Now that we've given away all our shopping secrets to ASU Tempe's freshest folks, it's time their downtown campus counterparts got in on the retail therapy. Whether you need a break from the books or you're plumb out of clean shirts, the seven best shops near ASU's Phoenix campus await.
GROWop 902 N. Sixth St. Downtown Phoenix's bungalows hold some of the neighborhood's best boutiques, and GROWop's one of 'em. The painted-plaid shop sits amid a community garden. Inside is a combination of home goods, like shelves from Handmade Riot, vintage clothing, and new pieces from such labels as Pendleton's Portland Collection and Feral Childe. If your wardrobe's well-stocked, peruse the jewelry selection of vintage, handmade, and locally crafted accoutrement.
Boutique Solie 1605 N. Seventh Ave. Shopping can prove frustrating for vegans and vegetarians -- but not at Boutique Solie. The My Florist Center store is totally hip to animal-friendliness and its products are no different. Blank NYC denim and handbags from famed vegan-leather purveyors Matt and Nat are a few of the fashionable finds stowed in this shop, where flowy frocks and maxi skirts rule supreme. Solie carries swimwear, too. And if you're not one for the sun, ask about their pro spray tans.
Vintage by Misty 818 N. Central Ave. Often we recommend Vintage by Misty to those looking for one seriously dreamy window-shopping experience, but this month we're changing our tune. See, VBM announced that it'll soon relocate from its downtown digs into an Old Town Scottsdale showroom. For shoppers that means one lovely thing: It's time for a major sale. Until this location closes September 23, items will be marked down from 30 to 70 percent off. Pretty smokin' deals for this gorgeous vintage boutique, where you'll spot luxe labels like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
Annie Boomer Vintage 908 N. Sixth St. Andrea Engelsberg's collection of delicate, ladylike dresses, blouses, and accessories line the racks of her shop, Annie Boomer Vintage. Costume party people will find fare for the next Mad Men-themed shindig, while those looking to inject throwback fun into their everyday looks will stumble upon ensembles for casual days and formal nights. Engelsberg also runs an online outpost of Annie on eBay, where she vends rare items from designers like Norma Kamali and Missoni.
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Nostra Style House 610 E. Roosevelt St. On Roosevelt Row, Nostra specializes in new, trendy clothes like cutout blouses and bright mini-dresses that can transition from a dressed-up day in class to an evening out on the town. The boutique works with local creatives to host First Friday art receptions, and it's paired up with designers as Tiffe Fermaint, who released a swimwear line exclusively through the indie shop earlier this year.
Frances 10 W. Camelback Rd. For a retail pick-me-up, hop on the light rail and head to Frances. To state it simply, this charming boutique is hip without being hipster. You'll find must-have jewelry, easygoing clothing, too-cute shoes as well as accessories, pet goodies, and a section for stylish gents, too. It's a fab destination for gift hunting (whether you're browsing for you or someone else) as Frances carries graphic totes, iPhone cases, and a dash of decor. As if the buyables weren't reason enough to while away the hours, the store also hosts workshops on such varied topics as embroidery, blogging, and photography.
Bunky Boutique 1437 N. First St. Bunky Boutique jam-packs a whole lotta fashion into a small, small space. Nestled next to Giant Coffee, the feel is chic but chill with rails of racerback tops, laser cut leather bags, and minimalist metal jewelry. The store also carries menswear and items for kiddos, too. Bunky fans new and old best mark their calendars for the shop's upcoming sixth birthday party Friday, September 6, when items will be 20 percent off.