Best Shop for Affordable Women’s Clothing
Bittano

One of the reasons high-end clothes are revered is because of the exquisite detailing. To find that quality in affordable duds isn’t easy, but somehow Bittano manages to do it. From shoes to coats and everything in between, the store has a large selection of on-trend, designer-detailed pieces that can’t be found elsewhere. Even better, you will rarely see anything in the store priced more than $100.

Readers’ Pick: Just Add Jeans

Best Toy Store
The Toy Maven

Owner Candace Williams is committed to education, and it shows. Most of the shop’s playthings manage to sneak in some learning. For adults shopping solo, the friendly staff will point out new items and suggest a good place to start. And then they’ll leave you to wander and wonder at the dazzling array of gadgets, games, and accessories to choose from.

Readers’ Pick: Froggie’s 5 & 10


Best Furniture Store
Scott + Cooner

Yes, last year we gently chided Scott + Cooner for being a bit pricey, and that’s still true. But you have to pay for beautifully designed modern furniture like this. If you’re looking for a comfortable, chic sofa or a conversation-starting piece for anywhere in your home, this is the place.

Readers’ Pick: Weir’s Furniture Village


Best Home Accessories Store
Nest

Nest just keeps getting better; the new store on McKinney has the perfect edgy background for a home store that has gone from stodgy to high style. Let buyer Donald Fowler give you a tour of some of his favorite finds from around the world, and you will leave with something perfect.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon


Best European Antiques
East & Orient Company

The stone courtyard of Betty Gertz’s ivy-covered store on Slocum Street only hints at the wonders you will see inside. Gertz started her antiques collecting when she and her husband lived in Hong Kong (hence the name), but the collection is primarily European, set up like a Paris salon from the Belle Epoch. 1123 Slocum St. 214-741-1191.

Readers’ Pick: Country French Interiors


Best Children’s Clothing Boutique
Baby Bliss/MiniMe

Baby Bliss’ selection, hand-picked by proprietors and parents Carrie and Clark Barnard, is on-trend without being cheesy. We love their devotion to offering organic and green products, as well as the casual, comfy, mix-and-match options from brands like Tea and Zutano. And with the recent addition of MiniMe for infinitely cooler older siblings, this Park Cities boutique has become a one-stop shop for stylish families.

Readers’ Pick: Animal Crackers


Best Sneaker Shop
Luke’s Locker

When our running shoes hit mile 350, we turn to Luke’s. The staff is courteous, helpful, and, above all, not pushy. We once went in complaining of calf problems and were seconds away from buying a new pair of shoes. Instead of pushing us, the staffer suggested modifications and explained that the problem wasn’t our shoes. He was fine with not making a sale. He really just wanted to help. That’s why all our new pairs come from Luke’s.

Readers’ Pick: Luke’s Locker


Best Children’s Furniture
Baby Bliss

We love children’s furniture that avoids twee and goes straight for hard-core style. Baby Bliss carries geometric bassinets, craft tables and minichairs in acid-bright colors, and a monkey rocker that’s part imaginary friend and part pop art inspiration. Modern moms will raise a glass to the return of chic.

Readers’ Pick: Wee Dreamscapes


Best Jewelry Designer
Amber Venz

We love a designer who knows how to hammer out a collection that leaves preciousness in the dust. Amber Venz’s gunmetal bracelet and squared-off chain gang wristlet accomplish that in spades. But we knew we’d found our soul mate piece when we saw her Mary Harness, a full-torso silver chain yoke with a cascade of Catholic charms down the back. Chalk one up for Texas chutzpah. ambervenz.com.

Readers’ Pick: Amanda Sterett


Best Bookstore
Half Price Books

Walk into Half Price Books. Walk out with six new (to you) books and two records (you don’t even have a record player). If it were any other place, you’d feel bamboozled. But Half Price is a locally grown business, and the flagship store is stuffed with just about every piece of reading material imaginable. The prices are nigh unbeatable.

Readers’ Pick:
Half Price Books


shopping_02 Vintage Martini's Nicole Jones photography by James Bland

Best Vintage Clothing Store
Vintage Martini

If you’re into digging through junk to get to buried treasure, we suggest Gratitude. If you want to skip the preamble and find real vintage designer gold (maybe Anna Sui boots or an Alexander McQueen gown), head to this Carrollton boutique. If you’ve got your eye on a 1950s frock that just won’t fit, fear not. An in-store seamstress will get you zipped up in no time.

