Highlights
Vintage | Books & Music | Souvenirs | Boutiques | Midcentury Modern | 10 Best Jewelers

Where to Shop
Downtown Phoenix | Scottsdale | Tempe | Central Phoenix | Around the Valley


Highlights

Rags to Riches

What’s old is new again, and Phoenix is home to a slew of shops that specialize in vintage clothing. Scottsdale hosts two of the Valley’s top high‑end vintage boutiques, and perhaps no name is as synonymous with Arizona fashion as Robert Black’s. The model agency founder turned fashion purveyor’s store, Fashion by Robert Black (7144 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, 480‑664‑7770, www.fashionbyrobertblack.com), is located in the historic White Hogan building and is chock‑full of delicate day dresses and impeccable evening wear that’ll satisfy your itch to dress the part of Lucille Ball, Liza Minnelli, and an array of spectacularly dressed ladies in between. Of particular interest are the shop’s locally made vintage pieces, including bird‑adorned patio dresses from the late Leona Caldwell.

Less than a 10‑minute walk away are clothes with a jetsetting bohemian vibe at Vintage by Misty (7046 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, 480‑522‑6875, www.vintagebymisty.com). You’ll spot animal prints alongside jewel‑tone frocks and designer names aplenty. Owner Misty Guerriero spends her off-hours traveling the world for fresh frocks and accessories — and that shows in her store’s eclectic selection. Think fuchsia and bright pink Pucci dresses, Chanel statement jewelry, and snakeskin Yves Saint Laurent kitten heels.

Another ladylike hotspot for throwback duds is downtown Phoenix’s Annie Boomer Vintage (908 N. 6th St., Phoenix, 602‑399‑0826, www.annieboomer.com), a sweet, small boutique housed in a historic bungalow just south of Roosevelt Row. Among the color‑coded racks you’ll find cute dresses, costume jewelry, and a smattering of accessories you’ll swear came direct from grandma’s jewelry box (in the most fabulous way).

For a mix of vintage and recycled fashions, Buffalo Exchange’s (3450 N. 7th St., Phoenix, 602‑532‑0144, www.buffaloexchange.com) recently opened Central Phoenix location fits the fashionable bill. Expect an array of denim, oddball accessories, and quirky throwback finds. In addition to selling, Buffalo also buys. So bring in some threads to exchange for cash or credit. (Anything they don’t want, you can take home or donate.)

Meanwhile, Mercantile (828 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602‑535‑2364, www.phoenixmercantile.com) pulls double duty in CenPho as both a salon and vintage boutique. Because sometimes scoring a beautiful bucket bag merits a brand new ’do. In addition to wearables for men and women, Mercantile stocks local artisan wares as well as Aveda products.

In the Melrose District, Phoenix’s be‑all, end‑all vintage shopping destination, be sure to stop in to Antique Sugar (724 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602‑277‑5765, www.antiquesugar.wix.com/antique‑sugar), a sprawling shop with 2,500 square feet of styles ranging from party dresses to bonkers bellbottoms. Gents, take note: Here’s where you’ll find the largest vintage menswear selection in Arizona, per Antique Sugar’s owners. We’re inclined to believe ’em and shop their cool collection accordingly.

For funkier finds, head north on Seventh Avenue to Retro Ranch (4303 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, 602‑297‑1971, www.retroranch.net), where accessories for you are displayed alongside ones for your home. The Ranch makes it all too simple to pick up that perfectly aged chunky turquoise ring you’ve been hunting for, an airy patterned scarf, and an angular ashtray that looks like it was lifted from the set of Mad Men.



Media Buy

Attention, bookworms, audiophiles, film buffs, and comics nerds: You’ve come to the right place. The Valley of the Sun’s sprawling scape just so happens to house an array of stores that carry all manner of media. Traditionalists and those whose olfactory organs are particularly attuned to the scent of well‑worn hardbacks will feel right at home at The Bookshop (6018 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602‑274‑7530, www.thebookshopaz.com). Pulpy vintage paperbacks and collector‑style classics line the wooden shelves that’ll keep you browsing for as long as your day allows. Works by local authors are featured (sometimes they pop by for signings), as are pieces by visual artists on a monthly basis.

Another must‑see literary spot is Changing Hands Bookstore (300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑274‑0067, www.changinghands.com). It’s the sister location to Changing Hands Tempe, and the indie favorite’s new spot is a well‑stocked city‑dwelling version of the original. Decorated in a color scheme reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest coastline, the shop offers bestsellers, under‑the‑radar gems, and a staff that’s always ready with cool recommendations. Come for the books and stay for the wine bar. No, really. There’s a wine bar inside the bookstore. How cool is that?

Variety’s the name of the game for those who venture to Bookmans (8034 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 602‑433‑0255, www.bookmans.com), an all‑purpose entertainment store with everything from musical instruments to books, movies, and, indeed, board games. We tend to head there because it’s perfect for picking up last month’s Sunset and the issue of Condé Nast Traveller you didn’t know you had to have — along with racks of other mags at marked‑down prices.

