1033 S. Charles St., Federal Hill

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

410-234-0204 or


WE LOVE THE FRESH NEW DRESSES AND pretty gifts at Whimsy in Federal Hill, and the masculine fashions upstairs at Reason for Men. But we particularly love the back story.

How likely is it that a science writer / editor and project manager -- that would be Jennifer Solomon -- would secretly yearn to open a girly (in a good way) boutique? She persuaded her mother, Patty Pearson, who was retiring as an administrative assistant to the mayor of Tulsa, Okla., to move to Baltimore and help her. The two bought a three-story building in Federal Hill, and a couple of weeks ago opened Whimsy on the first floor and Reason for Men on the second. (No word yet on what the third floor will hold.)

Solomon says they are going for "a wide price range, and a wide age range as well." If you can't afford the clothes from small, independent designers -- dresses run from $60 on up -- you can always pick up a pretty candle or some stationery.

Upstairs are basic polo shirts and shorts, designer jeans and handsome dress shirts. Ben Sherman and Penguin are among the most recognizable lines. You can spend $30 on a T-shirt up to $110 for a dress shirt there.

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