Readers’ Pick: Dolly Python


Best Comic Book Store
Zeus Comics and Collectibles

If you gave up on comics on your way to college and adulthood, don’t worry. Zeus owner Richard Neal did, too. But he was lured back in 1996 by Grant Morrison’s JLA and Chuck Dixon’s Birds of Prey. So Neal is the right guy to welcome you back. His store is stocked to cater to the neophyte and the deeply geeky in equal measure, thorough but not overwhelming. Bonus: Zeus also has its own web series, The Variants.

Readers’ Pick: Lone Star Comics


Best Floral Shop
Bows & Arrows

Brooklyn transplants Alicia and Adam Rico took over a former Lower Greenville tattoo parlor space two years ago and transformed it into a hipster hangout full of art, vintage finds, and flowers. Oh, yes, those beautiful flowers. The Ricos’ arrangements are lush and romantic but never typical. Featuring woodsy touches, Bows & Arrows creations add a youthful zing to everything. Perhaps that’s why the Bush family made it their official florist.

Readers’ Pick: Dr. Delphinium Designs & Events


shopping_04 (clockwise from top left) Amber Venz, Bows and Arrows, Gregory's and Collage photography clockwise from top left: Amber Venz by Jonathan Zizzo; Bows and Arrows by Stephen Karlisch; Gregory's by Jonathan Zizzo; Collage courtesy of Collage


Best Shoe Store

Gregory’s

The fact that you’ve never heard of designers like Lesilla and Dogana is precisely why you must head over to Gregory’s. Nowhere else in this city will you find the likes of its selection. Stilettos, sandals, boots, flats, and even sneakers, all in statement-making styles, keep celebs like Jessica Simpson coming back for more.

Readers’ Pick: Lou Lou

Best Bicycle Shop
Oak Cliff Bicycle Company

Other bike shops in town will sell you a bike, and it will, more than likely, be perfectly fine. But Oak Cliff Bicycle Company will sell you on cycling as a lifestyle. That doesn’t mean the pros here will try to sell you a bike and a bunch of accessories. They want to see you (and everyone else) on two wheels, and they will work with you to make that happen, even if that means your bringing them an old bike to fix up rather than buying a new one. Also, they carry brands (like Swobo) no one else in town does.

Readers’ Pick: Richardson Bike Mart


Best Record Store
Good Records

You probably buy a fair amount of music on iTunes. Don’t worry. We do, too. But Good Records is the best argument against that. It is a celebration of music, providing a visceral connection that just isn’t possible via ones and zeros. In Good’s candy-colored clubhouse, time stops, your shopping list grows, and music is magic again.

Readers’ Pick: Good Records


Best Vintage/Antique Furniture Shop
Collage

Any fan of iconic mid-20th century design hungry for five-star fare could sate themselves wholly at Collage’s masterfully curated outpost. Run by Abby and Wlodek Malowanczyk, designware purveyors since 1986 (the store moved from Laguna Beach to
Dallas in 1990), the shop is a treasure trove of museum-quality midcentury classics. From Finn Juhl’s sinuous chairs and George Nakishima’s woody masterpieces to Ettore Sottsass’ quirky objects and rare finds by Paul Laszlo, Collage’s roster has prime pickings for the scrutinizing connoisseur.

Readers’ Pick: 20c Design


shopping_05 We are 1976, Owners Derek, Jully, and Vynsie Law photography by Trevor Paulhus


Best Gift Shop

We Are 1976

Put away the picture frames and obnoxiously scented candles, and give a gift worth remembering. This Henderson Avenue indie boutique bills itself as a design toy store for grown-ups. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find something that will make your gift recipient smile: Japanese ceramic sashimi plates, a squid-inspired tentacle ring, limited-edition screen-print posters, and swarms of Asian-inspired toys and collectibles that bubble with whimsy and personality.

Readers’ Pick: Nasher Sculpture Center Store

Best Shop for Designer-Label Women’s Fashions
Forty Five Ten

When you want flashy labels that prove you’re a country club member, visit any department store. When you’re a die-hard fashion lover, looking for tougher-to-find lines and a highly edited mix, head to this McKinney Avenue jewel, which even stocks some exclusive lines. Even heavy-hitting designers love the shop. Last year’s 10th anniversary party included guests Thakoon, Narciso Rodriguez, and Ippolita.

Readers’ Pick: Nordstrom


Best Men’s Clothing Store
Barneys New York

Visiting Barneys is like going to church. A hush-hush reverence permeates this NorthPark bastion of high fashion. It’s a welcome respite from the clogged clearance racks and harried experiences found at lesser stores. Truth is, for first timers, Barneys’ tasteful exterior can come off as distant and aloof. But once inside, you’ll find dapper, friendly salespeople ready to help you. Its combination of boutique mindset with unparalleled breadth of inventory from the likes of Armani, McQueen, and Berluti makes Barneys the finest shopping experience. Can we get an amen?

Readers’ Pick: Nordstrom


shopping_03 Art of Old India's Brandon Brown photography by Billy Surface

Best Asian and African Antiques
Art of Old India

Going into Art of Old India is like entering a temple, with its smell of incense and dark, hushed interior. When your eyes become accustomed to the surroundings, the Zen master himself, Pankaj Dalal, will lead you through a treasure chest of Indian and Central Asian artifacts, cloths, and architectural temple pieces. Om, shanti.

Readers’ Pick: Joel Cooner Gallery


Best Place to Buy Jeans
The Blues Jean Bar

Shopping for a pair of jeans can be a nightmare, but it’s a breeze at this denim “bar.” Rather than searching racks for hours, you just let the ladies behind the counter know what you’re looking for. Need a dark-washed boot-cut in a size 6? Here are four pairs from the best lines in the biz. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

Readers’ Pick: The Blues Jean Bar


Best Women’s Clothing Consignment Shop
Clotheshorse Anonymous

With uber-strict guidelines for the pieces it accepts, it’s amazing that Clotheshorse Anonymous has such a vast inventory. The store won’t take in anything more than two years old. And if it’s not in mint condition, forget it. Lucky for us, preference is given to articles by top designers, so spotting names like Louboutin and Versace is not uncommon. But you know what is? The prices, which are dirt cheap.

Readers’ Pick: Clotheshorse Anonymous
 

Best Women’s Clothing Boutique
Elements

One of the reasons Elements has remained a Dallas fashion staple for 12 years is because it’s never gotten cocky. Connie Sigel has always kept abreast of the fashion industry. This has enabled her to consistently fill the boutique’s racks with innovative, trend-setting brands. The large selection of cutting-edge clothing, shoes, and accessories makes it almost impossible for any sane female to leave empty-handed.

Readers’ Pick: Melanie Gayle


Best Custom Clothier
Hadleigh’s Bespoke

Husband-and-wife owners Ed and Gable Shaikh continue to rewrite the custom clothing story in Dallas, offering an ever-expanding line of suits, shirts, neckwear, watches, and even luggage from their Highland Park Village shop. Our favorite new find is Hadleigh’s tuxedo slipper embroidered with the company’s logo. It’s certainly a chic way to complete your summer ensemble and announce to the city that you’re a Hadleigh’s man from head to toe.

Readers’ Pick: Lombardo Custom Apparel


Best Lingerie Shop
Trousseau

We love Intimacy as much as our readers, but what we really desire when shopping for underpinnings is the focused, cultivated collection we get at Trousseau. Nasrin Hormozi stocks her shop with everything from cute HoneyDew panties to extravagant La Perla sets, so prices run the gamut. Expect serious quality, too. Before stocking a line, Hormozi inspects every detail.

Readers’ Pick: Intimacy


Best Pet Store
Pet Supplies Plus

We love froufrou doggie boutiques and rhinestone collars, but this warehouse is what keeps our furry friends healthy and happy. Don’t expect bone China dog bowls, but do expect comfy homes, feeding accessories, a colossal collection of food, and toys galore at discounted prices.

Readers’ Pick: Green Pet


shopping_06 Ylang 23 photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Best Jewelry Store
Ylang 23

We like a store named after monumental moments in life. So we like Ylang 23. Owners Joanne and Charles Teichman met on the 23rd, got engaged on the 23rd, and were married on the 23rd. But that’s not reason enough to buy jewelry from them. The real draw is their huge variety of pieces by great designers. Which means there is  an option for everyone, from the young and hip to the more sophisticated.

Readers’ Pick: Bachendorf’s


Best Garden Shop
Nicholson-Hardie

Besides the beautiful flowers, landscape services, classes, and garden accessories, what we love most about Nicholson-Hardie is the knowledgeable staff of Texas-certified and master-certified nursery professionals. They’ll not only sell you a plant but also show you how to care for it as well as advise you what you should and shouldn’t plant in your garden.

Readers’ Pick: Nicholson-Hardie

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