If you’re more of a music buff, scoot a bit south to Zia Record Exchange (1850 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑241‑0313, www.ziarecords.com). Bins of LPs, CDs, and DVDs await, alongside video games, books, and plenty of pop culture swag in the vein of Dr. Who knickknacks and Adventure Time headphones.

Smaller in scale is Stinkweeds (12 Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑248‑9461, www.stinkweeds.com), a mainstay spot for records and CDs with a decidedly NPR‑approved indie vibe. Here, the selection of records and CDs is quite curated and presented alongside a selection of indie magazines, zines, and local literary journals, including Four Chambers, which features words and art by Phoenix‑area creatives.

Keep an eye out for a storefront covered with images of Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Spider‑Man, and Homer Simpson, because just around the corner from Stinkweeds is nerd‑out haven All About Books and Comics (5060 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602‑277‑0757, www.allaboutbooksandcomics.com). Whether you’re a diehard comics reader, a graphic novel addict, or looking to pick up a few starter titles, you’ll find them along with vintage issues and collectibles, too.

If you’re jonesing for more vinyl still, visit downtown’s Revolver Records (918 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, 602‑795‑4980, www.revolveraz.com) on Roosevelt Row. Half the fun’s getting lost in the bins, where you’ll find punk, reggae, and psych selections. The other’s rubbing elbows with other platter collectors and the folks behind the counter.



Souvenir Chic

Step away from that plush cactus wearing a serape. Nobody needs a ceramic rendition of a coyote howling at the moon. And that goofy sombrero is just going to end up gathering dust in the garage. Friend, you can do better for your friends when it comes to Southwestern souvenirs. For truly unique and cheese‑free stuff, head to downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row. Homegrown boutique GROWop (902 N. 6th St., Phoenix, 602‑714‑5256, www.growopboutique.com) is nestled into a bungalow and next to a community garden. Inside the plaid painted building are handcrafted wares from such local makers as jeweler Harold Meitl, handpicked vintage clothing for men and women, and selections from quality fashion labels including Pendleton, Buttoné, and Bridge & Burn. And that garden we mentioned? It supplies the shop with edibles like honey and greens — freshly harvested when they’re in season, of course.

Hunting for the perfect something for your Pinterest‑addicted aunt? Head to the East Valley; there’s Design Lab (166 W. Main St., Suite 104, Mesa, 480‑321‑8081, www.designlabddg.com). The boutique is, to put it plainly, stuffed with stuff she (and we) would want. Owned by interior designer Caroline DeCesare, the shop’s stocked with irreverent doodads, lovely ceramic pieces, and all the adorable wrapping and stationery items you could ever want. And nobody will think you’re weird if your face contorts to resemble the emoji cat with heart eyes when you see the wall of old‑school‑inspired clocks. No judgment, just great taste.

There’s lots of shopping to be done among the 18 indie mini‑shops (they range from just 200 to 500 square feet each) housed at Union at Biltmore Fashion Park, but when it comes to little giftables with a bit of personality, our money’s on For the People (2502 E. Camelback Road, Suite 148G, Phoenix, 602‑954‑4009, www.shopforthepeople.net). We like to think of it as for the design‑conscious people in our lives who are tough to shop for. But, then again, their version is much easier to fit on a sign. With designs from Phoenix‑based artists (and international makers, too), For the People stocks candles, books, and home accessories.

If you’re shopping for an arty giftee, a couple of Phoenix spots are ideal. For the downtown set there’s MADE Art Boutique (922 N. 5th St., Phoenix, 602‑256‑6233, www.madephx.com). Cindy Dach, who also co‑owns Eye Lounge and Changing Hands Bookstore, opened the shop in 2005 in the city’s burgeoning arts district. As its name suggests, visual art meets artisan wares, and you’ll find a new exhibition of local works every month. In Central Phoenix, nothing rivals the handmade hub that is Practical Art (5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602‑264‑1414, www.practical‑art.com). Run by ASU art grads Kara Roschi and Lisa Olson, the shop vends nothing but locally made items. The way cute letterpress greeting cards? Local. That crazy‑good smelling candle? Also local. The gorgeous copper hummingbird feeder? Yup, local. All in all, you’ll find functional artisan pieces from more than 100 Arizona artists. That’s in addition to the store’s monthly displays of works by emerging artists. Practical, meet pretty.



Indie Style

There’s something special about encountering a boutique where you feel an instant style connection, as though you’ve discovered a place where someone’s handpicked a bunch of gorgeous things that belong in your closet. If your closet were perfect, that is. For the sleek, chic label lover, one such spot is Old Town’s Amy Inc. (7154 E. Stetson Dr., Suite D100, Scottsdale, 480‑425‑1424, www.amyinc.com). Against bright white walls and industrial‑inspired black fixtures, the clothing pops, from Elizabeth and James (one of Mary‑Kate and Ashley Olsen’s labels), Marchesa, Haute Hippie, and Dannijo, among other cutting‑edge luxury lines. Trends reign supreme, and the shop gals at Amy are instinctively stylish enough to help you assemble a cool ensemble centered around that of‑the‑moment jumpsuit.

