"I knew you'd be back," says Stephane Amar with a satisfied smile. A few hours earlier you had stopped in at his shop on Washington Avenue searching for a new suit. His racks featured several sweet-looking suits from Europe. The fit could not be topped and the price was too low to believe. You were prudent, though. You said you wanted to shop around. But after a tour of every other boutique and shop on South Beach, you most definitely returned to La Squadra and to Amar, who was waiting. "You can't beat the price on a suit of this quality," he murmurs. "I knew I'd see you again." La Squadra is a small shop, run by Amar and his partner. The selection is not terribly vast, but the clothes they feature, for both men and women, are high quality and very stylish. After you try on the suit again, Amar offers up a Prada shirt, a Gucci tie, and a pair of square-toed dress shoes. But it doesn't feel as though he's piling on. He's not pushing. The accessories just happen to work perfectly. And their price, collectively, is as reasonable as the suit. You take the whole package, but not before Amar takes a call from his grandmother in his native Montreal. "Yes, I love you too," he says in French. You feel like joining in. Amar's a lovable guy. His shop is a lovely shop.
This small storefront boutique d'yesterjour, located near the Orange Bowl, features the usual thrift-store goodies like books, records, kitchenware, appliances, and furniture. But the best reason to go there is the clothing: men's and women's suits, shirts, jackets, jeans, and shoes, a lot of it in almost-new condition. Prices are cheap, the ladies who run the place will let you haggle with them, and the proceeds go to a good cause.
There's a reason we keep naming this store numero uno among soccer outlets. In a word it's service. Oh yeah, and the selection is pretty good too. The first-time futbol mom, facing a daunting array of supplies, can take comfort in the patient explanations on the relative merits of the Diadora line of balls and cleats and gloves and shin guards, versus Filas, Adidas, or the half-dozen other major sports outfitters. For those early planners hoping to cash in on junior's field prowess, this is the place to pick up that replica jersey to wrap your first-born in, channeling Pele or Maradona. Store hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Sundays they are open until 5:00 p.m.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®