In preparation for this summer’s festival line-up, the Short North Arts District is here for you on the fashion front. Whether it’s barefoot dancing at ComFest or people watching at the Doo Dah Parade, the boutiques along our stretch of High Street have looks for every happening.

This summer is going to be a big one. With local traditions getting bigger and bigger and national events calling Columbus home for the season, you’re going to be outside a lot. However, what goes for one night (ComFest or Pride in particular) often feels out of place for another. For a proper, al fresco summer, visit the District for the hottest looks to keep you cool every night of the week.


royal festival fashionPulling inspiration from all across the board, Royal Factory is a mix-and-match of artsy street-chic. Creating ‘new hip’ with sexy takes on retro looks, Royal crosses Brooklyn attitude with California body. Flirty crop tops are paired with destroyed denim high-waists, ripped Ramones tees with school girl skirts, and bandana bandeaus hide under mesh jumpsuits. After ComFest and Pride have wrapped up and it’s time for nightlife mode, when you’re going out in a Royal outfit you’re GOING OUT.

Woodstock kids get a nod too, with paisley wide legs and fringe halters peppered throughout the boutique. To wallflowers, Royal may too daunting. However, if you’ve got some strut, bring it. Pretty much anything in the store, from their accessories collections to the clothes, is guaranteed to give your summer closet a couple traffic-stoppers.



global festival 1With their amazing lines of clothing, home wares, and gifts, Global Gifts is a remarkable store. Now a well established District landmark, Global maintains its base of local support with an amazing approach, combing aesthetic beauty with a heartfelt responsibility. Global Gifts is a locally-owned non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the products we buy sustainably and fairly. All of Global’s products are fair trade, providing living wages in safe environments to global fest2disadvantaged workers across the world. Protecting the rights and healthy working conditions for workers, preserving local environments, and providing avenues for further education, everything sold at Global means something to who made it.

Also, everything sold at Global is absolutely lovely. The walls in the store are covered with Thai prayer beads, earrings carved out of African sandalwood, and bracelets woven with raffia. Global’s women’s wear shows off an effortless femininity that is beautifully simple. Cotton dresses on their displays flutter in the breeze the open shop door lets in, showing off their smooth lines and relaxed cuts. Global’s fashion is meant to be seen in the sun. Simple, comfortable, and most of all made with care and respect. Global Gifts is a store that sells you more than beautiful clothing and jewelry, it sells a beautiful lifestyle.



torso festival 2Known by most passerby as the spot for club-wear on a boy’s night out (or a pair of sassy undies), TORSO shouldn’t be ignored for the summer festival season, by men or women. If you’ve never stopped in before, TORSO has a lot more going on inside than cheeky briefs. High-slit summer dresses grace the window displays with fringe hobo bags and and a hip-popped party queen in a gold “Epic” ripped tank and low-rise, destroyed denim booty shorts (underwear label prominently displayed underneath, of course).

TORSO has no illusions about its customer or occasion. In a store that very obviously oozes sex, get ready for a shock in the dressing room. Deep-Vs go deep, skirts ride high, and tees are paper thin. But hey, if you’ve got it… TORSO festival 1

In terms of festival wear, Pride obviously takes center stage, but there’s no reason the rest of the summer season can’t have some fun. So, sass out your bass bump and glitter on, boyfriend.




rowe festivalRowe Boutique is characterized by a handful of identifiers; beautiful prints, eye-catching cuts, and luxurious fabrics to name the most obvious. Spearheading an approachable fabulous, Rowe is a prime choice for women who want a chic summer look. Perfectly suited for mimosas on the patio, this season Rowe presents a breezy, classically inspired collection that hints at sexy and sells femininity to perfection.

Re-appropriating the clean lines of the ’40s and ’50s, and the daring statement-makers of the ’60s and ’70s, Rowe steals moments of the old and remakes them into the new. It should also be noted that classy and classic in no way means boring. Pastel cardigans are nowhere to be seen and open-backs and statement jewelry rule the day. Lace, florals, and cheek fill the store for the summer, perfect for a eye catching look at the Goodale Music Series or the Greek Festival. Summer at Rowe is a study in nouveau classique, home base for millennials whose hearts’ throb over Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the LBD.



festival ladybirdEasy, breezy, beautiful, Ladybird. This fashionable boutique on High Street has been giving gals the cute treatment for a while. Hitting sporty and cool, chic and girlish, a lot of Ladybird’s style features pairing solid basics with a dramatic additions. Silky racerback tanks and high-waisted denim shorts get a kick with floppy sun hats and alligator gladiators. With clothes, shoes, and accessories, Ladybird has a little bit of everything for every woman. Not easy to pin down for a certain scene, the boutique has pieces that could be seen anywhere for the summer. As long as you’re looking for stylish and comfortable, Ladybird is a guarantee for any summer shopping trip.



For visitors unfamiliar with the area, the Short North Arts District is concentrated along High Street between King Avenue to the north and Nationwide Boulevard to the south. For more information on transit and parking, look here. For more information in general about the Short North Arts District, look here.

Cover Photo: Bailey Lytle


– Tyler Wilson