Brea is one of those hidden gems I never would have found without a local guide.
Most of the shops in Dickinson’s budding downtown boast that classic Main Street look and a centralized location (stay tuned for more stories about them as the summer goes on) but Brea is a bit off the beaten path, in an unassuming white bungalow that doesn’t look like much from the street.
But when you walk through the door, it’s a whole new world.
You’ll find a treasure trove of on-trend women’s clothing, shoes and accessories at fantastic prices.
Liz and I rolled into Dickinson a little sleepy and still slightly soggy from our third attempt at a rained out trail ride in Medora (we decided the universe really doesn’t want us to ride horses) so it was nice to get out of our horseback riding clothes (practical sneakers and jeans — that’s about as horsey as we get) and try on something a little more fun.
We found lots of boho pieces that work so well for summer – maxi skirts, gauzy dresses, funky embroidered tops, flowy tunics and lots of tribal prints.
The modern bohemian vibe makes sense, since the store is named for the southern California town where owner Dr. Eve Kostelecky, a Dickinson born and Bismarck/Mandan bred optometrist, lived and studied. When she moved back home to practice optometry in Bismarck/Mandan, she brought a little breezy Southern California style with her.
But it would be a mistake to think Brea (pronounced “Bray-ah”, a subject of much debate in town) is just a boho outpost on the prairie. Liz snuggled into a brown hoodie (one of her wardrobe weaknesses), our lovely guide Terri from Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau scored a super-soft plaid shirt in mellow sunset colors and I walked out with a romantic flutter sleeve dress, so there’s a variety of styles on those racks.
There were also some fantastic pieces — elegantly draped blazers, smart pencil skirts and lots of candy colored button-downs — that would integrate beautifully into a professional wardrobe.
Brea stocks an activewear line (Yogi Brea) as well as a solid selection of denim, casual tanks and Ts. You can also find sassy kids’ clothes from Mandan’s Baby Mod Boutique.
The shoe selection is modest but full of surprises (tangerine flats and mustard ankle booties mingle with sky-high wedges and gladiator sandals) and I loved the make-your-own-charm-necklace station.
I saw the compass and felt compelled to make a necklace to commemorate our trip. I don’t think it could have turned out any better if I’d planned it out in advance.
Brea has a sister store in Mandan and business has been brisk at both locations. “I thought it would be primiarly for younger people, but we get everybody, from high school on up,” says sales associate Molly Scheitzer. (Check back two weeks from today to see Molly’s look in the next edition of Street Style!)
Brea doesn’t currently sell online, but they do take special orders, so if you need a different size or you’re looking for something in particular, just find them on Facebook (contact info for both stores is listed below) and they’ll help you out.
And if you’re out west, it’s definitely worth checking them out. Just note that they’re only open two days a week, so plan accordingly.
128 3rd Avenue West
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
906 2nd Street NW
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.