Class schedule? Check. Roommate? Check. Tearful goodbye to summer vacation? Check and check.
Cue the back-to-school shopping spree.
Whether you're in the market for a new ride around town, a stylish new wardrobe to make you stand out on campus, or the right supplies to keep you the safe favorite of the class, Jackalope Ranch has got you covered, with our ten favorite shops for ASU students in Phoenix.
See also: 40 Favorite Murals in Phoenix
A good impression starts with a good wardrobe, and what better place to outfit your fall ensembles than Bunky Boutique? This little shop located next to Giant Coffee caters to women, men, and even baby with the latest accessories and clothing from brands like LAmade, Hobo, Baxter of California, and Pure Life Jewelry.
We understand wanting to break away from the cookie-cutter dorm decor of Scarface posters, framed Andy Warhol quotes, and pretty much anything from the Target Threshold collection, which is why we like to pop into the natural history emporium that is Curious Nature. This Roosevelt Row retailer really keeps it interesting with anatomy posters, taxidermy animals, desk skulls that double as paper weights, and other indoor oddities.
If you're looking for a new set of wheels, just ask around town. Chances are the majority of downtown bike enthusiasts will tell you to visit State Bicycle Company. Carrying good mix of fixed gear, limited and premium edition, and city bikes, State Bicycle Co. can have you hooked up with a new ride starting at $449. High price? Maybe. But high quality? You betcha. On second thought, you better buy a lock while you're at it.
For the undergrad who likes to keep it green, GrowOp is the source for recycled retail. This garden space meets vintage shops sells both new and used home goods, clothing, and accessories for both men and women. With an earthy meets modern aesthetic and some Pinterest-worthy staging, this downtown shop is basically Anthropologie on a budget with an added men's section.
For true artists in need of supplies or fine arts first-timers enrolled in Intro to Painting, Fifth Street Paint Supply is a safe place to start. The Phoenix art store specializes in Montana Colors, a spray paint brand from Barcelona, Spain, that owner and muralist, J.B. Snyder uses in all of his Valley murals.
MADE Art Boutique keeps your interior interesting with thought-provoking coffee table books, prints by such artists as Sebastien Millon, ceramic wares for the kitchen, jewelry, clothing, candles, and other curious knickknacks. Offering a good mix of locally made works and hard-to-find indie products and publications, MADE is the gift shop that keeps on giving.
Clever men's attire and whimsical women's wear is in ample supply at Frances. This central Phoenix boutique brings in a seasonal assortment of home goods, clothing, jewelry, accessories, and stationery from well-known brands like Toms, Free People, Johnny Was, and Frye -- as well as locally made goods from designers around town. While the shop is slightly more expensive than some of the other retail shops downtown, Frances customers will be happy to tell you that you can't put a price on the perfect top.
Speaking of higher-end clothing, Hub has contemporary clothing pieces for both men and women. Luxury brands at this Phoenix fashion retailer include Diesel, Rag and Bone, Genetic Denim, APC, Shakuhachi, and Just Female. Hope you saved up from that summer job, because your wallet and your wardrobe are about to do a major 180.
A great school year needs a great soundtrack. And whether you unabashedly buy CDs or you're a die-hard music fan who vouches for vinyl, locally owned Stinkweeds is all ears to your requests. Their knowledgeable staff can offer sounds suggestions to fit your style and usually have plenty of fliers on hand for upcoming concerts in town.
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Bookworms, rejoice. Changing Hands has a second home that's closer to the ASU Phoenix campus. Just off the light rail, this bookstore is smaller than is sister store in Tempe, but it still shelves a wide selection of books from fiction to non-fiction, self-help to spirituality, how-to to horror. Better bookmark their location in your phone now.