Local Designer, Jewelry
Sophie Hughes knows her way around a hammer and anvil. Working with recycled gold and silver, she shapes raw metal into rough-hewn yet sophisticated pieces, sometimes finished with reclaimed gems. The results are subtle enough for everyday wear, but special enough to qualify as statement jewelry—so it’s no surprise they’ve graced the runway at New York Fashion Week and gotten props from sources as far-flung as Elle China. Check out her handiwork, along with select pieces from other local talents, at Ore, her new South End atelier.
Why should the Beckham brood have all the fashion fun? Put David and Posh’s kids to shame with a trip down Mulberry Road. There are bubble rompers for your little lady and sports apparel for your future all-star. They even give gloomy days a silver lining with cute rain gear and galoshes. Get ready, paparazzi. Here come some cute kids.128 Newbury St., Boston (617-859-5861) mulberryroad.com
Photo Credit: Nicole Popma
Thou shalt not covet? One step inside this small but well-stocked Southie shop and you’ll be tempted to sin a little. Owner Hanadi Hamzeh curates serious finds and prices them at 20 to 30 percent below retail. You’ll spot 3.1 Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs alongside everyday labels like Kimchi Blue and Ann Taylor. A display table showcases baubles and bags, and the shoe wall is a must-hit. (We’ve glimpsed red soles.)395 W. Broadway, Boston (617-268-1100) covetboston.com
Recently relocated to The Street, Portobello Road channels the famous London street market with global wares. There are tons of chunky semi-precious- and precious-stone necklaces, lightweight statement earrings, a large collection of wrap bracelets and bangles from designers such as Chan Luu, Renee Sheppard and Adel Chefridi. Prices range from $25 to $2,000, so there’s something sparkly for every budget.The Street, 55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill (617-264-2020) portobelloroadusa.com
Joseph Gann Jewelers
Established in 1933, Joseph Gann Jewelers has sold fine jewelry for three generations. These folks know their bling, and they’re happy to guide you through cases that shine with diamond engagement rings, pendants, tennis bracelets, wedding bands, pearl earrings and more. Most are newly designed, but some estate pieces come with histories. They also offer classic timepieces from Bulova and Chelsea, as well as crystal, dinnerware and sterling.387 Washington St., Boston (617-426-4932) josephgann.com
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sometimes all you need is lipstick, your iPhone and cash. Then there are times when your purse is so full it rivals Mary Poppins’ bag. From super-small to carry-it-all, you’ll likely find whatever you need in Saks’ handbag department. Boasting designer labels such as Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Prada, it proffers glitzy clutches, casual crossbodies, slouchy hobos, trim backpacks and huge beach totes to carry you through any occasion.The Shops at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston (617-262-8500) saksfifthavenue.com
Dressing well is about more than meets the eye. The experts at this Harvard Square shop fill lingerie drawers with stylish bras, undies and sleepwear—even swimsuits—for women of all sizes, from 30A to 40H. You’ll find Bordelle, Simone Perele and Eberjey in dainty demis, comfy everyday styles and luxury loungewear. And of course, there are sexy garters, silky hosiery and slinky chemises for those times when going to bed doesn’t involve sleep. Wink, wink.56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge (617-492-9100) shopfortywinks.com
Photo Credit: Holly Rike
Packed with up to 30 brands, including Citizens of Humanity, Joe’s, J Brand and Hudson, this North End boutique tucked away near the water is where you’ll find the perfect pair. Owner Alison Barnard and her team take the sting out of trying on jeans, as they understand each label’s fit and can grab the right style for your body type. Hop in one of their cabana-style dressing rooms already!441 Hanover St., Boston (617-523-5326) injeanius.com
Photo Credit: Adam DeTour
Local Designer, Accessories
Artemis Design Co.
Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt, and Artemis Design Co. founder Milicent Armstrong is herself an impressive huntress, scouring the world for antique textiles. Turkish kilim rugs, ikat silks and velvets from Uzbekistan are fashioned into eye-catching bags and shoes. (Her colorful flats with braided trim are this summer’s answer to boring espadrilles.) Armstrong hopes to expand into Indian silks, African waxed cotton and Peruvian and Moroccan textiles. We say, go for it.
