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Soda is a hidden gem of a vintage clothing and jewelry boutique. To venture inside means to wander into a curiosity shop with impressive collections of retro clothing and accessories. Rails and shelves are loaded with mid-century dresses, patterned blouses, leather jackets, unique purses, striking hats, and patent leather shoes. The styles run the gamut from 1950s movie diva to 1970s jean queen, complete with sun-sized sunglasses and belts. Everything about the store is stylized, from the herringbone wooden floors, to the brocade patterns on the wall and plush furniture. Soda seems a little out of step with Lausanne, which prefers subdued styles, but it’s a good thing it exists.
The Liberty Shop is a women’s clothing boutique carrying international and Swiss designers. The store is a small temple to minimalism, and carries classic styles along with a few contemporary ones. In addition to clothing, visitors will find carefully collected accessories, and decorative items like posters, journals, and pillows. White walls and light wood dominate the space, while splashes of color come from the pastel color of a shirt or the flower pattern on a throw rug. The store collaborates with local artisans, including some who make leather goods with traditional tanning techniques.
This men’s clothing and accessories boutique store carries brands from all over the world, though it shows a slight favoritism for those from France, Sweden, and Japan. The store is small, but packed with elegant clothing that adheres to its governing philosophy of “sober originality,” which refers to the style of a city gentleman. If you ask the owner, Mr. Alain himself, he will carefully describe each item in his store, and why he has chosen to sell it. An inspired collection of rucksacks and backpacks from local designers make a visit to Mr. Alain worthwhile.
Launched in 1987, Maniak is a cavernous clothing store that carries mostly trendy workwear and costumes and costume accessories. There’s an alternative rock hipster vibe to the place, and it’s just as likely to stock work wear as it is to carry band t–shirts and leather jackets. Think Carhartt and Schott jackets, Dickie’s jeans and shirts, and Freitag shoulder bags. Several rooms are dedicated to costumes, where visitors can find masks, feather boas, faux leather, angels wings, and pretty much anything one would want to create any kind of costume.
Manor is one of the main department stores in the center of town. You can find everything here, from clothes to stationary and electronic goods. There is also a general bookshop. In the basement, a supermarket offers a wide range of fresh produce (fish, meat and vegetables), together with all the usual products. There is also a desk called the Ticket Corner, which sells tickets for various shows throughout Switzerland.