Best of Big D

Shopping

Featured in The Best of Big D 2014

Best Custom Clothier for Women

Double R

A bespoke gown is nice and all, but a perfectly fitting button-up shirt is more exotic. Jen and Ravi Ratan, whose family owns Q Custom Clothier, craft made-to-measure shirts, shirtdresses, and tunics using four measurements. Fabrics include a wide selection of colors, prints, and textures. Shoppers can select each detail down to the sleeve tabs and monogram.

Best Sneaker Shop

Epocha

If you’re looking for a fresh pair of Jordans, go to the mall. If you want something that every sneakerhead doesn’t already have, go to this new men’s boutique in Deep Ellum. It has a small but smartly chosen collection built around iconic brands (like Saucony and Pony) and up-and-comers (like Amsterdam-based Filling Pieces) in eye-catching colorways.

Readers’ Pick: Luke’s Locker has been making Dallas-area runners happy for almost 40 years.

Best Outdoor Furniture & Accessories

Janus et Cie

If the very idea of patio furniture causes physical and aesthetic discomfort, prepare to feel some joy. The sleek designs you find here are going to blow your mind. Picnic tables made of steel, aluminum, and iroko wood and bright, sophisticated umbrellas will make your next pool party pop. A host of styles, materials, and textile options for tables, chairs, chaises, and outdoor rugs and accessories make the prospect of decorating for the great outdoors truly great.

Readers’ Pick: Jackson’s Home & Garden has blossomed over the years into an outdoor superstore where you can find all types of furniture plus grills, fountains, pottery, and more.

Best Eyewear Store

Optique

Look past the West Village location and focus instead on the selection of eyeglasses. There are the hoity-toity ones—Prada, Gucci, and Versace—but head past those to the selection of Paul Smith and Oliver Peoples for dependable and stylish frames. Dr. George Orm also gets his patients in and out quickly.

Readers’ Pick: Goo Goo Eyes has been a Park Cities staple for nearly a decade and features a wide array of frames.

Best Children’s Clothing Boutique

Baby Bliss

It’s the go-to shop for cool Dallas moms. Stocking sophisticated lines with an earth-friendly focus, the boutique ditches furry pink things for chevron swaddling blankets, super-chic diaper bags, Locally Grown Texas onesies, and all the gifts necessary to make an expecting mother swoon at a baby shower. When our children outgrow Baby Bliss, we walk through to sister store MiniMe for slightly bigger kiddos.

Readers’ Pick: Animal Crackers offers a comprehensive selection of clothing, accessories, and furniture from tots to teens with brands including Chan Luu, Les Tout Petits, and Flowers by Zoe.

Best Vintage Clothing Store

Vintage Martini

Our biggest qualm with Vintage Martini was their location out in the ’burbs. Solved! The shop has moved to Henderson Avenue (sorry, Carrollton). The ladies’ finds are as good as ever, and new offerings include a Martini Man section for the guys, couture jewelry from Lush Life Antiques, an edit of designer goods from Factory Girl, and a “museum room” to view the 19th- and early- 20th-century inventory.

Readers’ Pick: Lula B’s Antique Mall will keep you for hours with vendors that stock everything from retro knick-knacks and clothing to serious vintage furniture scores.

Best Place to Shop for Shoes

V.O.D.

V.O.D. has put the excitement back in shoe shopping. We’ve been giddy over all the colorful pairs of playful Sophia Webster heels, summer’s Sonia Rykiel jellies, booties by Acne, and everything from the store’s beloved Isabel Marant. We’re eagerly awaiting fall styles from exclusive lines we don’t know but will love soon, including French Eugène Riconneaus and Italian Inga by Inga Savits. Swoon.

Best Place to Buy Jewelry

Elements

Stephanie Moore, the clothing boutique’s jewelry buyer, loves jewelry more than anyone we know. She stocks the glass cases with up-and-coming lines we fall in love with on the spot. We’ve picked up our favorite everyday studs and statement necklaces here and assembled an edgy ring collection here as well. Favorite lines include Ax + Apple and Iosselliani and, new for fall, sculptural metals by Anndra Neen and mystical crystals by Unearthen. Pamela Love is always in stock.

