Stylish Dresses in Middleton
1819 Parmenter St.
Whether you’re a polished lady, casual chick or a femme fatale, there’s something for you at the Middleton Dress Company. And yes, the name says it all: Frock lovers unite!
Linda Lenzen and Sheryl Batten saw a niche in the Madison market for dresses of all kinds—informal, work-appropriate and black-tie—and opened the shop in December. Because of the pair’s past retail experience (Batten owned Bodacious Boutique on Monroe Street, then managed a local women’s consignment shop where Lenzen also worked part time), they knew women’s wants.
“Women are definitely buying more dresses for fun, and they’re wearing them more often,” explains Lenzen.
With options like color-blocked sheaths, fashionable tunics, sexy sequined frocks, retro pinup sundresses and black-tie gowns, the boutique has an appealing array of looks for all occasions—and body types. Batten and Lenzen can even special order sizes and other styles not available in the store—an attractive option if you don’t see exactly what you want.
Speaking of non-cookie-cutter looks, Lenzen is a master seamstress and can alter any dress bought in the store and can even custom-make gowns, an option you typically see only in bridal shops. With their downtown Middleton location being a “great place to be,” according to Lenzen, you’ll surely find the boutique that way, too.
Clockwise from top left:
1. Hollywood Glamour
“This is the Halle Berry dress,” says Lenzen. The stunning gown made of hand-beaded mesh layered over silk is by Musani and retails for $900. Lenzen says they always have one “showstopper” dress on hand.
2. Style Experts
Lenzen (left) and Batten have about twenty years of retail experience between them. “Linda and I are both retired, so we wanted to spend our last working years doing what we love to do—fashion, dressmaking and design,” says Batten.
3. Retro Redux
Stop Staring’s flirty cotton dresses feature fitted, corset-like tops with easy A-line skirts. Can’t you just imagine Elizabeth Taylor’s Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof donning one of these? We can, too. $150–$190
4. Color Play
These Di Mare color-blocked body-con sheaths are made with jersey for easy (non-constricting!) movement and give a sleek shape. In sunny citrus colors tempered with neutrals, they’re perfectly suited for work and beyond. $119
5. Well Dressed
If you can’t find a dress to wear to your next wedding or cocktail party, you’re not looking hard enough. With frocks by Aryn K, Adriana Papell, Laundry and more, the shop offers a variety of looks from strapless to full-skirted to long and sparkly. $50–$300
6. Plenty of Options
Lenzen says thus far the most popular requests have been for prom and mother-of-the-bride dresses. Few local shops sell the sheer variety of frocks MDC carries.
Contact Shayna Mace at email@example.com.
Photos by Martha Busse.