Local Designer, Clothing
This Colombian native is all over the place, but in a good way. An emerging designer with a background in architecture, interior design and fine art, she also holds a degree from the School of Fashion Design. We love her modern, edgy work in silk, linen canvas and cotton, worn by “art lovers and risk takers.” Although she divides her time between Boston and Spain, you won’t have to go too far for her styles: Tejedor will soon be selling at her men’s shop, Caramelo Clothing Co.
Men’s Clothing, High-End
Proudly family-owned and operated since the 1800s, Louis boasts a legendary men’s selection. You’ll leave its modern Fan Pier showplace looking as stylish as a Sartorialist shot, dressed in trousers, shirts, shoes and sweaters from Finamore, Harry’s of London and Valentini. Tip: Sift through your posh purchases upstairs at Sam’s restaurant. Its wraparound deck boasts priceless harbor views.60 Northern Ave., Boston (617-262-6100) louisboston.com
Men’s Clothing, Moderate
Sault New England
When you see an old-timey bicycle (complete with basket) parked on the sidewalk, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Inside, fellas fill their wardrobes with boat shoes, board shorts, button-downs and bow ties. Even the decor is classic New England (note the anchor, surfboard and nautical knot charts), and with labels such as Penfield, Forage and Jack Purcell by Converse, the inventory is definitely worth its salt.577 Tremont St., Boston (857-239-9434) saultne.com
Founded in 1825, this British brand (with an American headquarters in Newton) has won many fans over the years, from mods to rappers to Walter White. Known for its original 1949 Desert Boot, a cult classic inspired by crepe soles worn by British officers in World War II, Clarks also delivers summer style with leather boat shoes and canvas slip-ons. And Elvis fans, heads up: There’s even a blue suede wing-tip for you. Be sure to check out the brand’s new outlet in Somerville’s Assembly Row.171 Newbury St., Boston (617-266-1580) clarksusa.com
Photo Credit: Michael Kinlin
Imagine: You, a comfy chair, a glass of scotch and a dedicated pro armed with measuring tape. Founded on the belief that custom-tailored clothes shouldn’t break the bank, Blank Label offers half- and full-canvassed suits, blazers, trousers and tuxedos, with smart suiting starting at $575. Peak or notched lapels, breathable linen or super 130s wool, roped or soft shoulders? Staff will guide you through all the options, which allow you to build anything from a casual blazer to 007-worthy formalwear.36 Gloucester St., Boston (781-236-3559); 36 Bromfield St., Boston; blanklabel.com
With a calendar full of patio parties, weddings and beach BBQs, what’s a girl to do? Hit Beacon Hill’s Wish for the ultimate party dress, of course. From simple maxis to chic cocktail minis, there are styles in a variety of hem lengths and glam quotients from DVF, Tibi, Trina Turk, Cynthia Steffe and Milly. Dress it up with jewelry from NYLA Star or Margaret Elizabeth, and your umbrella drink won’t be the only thing causing a stir at your next summer social event.49 Charles St., Boston (617-227-4441) wishboston.com
An old dog got some new tricks. The region’s oldest suburban shopping center, Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, is now The Street, a village-like streetscape that said bye-bye to ugly Route 9 with tree-shaded pedestrian walkways, Hammond Pond views and outdoor cafes. Highlights of the now 406,000-square-foot shopping destination include fashion favorites such as Intermix, Ku De Ta and, coming soon, Vince and Helmut Lang. Add in the new Chestnut Hill Square development—home to Anthropologie and its BHLDN bridal shop-within-a-shop—plus the Mall at Chestnut Hill’s new Madewell outpost and the forthcoming Uniqlo, and it’s clear this ’burb is the place to be.