Assuming you’ve already parked, leave the car where it is and take an eight‑minute walk south and you’ll stumble upon surfer‑girl chic aesthetic at Pepper (7070 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, 480‑990‑1385, www.shoppepperonline.com). Flowing tunics, skittering floral slip dresses, and a dreamy soft hoodie await on the racks — the perfect ingredients for a beachside bonfire. Although the Copper State’s unquestionably landlocked, Pepper also carries jars from PF Candle Company, including one that eerily imitates the scent of a crackling campfire. Close enough for us.

Central Phoenix’s Bunky Boutique (1437 N. 1st St., 602‑252‑1323, www.bunkyboutique.com) also fits into a tomboy‑meets‑girly aesthetic. Husband‑and‑wife duo Jim and Rachel Malloy fill the small store with pieces Rachel likes to describe as “timeless with a twist.” Expect bright bags, easygoing separates, and goods for guys, too. For items uniquely Arizona, pick up a T‑shirt or baseball cap from Bunky’s collaborative line with Chicago‑via‑Phoenix artist Joseph “Sentrock” Perez. Oh, and while you’re on an artsy kick, be sure to venture behind the store’s building (which also houses Giant Coffee), where you’ll spot Long Silent Scream, a pink and purple mural by Karl Addison.

HUB Clothing (5213 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602‑277‑4822, www.hubclothing) hawks high‑end denim for men and women. Jennifer Mumford, the store’s head honcho, keeps tabs on up‑and‑coming designers as well as standby brands in the luxury denim sector — think Nudie, Imogene, and Willie, and Lee. Often the labels come with high‑ish price tags, but the store happily hooks up customers with local tailors to ensure that each piece fits as flawlessly as possible.

Nearby, Georganne Bryant helms Frances (10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑279‑5467, www.francesvintage.com). The jewelry section’s one of our favorite places to accessorize, particularly with locally made items from Ashley Weber’s against the grain label. The clothing section’s home to selections from Hello Apparel, Frye, and Toms — perfect for gifting, whether the present’s for a good pal, a gracious hostess, or your good and gracious friend’s new baby. And nobody’ll hold it against you if you’re just having a treat‑yo‑self kind of day. Frances also carries a boatload of cutesy greeting cards that run the gamut from heartfelt to laugh‑out‑loud funny. (And while we’re on the subject, a fun fact: Georganne’s daughter, Aidy Bryant, stars on Saturday Night Live.)



Mod Podge

Home’s where the heart is, and if you happen to be an old soul, great‑grandparent, or time traveler, there’s a fair chance you’re more comfortable surrounded by items from the 1950s. Just so happens that Phoenix boomed big time in the middle of the 20th century with iconic architecture aplenty. Because so many homes and buildings were erected during that span, there’s quite a bit of furniture from the era circulating in shops throughout the Valley.

Looking to splurge? Central Phoenix furniture emporium Red Modern (201 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑256‑9620, www.redmodernfurniture.com) offers unique and rare items that have been beautifully restored. Art, furniture, and assorted decor fill the place, which is, not so coincidentally, housed in a building designed by famed mid‑century Valley architect Ralph Haver along what was once known as architect’s row. A few stellar pieces recently spotted include an Adrian Pearsall rocking chair upholstered in teal and a marble and rosewood credenza that stretches nine feet wide. MCM aficionados should prepare for a jaw‑dropping geek‑out.

Another furniture shop housed in a Haver design is Copenhagen Imports (1701 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑266‑8060, www.copenhagenliving.com). While Copenhagen has stores around the United States, this one’s its first location, opened in 1970 and totally dedicated to Danish design. While its items aren’t vintage, they do embrace the MCM ideals of simplicity, utility, and, by extension, beauty. Eames seating, ghost chairs, and sprawling sectionals fill the showroom, where we like to imagine all the folks who’ve tested couches before us. It’s a total time warp.

In the same vein is Scottsdale’s 2b mod (7147 E. Rancho Vista Dr., Scottsdale, 480‑941‑8192, www.2bmod.com). Swinging and sleek, the boutique‑size store at Camelview Village is ideal for those who favor bright colors and streamlined silhouettes but aren’t married to one particular iteration of modernism. One of 2b mod’s most visually enticing offerings is from Phoenix’s own outdoor fireplace manufacturer, Modfire. With a shape reminiscent of MCM fireplaces, it’s a striking item that’ll keep you warm on cool desert nights.

Nido Vintage Furnishings (2020 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 602‑319‑1381, www.nidovintage.com) keeps things more traditional. Situated inside Antique Trove, the booth brings in period‑appropriate teak and rosewood furniture, Saarinen‑style tulip tables, and avocado kitchen carts.

