Hingham-based Missy McInnis is just as comfortable working with haute couture as she is with your jean jacket. And because she’s independent (rare amongst personal shoppers), she can source a wardrobe from anywhere and everywhere. Starting in your closet, McInnis finds what fits and flatters, then takes you shopping. She can also pull choice pieces from her contacts at DVF, Calypso, Armani, and more, and bring it all to you. missymcinnis.com.
It's your wedding and all you got was this lousy, rubbery chicken. Make your special day special by hiring Boston Unique Events. Owner Susan Callender puts together wedding menus with a chef s eye, and her seasonal dishes lemon-marinated grilled scallops, warm pumpkin-ginger bisque, seafood crêpes with thyme cream made with fresh ingredients and plated with a subtle flair, ensure the food looks as good as you do. 498 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA bostonuniqueevents.com.
After you've been to three or more weddings, things begin to get predictable. But there is an antidote: Rafanelli Events. Bryan Rafanelli and his expert team sweat the small stuff, tending to every detail, from the rehearsal dinner to the reception. Whether you've been dreaming of a simple oceanside wedding or an opulent Boston affair, Rafanelli's staff will spare your guests a cookie-cutter wedding, and ensure that, far from yawning, guests will be talking about your reception for years to come. 142 Berkeley St., 2nd floor, Boston, MA rafanellievents.com/.
Old souls who still prefer old-fashioned card stock to Evites may get carried away when shuffling through the pens, pencils, and paper of every possible type at Bob Slate. For an extra-personal touch, you can work with the store's knowledgeable and creative staff to custom design your own full set of embossed, 100-percent cotton stationery, a move that will have you leaving your calling card all around the city. 1288 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2138, bobslate.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.
A gorgeous chandelier in a lighting emporium is one thing; that same chandelier in your home can be quite another. Which is why Lucia's showroom is a superlative place to peruse your options: Task lighting is displayed in kitchen-inspired settings; vintage-looking brass fixtures are shown off in what look like real dens. Suddenly you're seeing things in a whole new light. 311 Western Ave., Lynn, MA 1904, lucialighting.com.
The wall of New Balance, Nike, Brooks, and Saucony sneakers is just for starters. Marathon Sports also stocks running maps, reflective vests, fuel belts, and fun gadgets. But what really keeps us coming back to this repeat Best of Boston winner is the service. Staffers here will analyze your stride—after you take a self-conscious sprint down the sidewalk—before slipping your foot into the perfect shoe. 671 Boylston St., Boston, MA marathonsports.com/.
Although the Globe Corner Bookstore no longer shares space with the home of Anne Hutchinson at Downtown Crossing, the remaining Cambridge and Boston stores will ably meet your escapist needs. Their comprehensive selection of travel books and mas can aid the adventurous on an exploration of everything from the Freedom Trail to the White Mountains to rural Mongolia. They also offer a decent selection of antique maps if there's a cartophile on your gift list. 28 Church St., Cambridge, MA .
Making house calls in a black Hummer (license plate: 'ANIMAL') roomy enough to house a small petting zoo, Dr. Tedaldi pulls up to his patients' homes with examining table, medical kit, and biscuit bribes at the ready. Believe us: Never having to haul out the carrier or spike the water with sedatives makes annual checkups and shots almost pleasant. vetcall.com.
Ever wonder how Brahmin blondes maintain their flaxen hair? It isn't nature they have to thank: They frequent G Spa, where veteran stylist Jeffrey Lyle works his magic. Tucked into a tiny two-chair area, Lyle confers with his trainees—'she's a 6 mixed with 11 and 13'—to customize your ideal color. His easy attitude and careful attention to detail (he pens directions on your take-home products) give clients cause to call him both an artiste and a friend. 35 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, gspa.biz.
The Newbury veteran combines a metalhead exterior with an endearing madcap streak. He'll regale you with tales from a recent ski weekend; he'll require a few 'namaste's to calm himself after hearing about your brutal heat-styling addiction; he'll expound on the importance of 'hair condoms' (a.k.a. leave-in conditioners). And in between, he'll casually give you a precision cut that 'frees your hair to do what it's been dying to do.' 8 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
After three decades in the business, spa owner Mkhitaryan has developed a rare power: the ability to make the most uncomfortable of beauty rituals a bit less so, and with pristine results. Whether it's your first time or your 50th—and whether it's a standard cleanup or something "a little more expensive"—the motherly aesthetician gets the job done with speed, all the while chattering on amiably in a way more commonly associated with less compromising activities. Boutique, 257 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
It takes time for a hairstylist to earn your trust—time that is measured in inch-long increments. Dirk Diegel instantly inspires confidence with his careful, studied, and razor-sharp cutting skills. Trained at Vidal Sassoon in Germany (which explains the accent and stoicism), he's a master at improving the texture, consistency, and shape of your strands. Short, long, curly, or straight locks—Diegel takes on the most challenging head cases and comes out a cut above. 14 Newbury St., Boston, MA sassoon.com/.
At $16.95 a pop, and less than 30 minutes from start to finish, vehicular makeovers of this sort could turn into a weekly tradition. The speedy but conscientious staff wipes down and vacuums your car's interior (including under the floor mats), then sends the car through the automatic wash. A meticulous hand-drying leaves your vehicle looking like new. 434 Cambridge St., Allston, MA allstoncarwash.com/.
The staff at India Palace is so friendly the locals and the waiters are on a first-name basis. But it's the food that keeps people coming back—delicately spiced tandooris, coriander-infused tomato soup, and the tandoor-baked naan. The ($6.95!) lunch buffet is like a trip to Hindi heaven. By the time you're nibbling your fennel seeds, you're already planning your return trip. 23 Union Square, Somerville, MA indiapalacesomerville.info/.