Estilo Men Challenges the Myth that Guys Don’t Like to Shop
Boutique owner Stephanie Coultress O’Neill has created the “ideal men’s closet”
By Vanessa Blankenship
Photographs by Holly Cowart
Our April Style Issue was conceived and produced before the coronavirus pandemic closed down Austin and much of the country. We hope the stories and images of spring fashion will provide some joy during a difficult time. Please continue to visit Tribeza.com for ongoing coverage of how our city is coping, coming together and innovating during the crisis.
In a charming shopping center across from Casis Elementary, Estilo owner and stylist Stephanie Coultress O’Neill is quietly building one of the most successful fashion retail businesses in town. Thanks to her approachable glamour, extensive industry knowledge and a darn good location, her boutique has elevated Austin fashion for 15 years. But like many small-business owners, building her brand was not easy at first.
Coultress O’Neill opened the original location of Estilo in the Second Street District a couple years before the start of the Great Recession. Watching as other stores in the area began to shut down, she never gave up on her dream and persevered through the financial downturn. Her downtown store lasted 10 years before relocating to Tarrytown.
Moving her business to West Austin proved Coultress O’Neill’s understanding of her clientele. Right across the street from her children’s school, the store mostly serves mothers who are eager to shop after morning drop-off.
“Opening here was one of the best decisions I ever made for my store,” she says. “It’s been really great for my life, and then organically becoming part of the community has been really great.”
Coultress O’Neill’s fashion philosophy is to help people explore their style. She says it’s important for her clients to have their own unique style while remaining open to exploring different trends. Her mission at Estilo is to create a lighthearted shopping experience where clients feel as if they’re shopping in their “best friend’s closet.”
The Tarrytown boutique originally focused on curating pieces for women, but Coultress O’Neill always found herself giving style advice to male clients who used to shop the menswear section at her downtown store. In deciding to create an intimate yet chic space for male shoppers, she opened Estilo Men just a few steps away from the sister store in Tarrytown.
The “functional but fashionable” menswear store resembles a New York studio: The space is small, but it’s a one-stop shop where men can browse clothing and other accessories in a relaxed, personalized environment. A stylist is always on hand for clients who want extra guidance picking out the right outfit, and the boutique stocks local beers and Scotch whisky to sip while shopping.
“We make it your ideal men’s closet, where you can walk in and see everything that you have and grab a beer or cocktail while you’re getting dressed,” says Coultress O’Neill.
For the men’s boutique, she hand-selects styles from brands like Vuori, Rails, Theory, Ted Baker, John Varvatos, AG, Trask Shoes and more, looking explicitly for comfortable pieces that can easily transition from day to night.