There are two kinds of shopping: in the mall and at boutiques.
In the mall, you go to the same handful of stores and buy the same old stand-bys -- black, white and navy work clothes. At a boutique, after trying on a few too-small/too-tight/too-trendy dresses, it seems like you never leave with anything more than a pair of earrings.
It would be nice to find a happy medium: a boutique in a mall that stocks reliably classic items and a few creative, artsy pieces too.
Bonheur, tucked away on the mauka side of Ala Moana Center, is just such a place. The boutique, which takes its name from the French word for happiness, carries a tightly edited collection of classic linen pants and shimmering fine-knit sweaters alongside boldly printed dresses and unique tops and skirts. In addition to its own store label, the shop carries several designers unavailable anywhere else in the state, like Australian designer Alice McCall, Brazil ’s Maria Bonita Extra, and the London-based Japanese designer Chica Sato.
There are some local touches too: T-shirts with palm trees and other graphics are designed and printed locally, and a glass case carries Ni‘ihau shell jewelry made on Kaua‘i .
For all its international merchandise and artful presentation, Bonheur delivers on its name -- there is always a sale rack, inconspicuously off to the side, with some beautiful and one-of-a-kind pieces to snap up.
And that means there is always a little happiness to take home.
Bonheur, Ala Moana Center (mall level, mauka side), 808.944.8744, www.bonheur-hi.com