (45 Front St., Hamilton, 295-2112) come swimsuit season. You are sure to find something in their overflowing back room to flaunt your hard-earned gym body—or conceal the cellulite, whichever the case may be.

Men’s Swimwear
Suck in that gut, guys. Summer’s here, and if you need a great pair of Billabong or Quicksilver trunks, Makin’ Waves (75 Front St., Hamilton, 292-4609) is the place for you. West Enders should check out the new store in Dockyard.

Bargains, Deals, Discounts
Where else can you score a DKNY shirt with the tag still on, a stack of once-read novels or an original Matthew Clifford print (like this writer did) for next to nothing? Staffed by volunteers from the Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda, The Barn Thrift Shop (53 Devon Springs Rd., Devonshire, 236-3155) donates all proceeds to Bermuda’s hospitals—so you can feel good about that, too.

THE JUDGES
Myles Orchard, SVP, US treaty underwriter, Ariel Re
Julie Hendrickson-Simons, AVP, Butterfield Bank
Teresa Perozzi, massage therapist/owner, Body in Balance
Norma Thompson, events coordinator, Bacardi International Ltd.  
Donté Hunt, vice president, Bold Global Ltd.

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