When a store is named Hot Mama, one might expect it to be stocked with maternity clothing and little else, which might make “non-mamas” feel left out. Not so at this Hilldale boutique, where only ten percent of its clothing is maternity wear. Fortunately, the rest of the merchandise is an utterly chic collection of knitwear, premium denim, beautiful baubles and clothing for everyday living—that is, if your everyday wardrobe consists entirely of coveted pieces.
What I coveted? Well, pretty much everything—a fitted black leather jacket with ruffle detail, a chunky gold necklace, a pair of tall, gray suede boots and a black sequined tank. The prices are highly affordable—knitwear is $38 to $98 and boots are $58 to $108, though the premium denim nudges $150-plus. Manager Katelyn Klein says the national chain is known for its denim and that staffers are trained specialists—after all, if you’re paying $178 for Hudson jeans, you want to be sure you’re picking out the perfect pair.
“We’re geared toward moms,” acknowledges Klein. “But we want them to look and feel hot—it’s what we do.”
Fair enough. The Madison store is the chain’s only Wisconsin locale, with others in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota. Hot Mama of course is tailor-made for those with kids—a play area occupies the middle of the store and a huge glass jar of Goldfish crackers stands ready for a scoop of cheesy goodness—but cute signs sprinkle the boutique for moms: “We Love Moms” and “Mom’s Night Out.” It’s the perfect combination of a grown-up environment for a discriminating shopper with a dose of whimsy.
“We’re really approachable, nothing here needs to be dry-cleaned. Moms don’t have time to dry-clean,” Klein says. “We just have stuff that’s easy to wear.”
Just like a multitasking woman (mother or not), Hot Mama really does have beautiful pieces that’ll suit our active lifestyles—whether it’s running to a playgroup or grabbing a cocktail with a friend.
Price range: $12–$200
Manager’s Picks: Grid 7 and Sanctuary cargo pants, $136 & $98; Chinese Laundry boots, $108; Sisters cardigan, $58; AG narrow boot-cut jean, $168.
Editor’s Picks: Luii ruffle-front leather jacket, $98; necklaces, $18–$55; Wow Couture black/white cowl-neck sleeveless sweater, $78; Coconuts “Cooper” gray suede boot, $98.
Verdict: The selection of brands, price point and looks Hot Mama offers are spot-on for the Madison market—it’s a much-needed addition that women of all stages will feel comfortably chic in.
• Hot Mama, 666 Midvale Blvd. 238-7988.
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Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.
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