Readers’ Pick: Bachendorf’s has provided Dallas with top-tier watches, engagement rings and wedding bands, and everyday jewels for 37 years. In-house designers can sketch custom creations.

Best Designer-Label Clothing

Canary

Owner Merry Vose has redefined the shopping experience for the ladies-who-lunch crowd. Canary is the higher-end sibling to her contemporary store Cabana and provides clientele with a slew of designers who haven’t oversaturated the local scene, such as Crippen, Peter Pilotto, Kenzo, and Veronica Beard. The shop is friendly with playful black-and-white striped floors, pops of yellow, and iced tea to go.

Readers’ Pick: Nordstrom’s fan base includes us, too. The huge selection, expert sales staff, and easy returns are just a few reasons.

Best Store for a Little Bit of Everything

BelAir

You’ll forget why you came when you enter BelAir. This cottage has been curated to make you say, “I’ll take one of everything.” If you popped in for a quick trinket from the gift room, you’ll be distracted by the trio of abstract paintings you need for your living room. If you’ve made an appointment to talk re-wallpapering—the shop’s a design studio, too—you’ll get sidetracked by earthy chic tunics by Rabens Saloner and cool jewels.

Best Fashion Jewelry Designer

Eye on the Sparrow Designs

The compliments roll in when we wear our guitar and bass string bangles by designer Abbie Chesney. Using recycled bass and guitar strings, often from local musicians, she weaves together cool jewels like bronze guitar star bracelets and silver bass string hoops. For each purchase, Chesney donates money to the crowdfunding campaigns of local musicians.

Readers’ Pick: Gresham designer Gresham Hodges loves jewelry so much she studied its evolution in college. She’s since amassed a following with her collection of vintage pieces and semiprecious stones.

Best Traditional Furniture

Laura Lee Clark

Trust us: there’s a reason this shop has been a longtime favorite of D Home. From Oriental antiques (think Tang dynasty porcelain) to framed butterflies and lots of sparkly geodes, there’s an eclectic mix of objects in shop that fit together seamlessly.

Readers’ Pick: Locals love Weir’s Furniture, and we don’t blame them. The store carries an extensive selection for the bedroom, office, living room, and kitchen at various price points.

Best Women’s Clothing Boutique

The Shak

Stanley Korshak’s little sister store has occasionally been lost in the shuffle, but with a new storefront that has more than doubled its size, it can’t be brushed aside. Four mini-shops provide extensive collections of favorite contemporary designers like Helmut Lang and Elizabeth and James. A growing accessory collection includes cool new jewels (like Michelle Fantaci and Muse), shoes (Iro), and bags (Khirma Eliazov). Luxurious new dressing rooms have doubled in size, too.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon delights our boho side with lacy kimonos, maxi dresses, and handcrafted jewelry lines that give us that hippie look with a Southern girl twist.

Best Gift Shop

TenOverSix Presents

Need a gift for a friend who is cooler than you? TenOverSix Presents will make you look good. The local outpost of the L.A.-based shop boasts items for men, women, babies, and home from designers and labels that aren’t found anywhere else in town. On a recent jaunt to the Joule Hotel’s resident gift shop, we spotted the rustic and whimsical Coral & Tusk stationery, Fort Standard’s industrial-inspired bottle openers, and sunglasses from French designer Thierry Lasry.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon’s quirky jewels, vintage finds, and Texas-themed gifts make this a perfect place to shop for friends near and far.

Best Affordable Women’s Clothing

Rio Ritz

Brazilian-born owner Thais Moses has cultivated a trendy bohemian vibe with floral-print rompers, maxi dresses, and faux-leather staples. Shelves are lined with shoes and bags, and a jewelry table features statement necklaces and local line All the Wire. Our favorite spot is the dressing area with a purple velvet couch and rustic, wood-framed changing rooms. Wine is offered all the time (mimosas on weekends), and nearly everything rings up under $70.

Readers’ Pick: Milk & Honey became our one-stop shop for a head-to-toe ensemble we need to wear in a few hours. It’s an Anthropologie-esque experience on a budget.

