Boston’s best high-end women’s clothing store is in—the ’burbs? Hear us out for a minute. Like the most coveted of closets, this jaw-droppingly pretty new boutique in Chestnut Hill is home to a tightly curated selection from fashion’s biggest stars—Balenciaga, Dior, Fendi—alongside up-and-coming darlings like Adam Lippes, Brock Collection, and Khaite. The smart selection of high-end shoes and jewelry, meanwhile, feels polished, but not too precious to wear on a Friday-night dinner date with pals, whether you’re headed to the city or just outside of it. 33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA copiousrow.com.
Effortless and immaculate: Those are the adjectives we’d use to describe this South End boutique’s offerings—and, after a trip here, your everyday style. There’s the expert tailoring from Lemaire, whose designs are inspired by the streets of Paris. The soft, California-chic fabrics of Raquel Allegra. And Alumnae’s comfortable yet trendy slip-on leather mules. In fact, every last piece here feels practical enough for a run to the drugstore or a quick flight to Palm Beach, but lovely enough to take you anywhere in the world. 1409 Washington St., Boston, MA violalovely.com.
A statement necklace to elevate a T-shirt and jeans. A handwoven scarf to make mud season a little more bearable. Proprietor Paul Niski knows it’s the little touches that make the ordinary extraordinary. The style maven curates a selection of outfit enhancers made by mostly New England–based indie businesses—we’re particularly partial to the leather totes made exclusively by local designer Kristen Lombardi and Ann Lightfoot’s dramatic jewelry. 98 Charles St., Boston, MA shopatgood.com.
For far too long, guys have been encouraged to care about their clothes only when the occasion calls for a suit and tie. Not at this boutique, which is known for its ladies’ clothing but also has a kick-ass mens’ collection. Here, you’ll find colorful bombers from Dries Van Noten, printed shirts from Sacai, and graphic vests from Raf Simons. The only thing you won’t find? Racks of workaday khakis and polo shirts. 236 Clarendon St., Boston, MA alltoohumanboston.com.
One of the best things about a day off is having the ability to choose comfort above all else. At the Boston outpost for this popular designer, sartorial-minded gents can find soft, well-fitting tees and premium cashmere track pants that won’t look embarrassing in the produce section. And if an invite comes your way that involves meeting people you know in public, you won’t have to sacrifice said comfort when you swap the sweats for cotton pants, a linen shirt, and crisp, retro-looking sneakers. 17 Arlington St., Boston, MA jamesperse.com.
Stroll into Vivant Vintage, and you’ll immediately understand why this Allston shop gets its name from the French word for living: Each and every one of the old-school-cool finds here has a story just waiting to be told. Slip into psychedelic platform sandals and a tie-dyed Grateful Dead tee, and you can almost hear the music playing at Woodstock. Try on a pair of perfectly broken-in Levi’s and a hand-dyed flannel, and be transported to the Friends set with Rachel and the gang. Then step out of the store and make these vintage treasures your very own. 318 Lincoln St., Allston, MA vivantvintage.com.
Whether your idea of a workout is a leisurely stroll around Jamaica Pond or endless squats at Burnin’ by Ray, this newcomer to the Boston fitness scene has you covered, with lightweight athletic dresses, super-soft knit hoodies, and color-blocked leggings designed with performance and comfort in mind. The Seaport outpost of the chainlet even hosts a hikers’ club, rock-climbing outings, and ’90s-themed yoga, should you need a place to put your new duds to good use. 31 Northern Ave., Boston, MA outdoorvoices.com.
This Japanese retailer’s “tools for nomads” include collapsible, machine-washable Merippa slippers for comfy flights; eco-friendly Kolo canvas bags for long weekends; and Native Union keychain phone chargers, so you’re never without power on the go. The selection of photo albums, scrapbooks, and journals, meanwhile, makes it easy to safeguard all the memories you make along the way. 273 Newbury St., Boston, MA topdrawershop.com.
This Best of Boston Hall of Famer clearly wears the crown for cool streetwear and footwear, but with the opening of its Los Angeles sibling this past year, the brand’s influence has officially gone bicoastal. The new Bodega may draw in A-listers such as Jamie Foxx, Maya Rudolph, and Cameron Diaz, but thankfully, the buzziest lifestyle launches from Adidas, Nike, and Karhu are still happening right here in our own backyard. 6 Clearway St., Boston, MA bdgastore.com.
Recycling has never looked better. Founded by twin brothers and self-professed beach bums Mike and Alex Faherty, this company is making waves by blending salvaged plastic into fabric to create quick-dry bikinis, reversible one-pieces, and custom-printed swim trunks. And unlike your post-vacation glow, these suits won’t fade, thanks to natural indigo dyes and a special finishing technique that protects against chlorine and saltwater. 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA fahertybrand.com.
