Tired of the same-old, same-old at department stores? Boutique shopping is the cure-all for what ails you, so whether you’re after the perfect gift or a little something crazy-sexy-cool for yourself, treasures await at one of these hip, hot retailers. From lovingly curated selections of the freshest designer threads to the most fantastic jewelry, shoes and accessories for both men and women, these cool boutiques are worth the extra spending limit.
8745 W. Third St., 310.275.1930, and three other locations
L.A. specializes in big-league shopping and Madison is one of its heaviest hitters. From couture classics like Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen to up-and-coming indie faves, timeless and trendy are blended flawlessly within its four locations in the City of Angels. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and more than willing to help you pull together the perfect look.
328 E. 11th St., 212.475.0075
The little sister of renowned menswear purveyor Odin (located next door), Pas de Deux is the kind of edgy, on-trend and sharp boutique you’d expect to find in one of the world’s great fashion capitals. Hard-to-find brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Repetto delight those who read Vogue, but also share rack space with more esoteric labels aimed at well-heeled hipsters. The store itself is small, but that only enhances its jewel-box vibe and the unshakable feeling that every purchase is a treasure.
More to Love: Pas de Deux’s entire atmosphere is inspired by Paris, to the point that a visit feels like receiving a postcard from the City of Lights.
618 Selby Ave., 651.414.0091, and three other locations
“Boutique” need not equal “beaucoup bucks.” Everything at Primp costs less than $100, with many items priced under $50. This “cheap-chic” concept was developed by owners Michele Gudmundson and Wesley Uthus, who employ expert stylists to ensure customers get a high-end experience even on a shoestring budget. It’s clearly a winning concept: Primp has four locations within the Greater Twin Cities metro area, and unrolled its first house brand, Henry+Martin.
More to Love: After 2pm, customers can sip a glass of wine while they shop.
Where to Stay: The Grand Hotel
1744 W. Division St., 773.698.8162
Classic, elegant and more than just a little preppy, Trillium is the Windy City’s one-stop-shop for structured sweaters and frilly dresses alike. While the store mostly caters to the ladies with a hand-picked selection of clothing, handbags and jewelry, it does feature a small men’s section as well. Owner Erica Cook is a transplant from Michigan who delights in the wares of Chicago-area designers and aims to showcase elegant simplicity.
More to Love: Trillium was one of the first locations in the U.S. to score pieces from Danish designers Libertine-Libertine, and now the brand is a store favorite.