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Best of Big D: Shopping 2013

Where to find the finest wares (and the finest things to wear) in Dallas.
photography by Billy Surface

Best Consignment Women’s Clothing
Clotheshorse Anonymous

With the help of 25,000 consignors, Clotheshorse carries the most impressive collection of consigned designer clothing in Dallas. Versace, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Lanvin—you name it, the gang’s all here, and each item is in immaculate condition. Staple wardrobe pieces (full suits, cocktail dresses, strappy heels, and cocktail clutches) are brought in every day, but special pieces like sable coats, Louis Vuitton luggage, and beaded couture gowns by Giorgio Armani hit this store’s floor, too. 11661 Preston Rd., Ste. 236. 972-233-7005.

Readers’ Pick: Clotheshorse

Photography courtesy vendors

Best Shop for Eyewear
Occhiali Modern Optics

Bring your prescription to this Park Cities boutique, where all staffers are board-certified opticians and style-conscious eyewear lovers. Owner Lisa Methvin and manager Sara McDaniel leave mainstream brands to other shops, instead filling their inventory with Alain Mikli, Anne et Valentin, Mykita, and Tom Davies. They’re hands-on with finding your perfect fit, so if a pair of specs doesn’t look quite right, don’t worry. They’ll tell you.

Readers’ Pick: Peeper’s

Photography courtesy vendors
Best Shoe Store
The Office of Angela Scott

A refreshing departure from store displays of bedazzled 4-inch heels and shiny platform pumps, Angela Scott’s flagship store showcases her range of androgynous, bench-made footwear: cap-toed saddle shoes, striped oxfords, fur-trimmed boots, and high-heeled brogues. Each pair, in sumptuous textures and rich colors, is handcrafted by a cobbler from start to finish and takes six months to produce.

Readers’ Pick: Lou Lou

Best Pet Store
Downtown Pawz

Downtown dogs’ favorite store is Downtown Pawz, the pet supply shop that opened in the Wilson Building on Main Street last year. The all-natural items are great for our pets, but to our surprise, the store has been great for downtown. People come from all over to get that hard-to-find food for their precious pups, bringing life to the once-empty weekend streets and attracting new residents. The family-run business is expanding by adding grooming and dog walking and, later this year, a new space in the Davis Building with boarding. Our dog is going to be so happy.

Readers’ Pick: The Lucky Dog Barkery

Best Stationer

Whether we’re on the hunt for a pretty card for a co-worker or a formal invitation suite (and pretty much anything in between), Bell ’Invito is our go-to spot for all things stationery. Tucked inside her McKinney Avenue decor store Nest, founder Heather Wiese-Alexander’s paper masterpieces (every piece is engraved or hand-fed through 19th-century letterpresses) commingle with an edited selection of chic, preprinted options, allowing us to grab and go on the run or settle in to create something completely customized and totally stunning. 4524 McKinney Ave. 214-373-4444.

Readers’ Pick: Needle in a Haystack

photography by Billy Surface
Best Contemporary/Modern Furniture
Scott + Cooner

Furniture isn’t merely merchandise here. Pieces become elements in thoughtful installations. Owners Josy Cooner-Collins and Lloyd Scott have created a sleek showroom filled with incredible chandeliers, innovative home accessories, and modern furniture by a host of designers including B&B Italia, Bocci, Foscarini, Minotti, Moooi, and many more. The showroom is open to the public, so feel free to come in and admire the space. But be warned—by the time you leave, you might very well be a modernist.

Readers’ Pick: Cantoni

Best Vintage Furniture
Lula B’s

Are you a person who likes the idea of shopping an estate sale but the actual act seems like too much work? Lula B’s is the ideal solution. The good people here have amassed loads of vintage clothing, furniture, and home accessories. Dig deep, and you never know when you’re going to find the perfect antique desk or a lovely piece of Murano glass. Yes, you could go to a number of places that have already found the treasures and cleaned them all up. But here you leave feeling victorious when you find your something special—even though it was a bit of a guided hunt.

Readers’ Pick: Lula B’s

Photography by Elizabeth Lavin
Best Women’s Clothing Boutique
Nicole Kwon

Nicole Kwon started out as a designer and then opened her own shop a little over a year ago. She packs her racks in West Village with exclusives like Hussein Chalayan, Miista footwear, Mother Denim, Mansur Gavriel handbags, and other lines you’ve never heard of but need to know. Party dresses hang next to simple separates and men’s button-downs, and painted cubbies display unisex flats and trays full of modern jewels. Prices run the gamut from $20 to $2,000, but anything you find will be distinctive and special.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon

Best Gift Shop
Number One

Sadly, most of our gift purchases these days seem to be of the last-minute variety. So we were pretty excited when retail maestro Brian Bolke decided to open the doors to his Highland Park Village boutique-cum-cafe at 8 am each morning. Now when we’re in desperate need of an on-the-fly birthday gift for our supremely tasteful boss, we can choose from Aesop bath products, Bellocq teas, a cache of obscure fashion glossies, and myriad other stylish, hard-to-find luxury goods while we pick up our pre-work almond milk latte.

Readers’ Pick: The
Gypsy Wagon

Best Museum Shop
The Lotus Shop

The gift shop at the Crow Collection of Asian Art recently got a bit of a makeover. As you might expect, you can find an array of lovely Japanese tea sets, red lacquer bento boxes, and origami books for the kids. But there are plenty of items for folks who lack Margaret Crow’s noted passion for Asian art and objects. Cool cuff links, smart totes, fun notecards, and delicate jewelry will make everyone in your life happy.

Readers’ Pick: Nasher Sculpture Center Store

Best Tabletop and Kitchen Accessories
Copper Lamp

The daughters of some of the finest families in town have come here to register for fine china, crystal, and silver since the store’s inception in 1959. Whether you’re trying to add to the Wedgwood collection you inherited from your grandmother or you’re looking to set your own agenda (and table) with pieces from Versace, you can find it here. Even better, the Copper Lamp’s knowledgeable staff can advise you on everything from stainless and silver-plate to sterling and beyond.

Readers’ Pick: Polly DuPont

Best European Antiques
Nick Brock

Sometimes searching for antiques can be overwhelming and intimidating. Not so at Nick Brock. Here, an assortment of items dating back to the 17th century are arranged in attractive and fun vignettes. Not sure whether you can pull of the 17th-century Italian Baroque gilded mirror in your Uptown apartment? Seeing it in a lifelike setting can help, and you may decide to opt for an old Spanish farm table instead.

Readers’ Pick: Country French Interiors

Best Bicycle shop   
Transit Bicycle Co.

After four years in the West Village, Transit Bicycle Co. relocated to Lower Greenville at the beginning of the summer. The larger space offers even more bikes and accessories to drool over. The shop has a friendly and funny staff, plus honest and qualified mechanics who are hip to everything that’s current and collectible. Commuters, track riders, and cyclocross racers come to climb into the saddle of a Bianchi (in styles you won’t usually find elsewhere), All City, Surly, a kickass limited-edition Cinelli (exclusive dealer in Dallas, donchaknow?), or a custom frame from Daltex, their in-house builder. Plus, Fran Badgett, the owner, really couldn’t be more awesome.

Readers’ Pick: Richardson Bike Mart