Best Bicycle Shop

Oak Cliff Bicycle Company

For the size of the shop, Oak Cliff Bicycle Company offers a surprising selection of wheels for all ages and sizes. The service is second to none, and customers are family before even walking through the door. With additional bike shops and competition coming to Oak Cliff, don’t expect that to change.

Readers’ Pick: Richardson Bike Mart has long been the home of many Dallasites’ first bikes. And now, as the city’s bike culture flourishes, that can only continue.

Best Toy Store

Green Beans Toy Boutique

This adorable shop boasts just about everything you could want, from fun stuff to educational games to blast-from-the-past toys you remember and your kids will love, too. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the gift wrapping is free, which comes in very handy when you’re procuring a last-minute gift on the way to a birthday party.

Readers’ Pick: Froggie’s 5 & 10 has toys for all ages, yes, but they’re also a one-stop-shop for novelty items, cute clothes for babies, collectors’ items, cards, and dress-up clothes.

Best Garden Shop

Brumley Gardens

Although it’s only been open for two years, we love the Oak Cliff outpost of this longtime Lake Highlands favorite—not only for its vast selection of indoor and outdoor plants (with good prices and helpful signs featuring information and tips for gardening neophytes) but also for its friendly, laid-back service and offerings beyond plants. Here you’ll find pots and planters, garden gifts and accessories, fire pits and fountains, and chicken coops and feed.

Readers’ Pick: North Haven Gardens boasts a staggering array of plants and a knowledgeable approach fit for green thumbs and novices alike.

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Traffic Los Angeles

The name says it all: Hollywood glam located in the heart of downtown Dallas. This California import eschews our city’s traditional tastes and exudes a swaggering rock-star vibe featuring exclusive lines such as Rick Owens and Commes des Garçons as well as more common contemporary designers such as D Squared and Paul Smith. This is where you’ll find that black lamb fur biker jacket you never knew you needed.

Readers’ Pick: Neiman Marcus has been dressing Dallas’ finest families for 107 years. Its luxury menswear selection is peerless.

Best Hardware and Design Materials Store

Elliott’s Hardware

If Goldilocks had a leaky faucet or needed a new grill, she’d head straight for Elliott’s. Its just-right size and selection doesn’t overwhelm or disappoint. And if you’re not sure exactly what you need, that’s no problem. The attentive staff will happily point you in the right direction, even if it’s to another store. On a recent trip, we overheard one satisfied shopper remark, “That sure was easier than Home Depot.” Exactly.

Readers’ Pick: Elliott’s Hardware

Best Floral Shop

Cebolla Fine Flowers

You just remembered your friend’s birthday dinner is in two hours, and you don’t have a gift or card. Where to get all of the above in one fell swoop? You guessed it: our favorite floral shop. Choose from ready-made European-style arrangements and plants, pick up a sweet card to pen a memorable message, and add a delightful-smelling Tatine candle, and you will be the belle of the birthday dinner.

Readers’ Pick: Dr Delphinium Designs and Events has won hearts with picturesque arrangements and sweet extras like cookies and macarons.

Best Museum Gift Shop

Dallas Museum of Art

Sure, you can find the standard museum shop trinkets and souvenirs like DMA-branded coffee mugs and key chains, a wide array of prints, and art postcards. But don’t overlook the shop as a source for unique and interesting gifts. We love the Alessi kitchen accessories and Bark chocolates for the foodie, the nice selection of Faber-Castell art supplies for the budding artist, and the vast library of art books for the coffee table book enthusiast.

Readers’ Pick: Perot Museum of Nature and Science boasts sneakily educational finds for kiddos plus a good selection of stuffed animals and wacky decor.

Best Home Accessories Store

Ceylon et Cie

Let’s say you’re a person with discerning taste and a sense of fun. Maybe you’re not wild about spicing up your parlor with the same furnishings and accessories that your neighbors have. Point the car toward the Design District and prepare to be dazzled by an array of treasures from all around the world. Side tables from India mix with European drawings, fun textiles, and lovely lamps. Even better: owner Michelle Nussbaumer will regale you with fascinating tales about life, travel, and style.