The Melrose Curve is the Valley’s vintage mecca, and it’s no slouch when it comes to Midcentury Modern selections. A consistent favorite is Modern Manor (716 W. Hazelwood St., Phoenix, 602‑266‑3376, www.modernmanorstore.com). That’s partially because the store is massive, covering some 6,000 square feet just off Seventh Avenue, and also because it’s jam‑packed with beautiful furniture, a collection of Blenko glass works in saturated tones, vintage maps, and enough seating setups to give your legs cramps if you were to test out each and every one.

On the other side of the Manor’s parking lot is Modern on Melrose (4610 N. 7th Ave., Scottsdale, 602‑264‑4183, www.modernonmelrose.com). Great prices, gorgeous finds, which include MCM pieces, upcycled items, and industrial pieces, and friendly folks behind the counter make this store a must‑see.



10 Best Jewelers in Metro Phoenix

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but far be it from us to turn down the rest of the precious stone posse. From engagement rings to gauges and watches to one‑of‑a‑kind pendants, the Valley of the Sun has its fair share of razzle dazzle. Whether you’re shopping for someone special or looking for a reason to treat yo’ self, here are 10 metro Phoenix jewelers worth visiting.

Addison Taylor: At Addison Taylor, custom is key. Which is why designer Scott Berger and his wife Marla see clients by appointment only. Its private gallery on the sixth floor of Camelback Towerfeatures a 1970 Shovel Head Harley, hanging displays heavily bejeweled pendants created for various charity events, and ready‑to‑purchase watches and jewelry, the majority of which give off a slight rockstar vibe: think diamond crosses, hearts, and skulls. With their wholesale pricing, step‑by‑step design involvement with the customer, and the privacy that comes with forgoing a public gallery, it’s no wonder why the Bergers say they attract celebrity clients including Playboy playmates, athletes, and local rocker Alice Cooper. (6900 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 480‑344‑9318, www.addisontaylorfinejewelry.com)

against the grain: If you followed our 2014 Big Brain finalists, frequent Frances and Bunky Boutique, or surf the online shops of Etsy, chances are you already know Ashley Weber’s jewelry line, against the grain. The Tempe‑based artist singlehandedly designs, builds, and sells original jewelry pieces that steer clear of the beaten path — or trail rather. Weber draws her inspiration from nature with delicate earthy pieces that feature metal bangles, turquoise beads, and subtle inscriptions, including this pair of dangling turquoise beaded earring priced at $115. (Frances: 10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑279‑5467, www.francesvintage.com; Bunky: 1437 N. 1st St., Suite 103, Phoenix, 602‑252‑1323, www.bunkyboutique.com; ashleyweber.blogspot.com)

Cornelis Hollander: Old Town Scottsdale is a popular jewelry destination for happy couples looking to get hitched. And no engagement tour of this neighborhood would be complete without a visit to Cornelis Hollander. Since 1984, Hollander has been creating signature style rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets with a more modern aesthetic: streamlined designs with large geometric shapes. For those who aren’t in the market to propose, but would like a ring for everyday wear, we recommend looking instead to the Elements collection, which does well to embody Cornelis Hollander’s contemporary look and offers rings between $75 and $189. (4151 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480‑423‑5000, www.cornelishollander.com)

Halo: Since 1998, Halo Piercing has been making and filling voids in Phoenicians’ lives — well, physical ones anyway. In addition to its piercing services (you get three free on your 18th and 65th birthday), Halo offers a wide selection of jewelry to accessorize the body: from earlobes and eyebrows to nostrils and belly buttons. Piercing prices start at $15 for the ears and work their way up to $50 as you move down the body. Whether you’re looking for megalodon shark teeth ear weights or Swarovski crystal helixes, you’re first pick for piercing Jewelry in Phoenix should be Halo. (10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑230‑0044, www.halopiercing.com)

Jewelry by Gauthier: Wearing something from Scottsdale’s Jewelry by Gauthier is like wearing a fine work of art. While it’s easy enough to find any caliber of shiny and pretty in precious stones around the Valley, designer Scott Gautheir acquires rare gems like natural alexandrites, canary diamonds, and star sapphires, then takes them to a whole other level by creating unique designs that are as contemporary as they are eye‑catching. (4211 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480‑941‑1707, www.jewelrybygauthier.com)

Molina Jewelers: If you want to make a statement, Molina Jewelers is a good place to go. The Phoenix jeweler has a reputation for selling high‑end and highly valuable pieces. To give you an idea, a sale associate told us Molina recently sold a rare one‑carat red diamond for $3 million. If you’re looking for a piece that makes a serious statement (and possibly a serious dent in your savings account), it might be worth setting up an appointment with Molina Jewelers. (3134 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑955‑1634, www.molinafinejewelers.com)

