William Browne & Sons
We approached Paul Browne with a too-long pair of wide-legged pants and a vision for cropped, narrow new trousers. After deftly pinning the fabric and chatting affably, he charged us just $20 for the reconstruction, and we left feeling like a million bucks. Run by multiple generations of skilled tailors, this gem of a shop on Morton Street provides warm, often same-day service for any kind of nip or tuck—just keep your eyes peeled for the window full of garments and the awning marked “862” to find it. 862 Morton St., Mattapan, MA 02126, william-browne-sons.business.site.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Ah, to kick back with a strawberry-infused water in the Mandarin’s lounge again. After months of quarantine cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling, the Himalayan-salt-stone massages and hydrating body wraps at this 16,000-square-foot temple to relaxation promise to be even more restorative—especially if they’re in one of three new treatment rooms the hotel is unveiling as part of its multimillion-dollar renovation. 776 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199, mandarinoriental.com/boston.
Central Square Florist
What does a flower shop do with 3,000 extra tulips in the midst of the COVID shutdown? If you’re Central Square Florist, you donate them to essential stores and senior living facilities to add a splash of color to otherwise dark days—then turn around and repurpose your unused vans to deliver meals to healthcare workers. Now that this perennial favorite is back to delighting locals with lush, fragrant bouquets and arrangements (available for same-day delivery or curbside pickup), the future is already looking brighter. 653 Massachuetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, centralsquareflorist.com.
Mincho Pacheco, Avanti Salon
Mincho Pacheco’s station at Avanti Salon is a revolving door of the city’s most put-together gents, from high-powered banker types to Boston Bruins—but really, everyone who makes an appointment is guaranteed to get the VIP treatment. The stylist’s passion for men’s cuts brought him from his native El Salvador to one of the most in-demand Newbury Street salons, where his precise technique makes a compelling argument for guys to ditch the barber shop once and for all. 20 Newbury St. , Boston, MA 02116, avantisalonboston.com.
Gilda Miranda Andrade, Styled by Gilda
If this spring’s closet purge is still in progress, it may be time to bring in a professional. With the click of a mouse, this fashion maven (pictured) will help you virtually edit your wardrobe and put outfits together with what you already own—then send you a shoppable list of new pieces you’re sure to love. Need a little extra help? Andrade also offers personal-styling services at a store of your choice. styledbygilda.com.
Jessica Thornton, the Green Room
Whether you’re looking for a few face-framing highlights or just need some serious corrective color after a botched lockdown dye job, the single chair inside Jessica Thornton’s cozy salon is waiting for you. The stylist begins with an in-depth consultation—like psychoanalysis for your locks—to learn your goals, then creates a look that’s everything you’ve dreamed of but could never quite put into words. 40 River St., Boston, MA 02114, greenroomboston.com.
The salespeople at this old-school Lexington shop actually measure kids’ always-growing feet, then use their expertise to ensure they walk away with the perfect fit. 1082 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492 and 1780 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420, michelsonshoes.com.
The Children’s Book Shop
With 28,000-plus titles exclusively for kids, imaginations are guaranteed to run wild at this local literary treasure. 237 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445, thechildrensbookshop.net.
The Nutcracker, José Mateo Ballet Theatre
There’s no better way to embrace the holiday spirit than getting gussied up to see this company’s take on The Nutcracker, danced by professionals and a small army of children at the Strand in Dorchester 400 Harvard St., Cambridge, MA 02138, ballettheatre.org.
Encore Boston Harbor
With travel outside the state still a gamble, we’re lucky to have this riverfront resort casino right in our backyard, providing top-notch dining options; gorgeous rooms with marble-tiled bathrooms; and, of course, a Vegas-worthy gaming floor to those in need of a break—preferably a lucky one. The one thing this place doesn’t roll the dice on? Guests’ well-being, with reopening plans developed in conjunction with public health experts. One Broadway, Everett, MA 02149, encorebostonharbor.com.
Healthy hair is owner and lead stylist Andrea Sealey’s main goal—and it shows in every masterful style she creates inside her chic Dot. Ave. salon. Sealey’s recently expanded list of services makes the space a one-stop shop for everything from kinky twists and micro-link extensions to always-silky silk presses. Her braids, meanwhile, are true works of art—no surprise given the Roxbury native has been at it since she was 10 years old. 1690 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, MA 02122, bostonhairnista.com.
Boston’s Nails & Spa
Let’s be honest: Those DIY mani/pedis just aren’t cutting it anymore. When you’re ready for some real pampering, book the next available session at this formidable Back Bay salon, where even the most basic nail services include oh-so-necessary sugar scrubs and soothing massages for tired hands and feet. Pros here excel in polish application of all kinds, nailing classic looks and tricky art trends (ombré dip powder, anyone?) with careful precision. The team’s meticulousness extends to safety, too: In addition to providing masks, sanitizer, and temperature checks for customers upon arrival, the salon features Plexiglas dividers between stations for ultimate client and staff protection. 665 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, bostonsnailsandspa.com.
Keto, paleo, mono—who can keep track of the latest fad diets? When you’re finally ready to get serious about what’s on your plate, give Jessi Haggerty a call. The Somerville-based health guru bills herself as an “anti-diet” dietitian, which means she focuses her practice less on weight loss and more on intuitive eating and body positivity. The result? A healthier—and, more important, happier—you. 259 Elm St. , Somerville, MA 02145, jessihaggerty.com.
A professional-grade facial is more accessible and convenient than ever thanks to the pros at Beacon Hill’s LexRx. Its new Lex Refine + Peel treatment, which promises to exfoliate, brighten, and cleanse, starts with a personalized phone or video consultation, during which a nurse practitioner will pinpoint your skin type and coach you through the application process from the comfort of your home. It’s an effortless way to get that post-quarantine glow—and it’ll set you back just $45. 121 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, lexrx.co.
Who Needs the Gym, Anyway?
Who’s keeping Bostonians healthy and fit even as we spend our days baking, watching Netflix, and doing endless craft projects? These four local wellness gurus, that’s who. Pilates instructor Kara Duval was among the first to jump on the Instagram Live bandwagon, and continues to attract more than 200 users to her signature class, the Foundation, every time she logs on. Jessie Burdick, meanwhile, has kept her Zoom (and socially distant outdoor) groups small and her ethos simple: strength training for everyone. Her lighthearted and down-to-earth attitude makes digital classes fun and enjoyable, even as you bust out burpees and what feels like a million straight-leg sit-ups. When finding Zen in a house filled with family members, roommates, or pets is virtually impossible, Billy Gamble’s on-demand yoga classes, offered on his YouTube channel, invite participants to destress with Vinyasa flows and juicy side body bends. And for those a little too self-conscious to try one of Heather White’s heart-pumping dance-cardio classes at TrillFit, the move to Zoom sessions might just be a blessing: Lead instructors keep you moving and shaking every inch of your body until the music stops and you collapse onto your mat.