Whether it's for the office or the evening, Cincinnati offers plenty of outlets to develop a signature wardrobe.

But, in the convergent worlds of Darwinian business and fashion, the fittest styles require creativity. Finding new and exciting pieces for night or nine-to-five takes exploration.

To help guide the way are boutique owners including Duru Armagan, owner of Sloane in Over-the-Rhine. Armagan's storefront collection is for the edgier girl, with a few accessories for men including Artfully Dishelved brand ties. She shops big markets including New York City to find that edge, but also features lines by local designers. The "contemporary vintage jewelry" on display at the center of the store is a collection by designers Catherine Richards and Anh Tran of Hark and Hark.

Also featured are creative frocks by Rosie Kovacs and her design company Brush Factory.

Armagan navigates shoppers through the storefront landscape, offering advice and perspective. "With the boutique experience it is kind of like having a friend shopping with you," she says, "And, I always give my honest opinion."

Choosing distinctive statement pieces over predictable department store items can bring depth to your wardrobe.

"Young women come in here looking for something new, something different, something vintage," says Barbara McManus, owner of the Mustard Seed Boutique consignment shop in Clifton, as a sweet Parisian ballad plays in the background. More of a nook than a storefront, the walls of her artfully cluttered and intimately bound space evoke a sense of adventure. "It's so small. That's why so many women love shopping here; they feel like they're shopping through someone's closet," she says as she strokes a montage of colorful dresses displayed behind her, "and they are! It's many, many people's closets. And it changes every day." â–