Handsome, flirty, and extremely supportive: No, we’re not talking about our latest flame, we’re talking about the underpinnings from this one-stop Cambridge shop. Situated outside the store, Forty Winks’ new walk-up bra bar is an easy, safe way to upgrade your lingerie drawer—or opt for a gratis 30-minute virtual fitting and browsing session with a sales associate and pick up curbside. 56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, MA 02138, shopfortywinks.com.
Don’t worry, this isn’t your middle schooler’s violin recital: Rising from the insuppressible enthusiasm of maestro Benjamin Zander—who founded the (senior) Boston Philharmonic Orchestra 40 years ago—this ensemble of fantastically talented 12- to 21-year-olds delivers exactly what you want from a night at the orchestra: to be blown away. Whether playing the notoriously difficult Mahler (one of the maestro’s specialties) or another canonical composer, they deliver youthful energy and just a touch of wonder. bostonphil.org.
The engagement rings on the second floor of his Newton shop are certainly gasp-worthy (you’ll swoon over brilliant-cut sparklers, halo settings, and pavé-diamond-encrusted split bands), but Adamas Fine Jewelry co-owner and master craftsman Anto Aboyan thrives on one-of-a-kind creativity. If your ideas aren’t set in stone, he can help you build a ring from scratch, hand-casting your custom design into an instant heirloom at his on-site workshop. 22 Lincoln St., Newton, MA adamasfinejewelry.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.
Hitching your sense of self to a big ol' oil company's logo might seem like a manifestation of corporate personhood, but the sign advertising the Venezuelan energy outfit Citgo, which towers over Kenmore Square, provides a quick way for people to situate themselves in Boston. Not only does its design make it one of those rare neon signs that looks good when the sun's shining, Fenway Park and its Instagram-ready tableaux are just a stroll away. Kenmore Square, Boston, MA 02215, .
Enter this unassuming restaurant inside the tiny Chatham Municipal Airport, and questions abound: Should I order the croissant breakfast sandwich or the poached eggs with beet-and-sweet-potato hash? Is it appropriate to spoon the house-made blackberry-lemon jam directly into my mouth? Whatever you end up choosing (or spooning), one thing’s for certain: Chef Brian Erskine’s interesting and infinitely satisfying dishes take brunch to new heights. 240 George Ryder Rd., Chatham, MA 2633, hangarbcapecod.com.
Outfitting your postmarital life is no small feat, so finding everything you need in one place and getting sage advice certainly helps. Bloomie's consultants deftly provide estimates and mix-and-match services to help you build a highly personalized wish list. Table setups let you see just how that Waterford looks with the Villeroy & Boch flatware, and if you decide you want the Baccarat instead, swaps are a cinch. 225 Boylston St., Newton, MA 2467, bloomingdales.com.
With its efforts this past year focused on footwear, Louis Boston now rivals national department stores in quantity—and beats them outright in quality. Delicious flats by Devotte and Gryson line one wall, while heels both timeless (Mayle) and risk-taking (Proenza Schouler) perch along another. And although $800 Balenciagas remain part of the offerings, it's possible to score an equally dynamite pair of Coclico sandals for a few hundred bucks (as, unable to resist, we did). 60 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 2110, louisboston.com.
When the nanny complains that little Madison has outgrown her pinafores, get yourself (or send your personal assistant) to Bonpoint. The French clothier's exclusive pastel sweaters, jumpers, pants, and dresses are acclaimed by fashion editors and parents alike for their high quality and adorable designs. This cuteness costs, though—upwards of $100 for simple overalls, $230 for silk dresses, and $280 for cashmere baby one-pieces. Baby Gap, it isn't. 18 Arlington St., Boston, MA bonpoint.com/.
Your credit card may get a workout here, but think of the time you'll save: an entire wardrobe in one fell swipe. Workdays are covered with Surface to Air button-downs and Alexander McQueen ties; for weekend wear, scoop up hoodies and tees from T by Alexander Wang. And if your pockets start to feel empty, there's always the selection of wallets and handkerchiefs to fill 'em back up. 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 2116, barneys.com.
When it comes to underthings, there are places for function (Macy's, Lord & Taylor) and places for fashion (Agent Provocateur). But Copley Place's Intimacy is both kinds of shops in one. Flattering, well-priced, practical lingerie and bra-fit swimwear (the biggest selection in town) suit a variety of occasions and cup sizes, while red-hot lace pieces by Aubade and Simone Pérle and a rainbow of Hanky Pankys are just for fun. 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 2116, myintimacy.com.
Most men suffer bad relationships with their shoes. They scuff, give off smells (not the men, the shoes), and need frequent tying. And the guys we know hate to shop to replace theirs. So a one-stop shoe store is a godsend, and the Tannery is worth a pilgrimage. From Tevas to Timberland, sandals to the most softly shining leather loafers, the Tannery can shoe a foot for any occasion, and in any of an enviable range of labels. 402 Boylston St., Boston, MA thetannery.com.
Yes, we know the cultlike following can be a turnoff. But no other store has a more-comprehensive selection of products or better-educated employees, eager to help locate the ideal solution for your particular nursing/sleeping/strolling/fill-in-the-blank dilemma. Even if you don't enroll in one of the informative prenatal classes or organized playgroups, you'll still walk out feeling like an empowered mom or dad. Prudential Center, Boston, MA isisparenting.com.
Whatever your passion—volleyball, basketball, yoga, even bocce—City Sports has the gear you need, including high-performance pieces from its in-house CS line. Ask one of the sporty employees to help you browse the Gore-Tex jackets, or find cleats or sneakers that'll let you hit the field, court, or track running. 480 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2116, citysports.com.
When they are not playing in the local band Major Stars, Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar offer the city's most impressive collection of rare, avant-garde, and alternative music. In one aisle, collectors can find seminal releases by The Fall and Rain Parade; in another, lunar jazz from the likes of Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman. In addition to an extensive selection of European psychedelic rock, the Village also stocks local music, reggae and world beat, and new vinyl from emerging independent labels. 12B Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA .