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Best of Big D: Shopping 2012

Where to find the finest wares (and the finest things to wear) in Dallas.
photography courtesy of Newscom

Best Lingerie Shop
Trousseau of Dallas

Trousseau is to underwear as Barneys is to apparel: a highly edited, fashion-forward collection of quality (and often jaw-dropping) pieces. Owner Nasrin Hormozi selects only the most well-crafted, beautiful, and exciting lingerie at a variety of price points, inspecting each garment before it goes on the floor. You can shop elsewhere for boring nude bras, but to build a lingerie wardrobe as beautiful as your shoe collection, this is the shop.

Readers’ Pick:
Trousseau of Dallas

Best Sneaker Shop
Luke’s Locker

Nothing feels better at a 6 am White Rock Lake training run than the comfort of a new pair of sneakers hand-picked by experts. The pros at Luke’s talk you through any ailment and ensure that the shoes you’re running 26.2 (or 3.1) miles in are perfect for your foot. When you walk in, they’ll watch you walk and let you know whether you’re a pronator or underpronator, they’ll test your gait on the treadmill in the back of the store, and they’ll examine your old shoes. That’s service.

Readers’ Pick: Luke’s Locker

Best Shoe Store

The sky-high stilettos covered in rhinestones certainly are attention grabbers, but look past the glitter and you’ll find some of our very favorite footwear: Yves Saint Laurent pumps, Charlotte Olympia sandals, Elisanero sandals, and Baldan boots.

Readers’ Pick: Lou Lou

Best Women’s Consignment Shop
Clotheshorse Anonymous

If you never thought you’d be able to afford anything from designers like Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, or Gucci, think again. Consider Clotheshorse Anonymous your one-stop shop for affordable designer duds. Sure, they’ve been previously owned, but the resale shop is so picky about the quality of the pieces it accepts that you can rest assured the Dolce & Gabbana dress you covet has been rigorously inspected. Given the sheer mass of the store’s inventory, you’re sure to find something to make your inner clothes snob giddy.

Readers’ Pick: Clotheshorse Anonymous

Best Garden Shop
North Haven Gardens

Green thumbs on the hunt for azalea soil, a rare Japanese maple, and/or some urban chicken gear call North Haven their go-to. The leafy nursery tucked away in a North Dallas neighborhood is staffed with knowledgeable garden-wonks happy to guide you through the array of standard and obscure flora and fauna on offer. The shop also has free classes on everything from proper watering to canning and pickling, complete with happy hour beverages. We’ll drink to that.

Readers’ Pick: Nicholson-Hardie Garden & Nursery

Best Jeans

We’ll always love the denim “bar” at The Blues Jean Bar, but we’re stoked to have this ecofriendly line’s storefront at home. Contrary to the store’s name, these jeans are not used. Instead, they’re made from 80 percent recycled material, which is broken back down into cotton, mixed with spandex for stretch, and turned into trendy cuts in every color imaginable.

Readers’ Pick: The Blues Jean Bar

Best Comic Book Store
Zeus Comics and Collectibles

At some other comic shops, you may feel like you’re trying to break into a clique. Not here. Zeus is built for the neophyte and the serious geek alike, for those whose interest has been piqued by The Avengers and those irritated Ant-Man wasn’t in the movie. Bonus: the staff doubles as the cast of The Variants, the web comedy series filmed in and around the store.
Readers’ Pick: Zeus Comics and collectibles

Best Pet Store
The Lucky Dog Barkery

We may not be living holistically, but our dogs are. That’s why we shop at this green puppy boutique. On top of dozens (upon dozens) of organic and natural dog foods and treats that can be tailored to your pooch’s individual needs, the store is stocked with earth-friendly toys and other locally designed dog wares, like leashes, collars, and bowls.

Readers’ Pick: The Lucky Dog Barkery

Best Women’s Boutique

There are dozens of boutiques we shop on the regular, but Elements is tops for its designer assortment, range of style (from bohemian to conservative sophistication), and variety of price points. You can spend a pretty penny on the main floor, but the connected sister shop, Elle, is full of affordable separates.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon

Best Traditional Furniture

One of the coffee table books that graces this Knox Street home furnishings store is titled More Is More. How very apropos. The South Hamptons-based retailer is anything but white-washed sedate, jam-packed with one-of-a-kind antiques and furnishings ranging in style from Hollywood Regency to French to Americana. Queen Anne settes sit next to a chunky faux bois concrete chair. Lucite bar carts and pony-hide tub chairs mix and mingle. Certainly, Mecox doesn’t shy away from color. Tangerine, moss green, and aqua accessories pop the eye at every turn. It’s an exciting mix of the unexpected and a far cry from your typical furniture store.