Mother of Gideon: If it ain’t bespoke, go fix it by visiting Mother of Gideon at the UNION in Biltmore Fashion Park. The jewelry line created by Charis Elliott and Seth Fainkujen is dedicated to using ethically sourced stones and repurposed materials to create a signature style of accessory that is as bold as it is beautiful with large geometric stones, ornately carved bands, and an overall presentation that is both rugged and refined. Because Elliott and Fainkujen handcraft all their jewelry, they can also create customized pieces that best fit their client’s style. (2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑628‑8065, www.motherofgideon.com)

Oliver Smith: If you don’t find what you’re looking for in Old Town Scottsdale, we recommend taking the short drive north to Oliver Smith at Gainey Village. Since 1981, Smith has brought designer jewelry, timepieces, and his own signature designs to the Valley. Some of our favorite pieces come from Smith’s Signature Collection, which features its own line of diamond earring charms to mix and match with diamond hoops. (8787 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 116, Scottsdale, 480‑607‑4444, www.oliversmithjeweler.com)

Robert C. Wesley Jewelers: The Wesley name has been in the Phoenix jewelry scene since 1910. And while much has changed since the store’s early days on Central Avenue and Adams, it’s commitment to quality has remained the same. Now located in Old Town Scottsdale, the Robert C. Wesley Jewelers is divided into two parts: a Rolex shop and a boutique for women’s designer jewelry fashions, including A. Jaffe, Marco Bicego, and Natalie K. The store also offers its own signature collection, which contains custom‑made necklaces and earrings. (7088 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, 480‑947‑2416, www.robertwesleyjewelers.com)

Schmitt Jewelers: For those who favor a family‑run business, Schmitt Jewelers is a justified stop. Founded in 1970 near 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, the ever‑successful Schmitt Jewelers now has two locations in north Central Phoenix and Arcadia. It offers customized pieces that can be viewed and built step‑by‑step in its in‑house studio, and Schmitt prides itselfs on having a member of the family on the store floor. (4402 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602‑840‑1144, www.schmittjewelers.com)



Where to Shop

Downtown Phoenix

Black N’ Blue Vintage: Whether you’re a rock star or a mock star, it’s easy to look the part, thanks to Black N’ Blue. Run by bona fide musicians, the boutique carries an array of vintage band T-shirts (think Ramones, Cramps, and Joy Division) plus loads of leather and denim apparel. (906 N. 5th St., Phoenix, 602-354-4364, www.blacknbluerockstar.com)

Bud’s Glass Joint: Get it? It’s a head shop — and one of our favorites at that. The bright green building just off RoRo carries glassware ranging from arty to kitschy. The shop routinely hosts artisan glassblowing events and is an active participant in First Friday, hosting live music and art events. (1021 N. 1st St., Tempe, 602-258-1500, www.budsglassjoint.com)

Curious Nature: Let’s get weird. Roosevelt Row’s so-called fine natural history emporium is here to help. Whether you’re looking to liven up your home with a piece of taxidermy or bedeck your bathroom with a mirror topped with impala horns, you’ll find each and almost every thing in between at Curious Nature. (610 E. Roosevelt St., Tempe, 623-688-1144, www.curiousnatureshop.com)

Fifth Street Paint Supply: You know an art store’s legit when it has an artist at the helm. And that’s precisely the case with J.B. Snyder’s Fifth Street Paint Supply. The street artist, best known for murals that incorporate strong lines and bright colors reminiscent of stained glass windows, stocks cans of spray paint from Montana and Krink. (915 N. 5th St., Phoenix, www.fifthstreetpaintsupply.com) N

Hazel & Violet: Getting carded is typically a chore, but at Hazel & Violet, it’s more a labor of love. Operated by Nancy Hill, the Grand Avenue store and workshop carries a selection of paper goods such as greeting cards and coasters made in-house by Hill. Wanna get in on the pressing? The spot hosts workshops, too. (1301 Grand Ave., Suite 6, Phoenix, 480-544-2162, www.hazelandvioletink.com)

Lawless Denim: Good jeans? Lawless Denim’s got ’em. The Phoenix fashion business, owned by Roman Acevedo, uses materials entirely sourced locally — from the cotton for its denim to the copper for its hardware. Because all the pants are made in-house, shoppers can specify everything from the cut of the jeans to the color of the thread. (15 E. Jackson St., Tempe, Suite 111, 602-753-3940, www.ra-denim.com)

Lawn Gnome Publishing: Book it to Lawn Gnome for used books galore. Housed in a bungalow, the downtown shop also carries indie titles, literary journals, and assorted zines. It also hosts a slew of weekly and one-off events, including storytelling showcases, performance art evenings, and open mic poetry nights. (905 N. 5th St., Tempe, 602-682-5825, www.lawngnomepublishing.com)

ostra Style House: In the midst of party prep? We recommend hitting up Angelica Gonzalez’s boutique, Nostra Style House. Backdropped by a mural by Mikey Jackson, the store carries all manner of going-out garb, from bubblegum pink mullet dresses and sheer lacy crop tops to sparkly doodads to finish up the frock. (702 N. 7th St., Phoenix, www.facebook.com/nostrastylehouse)