There’s a Wizard of Oz quality to this sneaky sneaker store. Ignore the lowly mini-mart vibe that greets you (unless you want toilet paper or detergent) and head straight to the back. Slide over the Snapple machine, and there’s the real party. This hidden passage leads to a secret shrine to kicks of all styles—Puma, Nike Chukkas and classic Vans—along with hip streetwear like retro Van Heusen jackets and graphic tees. Plus, Bodega always seems to be upping its game, whether through exclusive collabs or projects like this past spring’s pop-up store in Tokyo.6 Clearway St., Boston, bdgastore.com
If popping tags is your passion, prepare to be obsessed. Discover bargains on clothes, accessories and housewares at Boomerangs’ Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Central Square locations, all of which boast enticing window displays, well-organized finds and nary a whiff of mothballs. And the special-edition store in the South End is as trendy as any Newbury Street consignment shop, with Brooks Brothers, Balenciaga and Marni. Best of all? All proceeds support the work of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
Chanel and Valentino
We’ve been wowed by the recent makeovers of two luxury powerhouses. First, Chanel moved from its No. 5 Newbury address to No. 6, expanding to a 10,000-square-foot space designed by acclaimed architect (and certified character—Google him) Peter Marino. Coco herself would approve of the design, meant to channel her Parisian apartment—picture Swarovski-covered deer by artist Mark Swanson and sofas decked out in Chanel tweed. Not to be outdone, Valentino revealed its own new look in June, becoming the fourth U.S. location to boast the design concept from Stirling Prize winner David Chipperfield. Intended to evoke an intimate palazzo, it’s rich with Venetian terrazzo, thick leather and plush carpets; ambient lighting and chandeliers let the ready-to-wear, handbags and shoes shine. Now Boston’s chicest block looks even more glam.
It’s like that friend you haven’t seen in a while, but fall right back in step with the moment you reunite. Such was the lovefest that ensued when Dress reopened in Beacon Hill a year after closing on Newbury Street. Although the boutique’s name pays homage to the little black number of note, you can also play dress-up in tattered skinny jeans, bohemian tops and tuxedo shirt dresses. Envelope clutches, laser-cut oxfords and glitzy jewelry make for fine finishing touches. Welcome back, old friend.70 Charles St., Boston (617-248-9910) dressboston.com
When much fashion is made abroad under conditions that are questionable at best, it’s heartening to see headlines touting a resurgence in heritage brands across the country—not to mention strides made by local manufacturers. Brighton-based New Balance invested in a midsole machine that will allow the company to sell a completely American-made shoe to the military as early as 2015. Just south of Boston, Randolph Engineering has released stylish new sunglasses lines (including the colorful Flash Collection) and seen sales grow by 40 percent from 2012 to 2013. And Newbury Street men’s shop Ball and Buck, which carries only made-in-the-U.S. wares, is bringing more than 100 brands together for the third annual American Field pop-up, the biggest event yet. “AF reminds consumers there are amazing products made right here on American soil,” says B&B founder Mark Bollman. Don’t miss it on Sept. 13 and 14 at the Innovation and Design Building.
Women’s Clothing, High-End
Don’t let the vintage sawhorses, industrial pipe racks and rustic floors fool you: This South End boutique is luxe. Opened in August 2013, it’s already become a favorite for those with some extra cushion in their clothing budgets. Owner Lisa Cancelli-Picard is known for giving love to emerging designers like Golden Goose and Strom denim, and she also handpicks fashion faves such as Isabel Marant and Pedro Garcia. Jewelry by Parisian designer Marie Laure Chamorel and Thom Browne sunglasses round out the selections.1409 Washington St., Boston (857-277-0746) violalovely.com
Women’s Clothing, Moderate
From laser-cut jackets to beaded maxi dresses, every trend is accounted for at Crush. The store is a whirlwind of colors and patterns, with labels such as Free People, Parker, Sw3 and Ella Moss, and there are swimsuits by Splendid and Shoshanna for beach-bound style. Owners (and longtime BFFs) Rebecca Penner and Laura Macris cultivate a warm and welcoming vibe, and their wallet-friendly prices mean that you can look like a million bucks without spending it.264 Newbury St., Boston (617-424-0010) shopcrushboutique.com
With Boston’s reputation as a walking city, the right pair of shoes is a top priority. To find both fashion and function, look no further than Moxie. With a range of heel heights in casual loafers, wedges and ultra-glam T-strap sandals, styles come from shoe gurus including Kate Spade, Cole Haan, DVF and Cape Cod Supply Company. And don’t forget a pair of Tory Burch flip-flops that will make your jellies jelly.51 Charles St., Boston (617-557-9991) moxieboston.com
Ugly “Chic” Sandals
We’d written off normcore as a pseudo-trend, then realized that the concept may have legs—or, at least, feet—given the bizarre parade of Tevas, Birkenstocks, thick-strapped flatforms and other sandals of orthopedic appearance that have been parading across runways and fashion editorials. Such unflattering footwear has come from designers who should know better. (Proenza Schouler, Helmut Lang and Marni, we’re looking at you.) Some stylists say you should wear them in place of ballet flats, but we hope the curtain has closed on this trend.