Readers’ Pick: Weir’s Furniture

Best Hardware
F. Is for Frank

Painfully tasteful venetian bronze knobs are so last year. What your cabinet door needs is something fresh. Different. Perhaps a giant pewter octopus. Shoshannah Frank and Casey Melton’s sense of whimsy and style is evident in their cute yet chic collection of knobs, pulls, and handles. They’re anything but ordinary. Dinosaur and robot knobs are perfect for any boy’s room, while floral pulls will delight your little princess. For contemporary abodes, F. Is for Frank’s woodgrain series puts a hip, modern spin on the great outdoors.

Readers’ Pick: Elliott’s Hardware

Best Record Store
Good Records

The selection is sharply curated, the staff is knowledgeable, and great bands regularly play on the carpet-covered stage. It’s as simple and correct as the store’s name. Drawback: you will spend more than you planned, because you will leave with something you didn’t expect. It’s a—wink, nudge—good problem to have.

Readers’ Pick: Half Price Books

Best Bookstore
Half Price Books

we love our dog almost as much as we love books. So what’s better than combining the two? When we learned that Half Price Books allows our four-legged friends in its doors, we were elated. We can spend hours perusing the shelves of gently used titles while Pupster does the same. But don’t worry—we’ll make sure he doesn’t bother you during your afternoon reading.

Readers’ Pick: Half Price Books

photography courtesy of vendors
Best Kids’ Boutique
Little Bean

With a thoughtful mix of artful toys and kids’ clothes, Little Bean would be right at home in Williamsburg or Silver Lake or (insert your hipster enclave of choice here). The airy Junius Heights shop changed hands late last year when founder Christine Visneau sold the business to stylist Bianca Colgin, but the mellow, playful vibe remains the same. Sweet frocks from Pink Chicken, handcrafted Jess Brown dolls (a cult fave among the stylish mom set), giant robot wall decals, and haute fairy gear from Wovenplay are just a sampling of the goods that delight kids and parents alike.

Readers’ Pick: Little Bean

Best Florist
Avant Garden

Event planner extraordinaire Todd Fiscus owns this airy Highland Park Village shop that has become the go-to, pop-in spot for lovely gifts and pretty petals. Maybe you think one florist is very much like another? Wrong! The team at Avant Garden’s mission is to re-create Belle Époque with a modern twist. That can mean anything from floating orchids to lush, grand arrangements, depending on the event or occasion.

Readers’ Pick: Dr Delphinium Designs & Events

photography courtesy of vendor
Best Shop for Designer Labels
Forty Five Ten

We miss seeing former co-founder Shelly Musselman in the boutique, but the merchandise is as good as ever, with high-fashion favorites like Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier, and more locally elusive lines like Yigal Azrouël and Comme des Garçons. We rely on Forty Five Ten for luxurious wardrobe staples, risky statement pieces, and all the cool accessories in between.

Readers’ Pick: Nordstrom

Best Jewelry Store
Ylang 23

Upscale jewelry stores make us uncomfortable. The seriousness can be stifling. But not at Ylang 23, where shopping for jewelry (even in the $20,000 range) still feels like fun. The variety of designers is huge (from diamond-studded Cathy Waterman to edgy Alexis Bittar), and the selection bridges the age gap, with everything from colorful bangles to future family heirlooms.

Readers’ Pick: Bachendorf’s

Best Contemporary/Modern Furniture

Do you like art? in the market for some cool furniture from the likes of Minotti and MDF Italia? Need an interesting lighting solution? Jennifer and Autumn Smink and Dawn Gibson can help with all that and more. Their 11,000-square-foot Dragon Street showroom has floating walls, an on-site warehouse, and an artist, as well as sleek furniture and accessories that will make even the most anticlutter person consider hoarding.

Readers’ Pick: Cantoni

Best Men’s Store


Once operating solely in the poolside cabana of their Oak Cliff home, Gable and Ed Shaikh’s luxury atelier moved to Highland Park Village in 2009. Late last year, they opened a street-level retail boutique for those craving a ready-to-wear Hadeigh’s look. With its Carrara marble walls and Marco Zanuso chairs, the shop is every bit as stylish and curated as the duo’s designs. Inventory is limited to Hadleigh’s signature collections featuring cashmere knitwear, accessories, and navy roadster blazers, as well as items from some of their favorite designers, such as Cesare Attolini. It’s a one-of-a-kind shopping experience that every Dallas dandy will appreciate.

Readers’ Pick: Nordstrom