Scottsdale

Barneys New York: We’re of the belief that fancy begets fancy. And that’s why we encourage you to play dress-up before playing more dress-up at Barneys at Scottsdale Fashion Square. What better way to feel perfectly at home while ogling the many high-end pieces from designers including Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney? (4500 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 602-337-6000, www.barneys.com)

Nove: Does your closet need a makeover? Stock up on key pieces (and a few ones for funsies) at North Scottsdale’s Nove. Elegant basics from Vince and Splendid blend with statement makers from House of Harlow 1960 and Alice and Olivia. You’ll be back in style faster than you can say Tom Ford Eyewear. (7001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-292-9215, www.noveshop.com)

Pendleton: Though it’s not exactly practical to stock up on Pendleton’s heavy wools for Arizona summers, we never miss a chance to bundle up when the temps drop below 70. (We know, we’re sissies.) With gorgeous blankets and Native American-inspired patterns, there’s always something worth oohing over at Pendleton. (7237 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, 480-874-2655, www.pendleton-usa.com)

Saba’s Western Wear: So, we’re not totally sold on the impending comeback of Wild West wear, but we do appreciate a good pair of cowboy boots just as much as the next city slicker. And there’s no place we’d hit before Saba’s, which carries kicks for boot-scooting newbs and ol’ cowpokes alike. (3965 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-7664, www.sabas.com)

Stephanie’s: This Scottsdale boutique takes a holistic approach to fashion, touting untamed elegance as its overriding vibe. That translates to high-quality wardrobe staples from brands including T by Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant Etoile. If you seek inspiration beyond the wearable, pick up one of Steph’s many books on the history of fashion. (4142 Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 602-508-0848, www.shopstephanies.com)

The Linen Tree: Remember when “go to bed” was a form of punishment? That’s certainly not the case if yours is outfitted with the luxurious fittings from The Linen Tree. With high-end designer collections from Pratesi and Royal-Pedic, it’s best to think of the sheets and blankets as investments in beauty rest. (6137 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 111, Scottsdale, 480-483-2044, www.thelinentree.com)

The Poisoned Pen: There are only so many episodes of Sherlock. Once you’ve exhausted the BBC’s supply, we recommend turning to the written word and The Poisoned Pen, in particular. The Scottsdale book store deals exclusively in novels belonging to the mystery and thriller genres, with a dash of historical fiction. (4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., Suite 101, Scottsdale, 480-947-2974, www.poisonedpen.com)

The Record Room: Turn down — um, what? If you dig crate-digging in a non-megastore environment, The Record Room delivers on its name. From punk to funk, the LP and CD shop routinely refreshes its stock with vintage and newer titles, as well as a healthy selection of dollar records. (4211 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 602-460-0040, www.facebook.com/therecordroom)

Trouvé: If you’re prepping for your home to be featured in Elle Decor or you just want to spruce things up, Trouvé’s the place to go. A lot of the store’s stock comes direct from France, which translates to pricey and pretty. If you’re on a budget but still feeling inspired, you should also know that it carries Annie Sloan chalk paints. (7135 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, 602-778-9777, www.trouvehome.com)



Tempe

Ash Avenue Comics & Books: Comic book stores can be intimidating — especially if you’re insecure about being sufficiently nerdy. But at Ash Ave, graphic novels and comics of all kinds can be found, whether you’re looking to delve into Walking Dead, can’t wait for the next Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, or need something new to obsess over. (806 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, 480-858-9447, www.ashavecomics.com)

Brand X: Is your sports fandom not sufficiently repped in the official team store? We recommend visiting Brand X, an indie T-shirt printing company that can help you create the perfect wearables for your next tailgate or some unique gifts for that Super Bowl party you’re planning. (414 S. Mill Ave., Suite 120, Tempe, 480-524-1503, www.brandxtshirts.com)

Buffalo Exchange: We aren’t green-crazy or anything, but we sure do like the idea of reusing and repurposing. That’s why Buffalo Exchange is always worth a stop. Its buyers bring in cool used and edgy vintage clothing, and there are always — seriously, always — a few gems among the racks of dresses, jackets, and purses. (227 W. University Dr., Tempe, 480-968-2557, www.buffaloexchange.com)

Changing Hands Bookstore: Whether you’re on the hunt for the latest bestseller or some obscure book of poetry, it’s all too easy to get lost among the seemingly endless spines at Changing Hands. Bonus: The store often hosts authors on book tours who stop by the store to sign and chat about their latest works. (6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, 480-730-0205, www.changinghands.com)

Cowtown Skateboards: Skating is half street cred, half fashion statement. Or so we like to think when swinging by Tempe’s go-to shop for all things skateboard. And the shop’s owners are no poseurs — they host skating competitions at various Valley parks throughout the year, including the famed PHXAM. (215 W. University Dr., Tempe, 480-379-3605, www.cowtownskateboards.com)

