After shopping in local boutiques, meeting local designers and tastemakers and visiting cities across the nation, Joah Spearman from Huffington Post breaks down his top nine choices for cities where the best-dressed people shop. Read on to see if your city made the cut.
9. Kansas City
Kansas City was selected because it has what Spearman deems “one of the best unisex shops in America: Standard Style.” In addition, due to Kansas’ location in the Midwest, the city tends to get styles from New York and L.A. (albeit typically a while after the styles hit the major cities). Once the styles arrive, like A.P.C and Life After Denim for men or Elizabeth & James or Rebecca Taylor for women, they typically end up in Standard Style.
The Southern location and influence gets Atlanta spot number eight on the countdown and brands like We Are the Process, who embrace that Southern charm, are popular shopping choices in the city. Atlanta also has a significant hip-hop presence that ultimately hits the streets through stores like Standard, a streetwear/sneaker boutique, which is locally owned.
Despite many people’s first inclination to think of Rodeo Drive when thinking about Los Angeles shopping, Spearman pays more attention to the value of L.A. style that is behind the scenes – the people who design or work in showrooms. Many fashion brands are represented by L.A. showrooms like the Joey Showroom and Open Showroom where you can find clothes from still-emerging collections like Black Halo and JoyRich. In addition, L.A. is a boutique hotspot including places like Opening Ceremony that has labels like Adam Kimmel and Band of Outsiders sold in their store.
While you may be thinking, “Washington? Really?” Spearman chose to put this on the list because of a budding district he came across in the 14th Street and U Street areas. There are upscale boutiques like Redeem and sneaker stores like Palace5 within blocks of one another. The concept of concentrated shopping is what Spearman says is key to concentrated style.
Portland lands the number 5 spot because the boutiques found here had an impressive range of brands. Shops like Radish (women’s) and Johnny Sole (shoes) may not have the name recognition some expect from recommended shopping, however they sell great brands like Bodybag by Jude and 80%20. In addition, Blackbird and Blake carry menswear that can have you looking date-ready within minutes.
Austin is a place of discovery, despite its small-ish vibe. Even locals find that they are running into new shops on a regular basis and discovery styles and fashion they didn’t know was available in their town. Near the University of Texas, for example, Spearman (who lives in Austin) recently discovered a store called Cotone, a women’s boutique in town. It had recently opening and carries Brandy Melville, the Italian brand started by Silvio Marsan in Rome three decades ago. The Second Street District is a good place to find a high concentration of women’s boutiques that have opened over the past few years. South of Congree Avenue is where you can find “buy local” shopping and shops like By George, Maya, Service and Stag.
Chicago is the city that gave us style icons such as Michael Jordan, Michelle Obama and Kanye West so it would be curious if the windy city didn’t make the list. Coming in at number three, Chicago also has great ships that help during cold winters (Allsaints, Brooklyn Industries, and Carhartt) and local boutiques great for summer shopping (St. Alfred’s and Sir & Madame).
2. New York
Probably doesn’t need much of an explanation, but Manhattan is number two for being a great place to live and breathe fashion. Head to Madison Avenue for some of the best professional attire around or hit SoHo for more diverse and unique styles. For buying locally, Spearman recommends Saturdays Surf Shop and Dave’s Quality Meats. For designers, it probably is pretty accurate that if you can make it in New York City, you can make it (almost) anywhere.
San Francisco gets the number one spot for being the denim capital of America. Home to Self Edge and A-B Fits and great boutiques like Department 17, Shotwell, Harputs Market, Seed Store, Dish, Unionmade, General Store, Welcome Strangers and Azalea, San Francisco is a shopping dream.
Source and photo: Huffington Post