Readers’ Pick: The Gypsy Wagon carries Alexandra Ferguson’s adorable eco-friendly pillows so you can make a big, low-impact statement.

Best Vintage Furniture Store

Scout Design Studio

This shop’s name says it all: Tiffany Taylor Lapidus travels the country looking for antiques to transform with a little TLC in her Design District studio. The front of the shop features styled vignettes, but the back warehouse is where you can discover pieces just waiting to be remodeled to fit your vision. For some extra inspiration, check out the store’s Instagram, @ScoutDesignStudio.

Readers’ Pick: With two locations and more than 50 buyers keeping an eye out for the funkiest finds, Lula B’s Antique Mall has a great selection of eclectic vases and lighting.

Best Contemporary Furniture Store

Scott+Cooner

Modern furniture lovers know that Scott+Cooner is the place to go for sleek and stylish furnishings and home accessories. Owners Josy Cooner-Collins and Lloyd Scott have curated a collection of furniture that is contemporary but not cold, and very livable.

Readers’ Pick: Cantoni’s flagship store in Addison offers interior design consultation and space planning along with innovative modern furniture and accessories from around the world.

Best Record Store

Dead Wax Records

Are there bigger, flashier stores than Dead Wax? Definitely. A shop closer to Dallas proper? Sure. But there’s something about this Carrollton spot that’s the perfect mix of friendly geekiness. You’ll want to keep the goldmine a secret, but you’ll be back with friends.

Readers’ Pick: In terms of sheer numbers, Half Price Books offers the most variety, especially at the Northwest Highway location.

Best Pet Store

Lucky Dog Barkery

There’s little you can’t find at this shop that caters to every kind of pooch: holistic dog foods and free-range meat treats for outdoorsy labs; designer chew toys, blinged-out collars and scented shampoos for prissy Chihuahuas; freshly baked cookies for chunky beagles; and all the latest gadgets, like ice-pack collars, cooling mats, and dog carrier backpacks.

Readers’ Pick: Lucky Dog Barkery

Best Kitchen Accessories Store

Sur La Table

We’re no Ina Garten, but even we love shopping at Sur La Table. Not only do they carry the best in cookware—like All-Clad and Mauviel pots and pans, Wilton baking essentials, and Wüsthof knives—they also stock cool barware, fun serving pieces, and kitchen gadgets we didn’t know we needed. (Why yes, we could use an avocado slicer!) The friendly, food-loving staff is happy to make recommendations, and in-store cooking classes make for a great date night.

Readers’ Pick: The Wooden Spoon owners Gwen and Jim Workman lovingly restored the oldest home in downtown Plano and stocked it full of hard-to-find goodies and Danish housewares.

Best Fine Jewelry Designer

Rare Gems of India

Heather Asbury’s jewels break Dallas’ flashy mold. Instead of predictable high-carat rocks, you might find a ring of rough-cut diamonds surrounding a carved emerald. Micro-pavé diamonds wrap around gold bangles with intricate interior scrolling. Rubies and sapphires adorn vintage pendants on enamel. Asbury sketches custom designs before sending them to Indian jewelers, who hand-assemble each piece using exotic stones from India, Africa, and Turkey. To shop, Asbury will come to you.

Readers’ Pick: Olschwanger Designs wants clients for life, so Eric Olschwanger sits with each client to sketch out his or her dream design and discuss stones and setting options before bringing it to life.

Best Place to Buy Jeans

Planet Bardot

Owner Diana Tabeshi founded two denim brands before opening a boutique, so when picking pairs for her shop, she’s meticulous. She’s in the know about quality, fit, pocket placement, and fabric, and expects the best of her buys. “They have to prove themselves,” Tabeshi says of the brands. If a line isn’t pleasing her customers, she cuts it. When she finds the perfect fit (currently, Frame), she stocks the shelves.


View Map of the Best of Big D Winners

Editor’s Choice: Shops

Readers’ Choice: Shops

Credits

  • Photographer Elizabeth Lavin
  • Photographer Jonathan Zizzo
  • Photographer Jason Janik
  • Photographer Chris Plavidal
  • Photographer Jill Broussard
  • Photographer Manny Rodriguez

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