Double Nickels Collective: Longtime record store geeks have plenty reason to freak out over Double Nickels. After all, it’s home to Eastside Records, ye olde purveyor of recorded oddities and punk stuff. Eastside’s now part of a collective, where you’ll find cool vintage T-shirts, comic books, and stereo equipment. (45 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-829-3741, www.facebook.com/doublenickelscollective)

Here on the Corner: At Here on the Corner, feeling good and looking good go hand in hand. When you’re shopping, there is a fair chance you’re either supporting local creatives and brands, such as State Forty Eight, or companies that support good causes, such as TOMS. (714 S. College Ave., Tempe, 480-377-0100, www.hereonthecorner.com)

Love Child: Little ones grow up so fast. That’s all the more reason to not spend mountains of cash on their soon-to-not-fit clothes. For good prices on second-hand kids’ clothing and for a reputable place to trade in those too-small outfits, Love Child’s your best bet. The south Tempe shop also carries toys, books, and accessories. (6444 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, 480-545-2868, www.lovechildresale.com)

Pop Culture Paradise: Lest you thought the “once you pop, the fun don’t stop” catchphrase was relegated to the realm of Pringles, Pop Culture Paradise presents a slightly different take. With comics, toys, and plenty of nerd-approved games, it’s hard to resist this shop adjacent to ASU. (715 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, 480-557-6640, www.popcultureparadise.popshop.comixology.com)

State Bicycle Co.: Thanks to the Valley’s expanding bicycling infrastructure, now’s a better time than ever to invest in a quality two-wheeler. Support local makers while you’re at it by visiting State Bicycle Co.’s showroom and headquarters. Fixies and off-roaders are available in an array of colors, along with accessories for your new ride and clothing, too. (2167 E. Cedar St., Tempe, 855-557-8283, www.statebicycle.com)



Central Phoenix

Antiques on Central: Another antique spot worthy of an entire afternoon (or two) is Antiques on Central. At 16,000 square feet — take a second to picture it — it’s the largest antiques store in the state. The place is filled with wares from 65 dealers who carry slightly creepy dolls, sets of Waterford glasses, and furniture in between. (5037 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-4525, www.antiquesoncentral.com)

Arizona Hi-Fi: Yeah, your favorite song sounds fine through your laptop’s speakers. But the audiophiles at Arizona Hi-Fi know better. That’s why they specialize in high-performance music setups, especially vacuum tube equipment. Don’t know what that means? Ask them. Better yet, just swing by and take a listen for yourself. (10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-264-4434, www.tubeaudio.com)

Cleo & Clementine: This boutique lives up to its unbelievably cute and cool neon sign. Wedding designer Monique Sandoval’s brick-and-mortar operation is boutique in the front, workroom in the back. She creates custom wedding and party dresses and sells them alongside handcrafted jewelry and home accessories from her favorite Etsy shops. (704 W. Montecito Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-5004, www.cleoandclementine.com)

Flo’s on 7th: Ain’t no shame in thrifting, particularly when it comes to doing so at Flo’s. On the Melrose Curve, the shop offers a superior thrifting experience (they don’t call it “upscale resale” for nothing), with well-organized offerings and a particularly stellar collection of dishware. Flo’s also carries furniture and clothing, and all sales support Florence Crittenton. (4116 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, 602-254-7861)

Qcumberz: Funky and just a little bit junky, there’s always something new and entertaining to check out at this Melrose District spot. During a recent trip, we eyed a couple of sets of vintage Pyrex, a cabinet TV set, and some throwback radios. It’s a study in needs versus wants, and we want it all. (4429 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, 602-277-5133, www.facebook.com/pages/qcumberz/128564950536137)

Slippery Pig Bike Shop: Slippery Pig has brought quality bikes for more than a decade — and for good reason. The compact shop carries specialty bikes and lots of high-end rides, ranging from fixies to snow bikes to cruisers, each and every one worth each and every pretty penny. (4412 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-263-5143, www.slipperypigsbikes.com)

Southwest Gardener: Your enjoyment of Southwest Gardener is not entirely dependent on the shade of your thumbs. Green or not, it’s easy to get excited about not killing plants at the shop, which carries an array of seeds, pots, and other garden accoutrements, in addition to hosting workshops. (300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-279-9510, www.southwestgardener.com)

Sweet Salvage: One weekend a month, Seventh Avenue gets even sweeter. That’s because Sweet Salvage operates as an occasional sale every third Thursday through Sunday. So each time you attend (assuming you aren’t going back each of the four days), you’ll spot fresh items often arranged around a theme, often seasons or holidays. (4648 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, 602-279-2996, www.sweetsalvage.net)

Zinnia’s at Melrose: Before heading to Zinnia’s, be sure you have a few hours to spare. The 12,000-square-foot vintage store isn’t one to be rushed through. With 30 vendors curating pieces from decades past, it’s more mall than boutique, and it’ll have you wondering whether you can make room for a few extra chairs and a table or two. (724 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-264-4166, www.zinniasatmelrose.com)



