Whether you're seeking clay for your next sculpture or an easel for an al fresco painting adventure, this well-equipped emporium (who knew a whole aisle could be dedicated to canvases?) will furnish the right tool. And because many of the staffers are artists themselves, they're certain to steer you toward the appropriate horsehair brush for that imminent masterpiece. 401 Park Dr., Boston, MA dickblick.com.
With more leather than an S&M shop, the Tannery has everything you need to shod your feet, including boat shoes, wingtips, and sandals, many displayed like high-end fashion pieces. If choosing between Prada loafers and the latest Lacoste trainers feels a lot like retail masochism, go ahead and treat yourself to both. You're worth it. 29 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 2138, thetannery.com.
Finally, someone in the wedding industry who's as passionate about your wedding as you are. Artist, photojournalist, and all-around free spirit, de Sinety is demanded at weddings all over the country for her ability to capture every unique detail and lively moment of the big day. And given her busy schedule, New England couples are lucky to have her close by (she's based in Maine.) Specializing in black-and-white photography, de Sinety has had her work published and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally. [email protected], MA madeleinedesinety.com/.
Serenella's racks are to Boston shoppers what the sirens were to Odysseus: pure, unadultered temptation. Maybe it's the thoughtfully edited assembly of Pucci brights, quivering with delicious swirls of aqua, canary yellow, and bubblegum pink. Or it could be the crisp Balenciaga skirts, the tasteful cashmere twinsets, or the Roberto Cavalli numbers that are, by turns, over the top and tame. Whatever your particular weakness, prepare to abandon all reservation when you enter. Everything here sings, and—like a siren—even when it's loud, it's beautiful. 134 Newbury St., Boston, MA serenella-boston.com/.
We're all for supporting the little guys, but we have yet to find a neighborhood shop that can offer even half of City Sports' selection. With one swift stop, you can score the newest super-shock-absorbing running shoe, dart tips for your aging set, and CamelBak water packs for long hikes. Then there's the clothing for indoor and outdoor sports, equipment, and shoes to go with it. 480 Boylston St., Boston, MA citysports.com/.
Half the fun of a party is planning what to wear. That's why we shop at Wish. The Beacon Hill boutique carries bright Diane von Frustenberg wraps, girly Nanette Lepore A-lines, and delicate Helen Wang strapless dresses—all ideal for an afternoon wedding, a cocktail party, even a black-tie affair. Accessorize your outfit by adding a trendy Trina Turk clutch, and you're ready to play. 49 Charles St., Boston, MA wishboston.wordpress.com/.
You're likely to collide with other intent collectors as you wander Cheapo's narrow aisles. Whether the secondhand tunes you're tracking are on vinyl, CD, or cassette, chances are your quest will end in success at this cluttered basement shop. All major musical genres are represented here, though there's an especially extensive collection of funk, soul, and R&B. 645 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA cheaporecords.com/.
Call it Wish fulfillment: When the occasion calls for cocktail attire, this shop has the answers. Wish stocks Shoshanna seersucker A-line dresses, Tibi strapless threads, flirty Rebecca Taylor frocks, and Milly minis, plus an exquisite selection of accessories, including clutches, jewels, and earrings. Which means your outfit can be complete from head to toe by the time you walk out of the store. 49 Charles St., Boston, MA wishboston.wordpress.com/.
When your getup calls for jewels that are more red carpet than red-tag sale, Lux Bond & Green has the fix. Anthony Nak's breathtakingly beautiful, delicate chandelier earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are the stars here, but the store's buyers are constantly scouting for new designers yet to appear in fashion magazines. Modern gemstone necklaces and other pieces by David Yurman and Marco Bicego round out the collection. 416 Boylston St., Boston, MA lbgreen.com.
Boston has no shortage of snowboard shops. Some have good selections, some good service. One has both. Whether you huck in the halfpipe or just concentrate on getting down the hill with your tailbone intact, the folks at Blades will steer you toward the perfect board. Chances are, they have it in stock, too. And if not, chill out. They'll happily order it for you. 38 JFK St., Cambridge, MA .
Maybe even more so than diamonds themselves, Anto Aboyan and Veronica Sagherian are good friends for a girl to have. The brother-sister team's Newton Highlands shop carries in-demand, limited-circulation designers like Pascal Lacroix, Bergio, and Gurhan. The real gem is their house line: The delicate precious pendants, chandelier earrings, and signature stackable rings in three shades of gold are hard to resist. Just ask Eva Longoria and Nicolette Sheridan, who have donned Adamas on Desperate Housewives. 23 Lincoln St., Newton, MA 2461, adamasfinejewelry.com.
Hey, four eyes: Glasses don't have to be unsightly. Vizio Optic optometrist and co-owner Dr. Galina Rabkin carries more than 1,000 pairs of rimless lenses, titanium frames, and bejeweled plastic specs from hundreds of brands like Bulgari, Prada, and Porsche. Chic prescription shades come from such giants as Mosley Tribes, Beausoleil, and Face Face. See for yourself: You'll look fantastic. 11 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 2445, viziooptic.com.
If anyone knows fun—having it, looking it—it's Stil owner Betty Riaz. And so it goes at her mini chain, which deals in champagne toast-worthy frocks from Ports 1961, Noir, By Malene Birger, Camilla Staerk, and other designers not seen elsewhere in town. Splashy sequins, patent leathers, dark chiffons, and vampy silhouettes ensure that even if the party is lame, your outfit won't be. 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 2467, stillinc.com.
If The Thomas Crown Affair—vintage McQueen version, please—taught us anything, it's that there's no better sandpaper for a man's image than a tailored wardrobe. That kind of polish is stock-in-trade at Natale's, which for four decades has been turning fine Italian fabrics into custom-fitted business and casual wear, complemented by a seemingly endless selection of high-end shirts and ties. The results: seriously smooth. 2001 Washington St., Hanover, MA 2339, natalesofhanover.com.
Jewelry stores can be intimidating— a combination of security guards, glass cases with steel locks, and salespeople who do not encourage trying on the merchandise. But at Pageo, the jewelry is displayed invitingly, and the staff encourages questions and try-ons. With prices ranging from $200 to $20,000, the jewelry will make your pulse race— but the prices don't have to. 843 Beacon St., Newton, MA .