Walk your pooch within a block of any Polkadog location, and you’re guaranteed to feel a sharp jerk on the leash pulling you toward the store’s front door. Perhaps Fido can smell the drool-inducing Clam Chowda strips. Maybe he remembers the free snacks generously doled out by pet-loving staffers. Whatever the reason, it’ll be worth the embarrassment of being walked in by your dog, given that you’ll also love browsing the shelves stocked with colorful toys and leashes. Too bad most cats don’t go for walks, because a lot of this is available for felines, too. 256 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA polkadog.com.
Shopping at NETA’s Brookline outpost is as far from buying pot off your cousin’s dog walker in a 7-Eleven parking lot as you can get. The vast selection of buds, pre-rolled joints, vape pens, and gummies is housed behind wood-trimmed glass cases in a historical bank complete with a well-styled mini lounge to wait in. And unlike in dubious parking-lot rendezvous, you can be sure that whatever you buy, the product will be top-tier, thanks to NETA’s state-of-the-art indoor cultivation center in Franklin. 160 Washington St., Brookline, MA netacare.org.
If you think shopping for a new adult toy should be done under a veil of secrecy, you’re out of luck at Good Vibrations. The sex-positive store sells all the accessories needed for a good romp in the sheets in a brightly lit, well-designed space that easily blends with the neighboring stores in both locations. Bonus points for a calendar chock-full of events and seminars about various types of play, all of which confirms that talking about sex out loud is totally normal—and completely healthy. 52 JFK St., Cambridge, MA goodvibes.com.
Serious collectors know watches aren’t jewelry; they’re investments. Which is why those building their ticker portfolio head to European Watch Company, which stocks some of the best new, preowned, and vintage timepieces ever made, including intricate numbers by Panerai, Patek Philippe, and Rolex. Waiting for a specific addition to complete your collection? The multigenerational owners recently created an app, updated numerous times a day, that alerts customers when a precious stash of merchandise comes in, all of which can be purchased immediately and overnighted. 232 Newbury St., Boston, MA europeanwatch.com.
Choosing a new pair of glasses or sunnies is one of the most difficult shopping tasks, second only to shopping for jeans. One glance in the mirror is hardly enough to determine whether you’ll like this new addition to your face next month—to say nothing of whether the style will still look au courant next year. Enter Spectacle, a small shop that sells logo-free, non-branded glasses in a bevy of timeless shapes and colors. Its 60-day exchange policy lets you actually live with your new look before making any major commitments. Imagine if the same rules applied to denim. 505 Tremont St., Boston, MA spectacle-eyeware.com.
No idea what a blanket stitch or an embroidery hoop looks like? No matter—all it takes is one visit to this Inman Square shop to envision yourself hunkered down on the couch with a pair of knitting needles. The well-organized space is stocked with fabric and yarn in a rainbow of hues, embroidery kits, and sewing patterns aplenty. And if you need a little hands-on guidance before getting started, simply book a private lesson or a group class in the shop’s studio. 1343 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA gatherhereonline.com.
One of the last survivors of Kenmore Square’s sterilizing overhaul, Nuggets gets you back in touch with old weird Boston and encourages you to bring that history home. Since 1978, obsessed musicologists have explored its wide range of rock, R & B, folk, jazz, and classical box sets, then dug through shelves of books and other tuneful memorabilia. If you’re looking for an old 12-inch dance single or an LP by a long-neglected local band like Heretix or the Real Kids, check out the racks in front and keep an eye on the store’s Facebook updates. 486 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA nuggetsrecords.com.
Sprinkler damage from a small fire in the winter of 2018 forced this Newbury Street fixture to close its doors for the first time in 34 years. When it finally reopened six months later, bookworms and café dwellers alike were relieved to find Trident’s thousands of books and diverse selection of international, national, and niche magazines placed neatly back on shelves. The reopening brought a fresh layout, too: With a revamped children’s area and additional first-floor café seating, lingering with a new read has never felt so good. 338 Newbury St., Boston, MA tridentbookscafe.com.
If you’re curious about next-level skin care but aren’t quite ready to make the leap to injectables, this new line of products has you covered. Created by the nurse practitioners who founded LexRX, a local cosmetic dermatology practice, the cleansers, serums, moisturizing creams, and detox masks are all packed with a proprietary combination of skin-boosting natural ingredients (activated charcoal, chamomile extract, lavender essential oil) and exfoliating acids to bring out your natural glow—no needles required. 121 Charles St., Boston, MA lexrx.co.
With its vast selection of gear from backpacks to headlamps, this chain is the most reliable purveyor of everything you need when setting out in the White, Green, or Berkshire mountains. And whether you consider yourself a novice adventurer or an expert trekker, you’ll want to join REI’s Co-op Program: Just $20 is all it takes to unlock discounts on classes and workshops and access to exclusive “garage sales”—for life. 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA rei.com.
The steady stream of folks coming, going, and hanging at this outdoor haven isn’t an accident: It’s because there is truly something here for everyone—from trendy street-level cafés and indie boutiques to a brewery, a comedy studio, and an art gallery. Bow Market Way, Somerville, MA bowmarketsomerville.com.
If you’re a budding small brand, how do you get your products into the public’s hands when you can’t afford Boston’s high rents? Connect with For Now, a shop that acts as a revolving showcase for indie labels, with about a dozen lines—from soaps to shoes—displayed at any given time. 68 Seaport Blvd., Boston, MA itsfornow.com.
Wherever Gina deWolfe has crafted her leather bags, she’s brought a pack of creatives with her. In her newest Newbury workspace, deWolfe, painter Jordan Piantedosi, and jeweler Julie Darnell share their talents with the public during workshops. 250 Newbury St., Boston, MA dewolfeleathergoods.com.
Project Runway winner Erin Robertson and designer Nicole Fichera’s pretty pink boutique filled with feminist art from local creatives, colorful dresses, and handmade jewelry was so popular that it popped up in two different Fenway locations over the past year alone. Where will it sprout next? Until we know, you’ll find us shopping the collection online. N/A, hourglass.boston.
Breaking into the sneaker market in a town like Boston is no easy feat. We’re already home to the global headquarters of New Balance, Converse, and Reebok, not to mention Rockport and Saucony, which have offices in the suburbs. But York Athletics’ founders weren’t daunted. Even in Sneaker Town USA, they saw a gaping hole in the market, and an underserved consumer group of independent thinkers they could claim as their own. Read more yorkathleticsmfg.com/.
Boston gal Lisa Jean-Francois longed for a place where she could share her love of beauty and fashion from her viewpoint as a black feminist—so she created one, launching her website to dish on pop culture, natural hair, and Beyoncé as well as post photos of her head-to-toe outfits. Almost seven years and 35,000-plus Instagram followers later, Francoise is a full-time content creator who’s served as an official influencer for companies such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. N/A, .
Everyone knows ladies wear suits, so why is it still so difficult to find one that fits properly? Samantha Shih, of 9Tailors, is out to change that. In March of this year, she launched a collection of suiting designed especially for the female form. Choose the right look and fabric during an individual style consultation to customize a suit that’s as powerful as you are. 132 Lincoln St., Boston, MA 9tailors.com.
Stop by designer Emily Keneally’s sunny Southie showroom to browse samples of sharp basics waiting to be transformed into a collection you’ll want to wear every day. 423 W. Broadway , South Boston, MA alicewalk.com.
Select the style, from briefcase to backpack, decide on a tanned leather, choose the hardware, and let this expert craftsman do the rest. 657 Quarry St., Fall River, MA frankcleggleatherworks.com.
Sisters Megan and Moria Flynn have transformed old brooches into cool lockets and necklaces into eye-catching earrings. And if you’re looking for something completely bespoke, the jewelers will happily create an entirely new piece limited only by your (and their) imagination. 40 Waltham St., Boston, MA mflynnjewelry.com.
Offering both titanium and carbon-titanium hybrid builds, this boutique shop spends hours refining each bike’s design before producing a ride made just for you. 117 Boston St., Dorchester, MA fireflybicycles.com.
Husband-and-wife team Ryan and Kimberly Habbyshaw take the term “locally made” seriously: Watch as the paper enthusiasts bring their witty, colorful greeting cards to life on a 1911 printing press at the center of their Pinterest-worthy Union Square shop. Of course, if you just need to pop in for a few delightfully analog everyday accoutrements—Autopoint pencils, Appointed notebooks—they stock those, too. 21 Union Sq., Somerville, MA loyalsupplyco.com.
Although a fixture on the floral scene for decades, Nancy Mantilla didn’t realize her dream of opening a Boston shop until 2017. But her reputation for dreamy arrangements preceded her. 595 Tremont St., Boston, MA floresmantilla.com.
Vintage sparklers from Van Cleef & Arpels. Funky treasures from contemporary makers like Ralph Masri. If you need a standout bauble for a special event, this traveling jeweler either has it or can get it. N/A, tiinasmithjewelry.com.
Crafted with recycled metals and reclaimed or ethically sourced baubles, Sophie Hughes’s minimalist pieces are made to be worn alone or layered, with a plain tee or a little black dress. 681 Tremont St., Boston, MA sophiehughes.com.
Need a one-of-a-kind present for a house-warming or dinner party? Step into designers Don Carney and John Ross’s funky shop for vibrant throw pillows, fragrant soaps, and more. 46 Waltham St., Boston, MA patchnyc.com.