Around the Valley

A Lasting Impression: Sometimes the best things come in small packages, and A Lasting Impression is one of ’em. That’s why we recommend walking carefully (be not the proverbial china shop’s bull) throughout the jam-packed place. It’s full of vintage dishes, including an impressive collection of Midcentury Modern pieces like Franciscan Starburst pattern dishes and Pyrex teakettles. (5748 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-435-1008)

Arizona Hiking Shack: Arcadia’s home to our favorite REI alternative. And it just so happens to be fully outfitted with everything you’d need — from boots and pants to backpacks and water bottles — to hike up all those mountains that so conveniently surround the Valley of the Sun. To camp or not to camp? Your call. (3244 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 602-944-7723, www.hikingshack.com)

Camelback Flowershop: Not to be all “flowers are nature’s art,” but you’ll start thinking that way, too, after a trip to Arcadia’s Camelback Flowershop. Teresa Wilson’s shop creates arrangements that go well beyond your blah grocery store bouquets. The shop also hosts Pith + Marrow floral arrangement workshops, during which you can learn to craft centerpieces and crowns, among other things. (4108 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-840-4646, www.camelbackflowershop.com)

Citrine Natural Beauty Bar: Not just anyone can be naturally pretty. But with a little help from Citrine, located in Union at the Biltmore, you can get pretty with a few natural ingredients in your skincare arsenal. The little store’s stocked with high-end beauty products including jane iredale makeup, Ren cleansers, Ilia lipsticks, aromatherapy products, and custom perfumes. (2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-955-2354, www.citrinenaturalskin.com)

Framed Ewe: Four eyes has never been more stylish thanks to the folks at Framed Ewe, located at Union at the Biltmore. Whether you’re looking to hide behind oversize Thierry Lasry sunglasses or require a strong prescription complemented by Moscot frames, you’ll find those and more stylish options to sit atop your nose. (2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-955-1971, www.framedewe.com)

Last Chance: Returns and overstock from Nordstrom go to Nordstrom Rack. But where do they go next? Their final destination is Last Chance, friend. That is, before you pick through the basement store’s many bargains on deeply discounted designer goods like Kate Spade purses and Tory Burch boots. (1919 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-248-2843, www.shop.nordstrom.com/st/last-chance-clearance-store)

Lizabel’s Treasures: Chippy meets design-conscious at Lizabel’s. This Phoenix antiques store pairs up salvage and shabby stuff with artist-created pieces. We’re particularly into Joe Willie Smith’s furniture creations and the many trinkets that line the shelves and dressers throughout the shop. (3060 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-277-5251, www.facebook.com/lizabelstreasures)

Lulubell Toy Bodega: No longer relegated to the kids’ section, toys are a major commodity in the world of nerd. For some serious proof, look to Lulubell. Kidrobot fanatics, rejoice: This Mesa boutique deals in designer toys including blind box figurines, custom items, and plush pieces, too. (128 W. Main St., Mesa, 480-733-5858, www.lulubelltoys.com)

Old Brick House Vintage Market: Mesa might be on its way to giving Phoenix’s Melrose District a run for its vintage money. That’s thanks to Old Brick House Vintage Market, an occasional sale that pools stylish finds like industrial chests and old-time luggage on the second Thursday through Saturday of each month. (37 W. Main St., Mesa, www.facebook.com/pages/old-brick-house-vintage-market/511029992350230)

Poor Little Rich Girl: Like a department store, but not, Poor Little Rich Girl brings in designer pieces on consignment and makes us wonder why we’d ever pay full price for anything. Coach purses, Diane Von Furstenberg dresses, and plenty more designer duds hit the shelves on the daily at prices that’ll make your eyes pop — in a good way. (1567 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, 602-354-5680, www.poorlittlerichgirlresale.com)

Razor Emporium: Just because beards are in now doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. Those looking to get ahead of the clean-shaven trend can delve in with an arsenal of vintage and vintage-inspired shaving supplies like straight razors and boar brushes from Razor Emporium. (2432 W. Peoria Ave., Suite 1098, Phoenix, 855-264-1199, www.razoremporium.com)

Samurai Comics: You say anime’s totally your bag? Allow us to point you in the direction of Samurai Comics, where you can geek out to your little heart’s content, stock up on current comics, and attend game nights, which are on the shop’s schedule just about every night of the week. (1051 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-265-8886, www.samuraicomics.com)

SAS Fabrics: Whether you’re handmaking a dress or tricking out a really beautifully wrapped gift, Phoenix’s SAS is the place to find all the fixings. The fabric store is chock-full of crafty things you didn’t know you needed — even if you’re not yet sure how you’ll use that ridiculously glittery roll of ribbon. (1111 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-279-2171, www.facebook.com/sasfabricsphoenix)