We still remember the first time we stepped into Antique Sugar and marveled that one small store could hold so much fabulousness. We're talking 1920s silk nighties. '60s ruffled Western blouses. '90s prom dresses. '70s jackets. Mink miniskirts mingle with Chinese robes mingle with Mad Men-style cocktail dresses. Vintage handbags, jewelry, and other accessories cluster near the walls of the store, and like the clothing, it's all in gorgeous condition. Walking around Antique Sugar inspires 1,000 sartorial fantasies and engenders newfound respect for the last century of fashion. A section of the store is devoted to menswear, which you ladies may be tempted to skip, but don't — there's a nice selection of vintage band T-shirts and high school varsity sweaters over there.

It's been nearly three decades since the chic resale shop My Sister's Closet opened in metro Phoenix. True to its name, the enterprise — which has since opened multiple locations in the Valley and California — is run by a pair of sisters with a flair for helping savvy customers find just the right item or outfit. It's a must-shop destination for women who love designer labels but refuse to pay top dollar. On any given day, you might find a little something from Chanel, Valentino, Prada, or True Religion capable of making you feel like a million bucks (or maybe several thousand bucks: still good!). Hundreds of items land at various locations every day, and the boutique prides itself on selling them for at least 65 percent off retail. And since the pandemic hit, the chain has sold designer face masks bearing the insignias of your favorite labels, a stylish way to stay safe in 2020.

Sure, you've been stuck in the house for months, but there's no rule that says you have to dress like a slob while social-distancing. Some of the freshest fits in town can be found at Trill, a hip-hop shop that's got a little bit of everything. You can pick up tops by Supreme, Anti Social Social Club, and Le Tigre while checking out Spray Ground backpacks, Good Dope pins, Kangol hats, and much more. There's a small women's section, but the gear at Trill is mostly for the fellas. While there, remember to hit up the small side room to check out the wall of music memorabilia, take a selfie in front of the vintage boombox wall, and shop for new and vintage hip-hop vinyl.

Shirts N' Things

Your eyes won't know where to focus upon entering Shirts 'n' Things, a family-owned retail shop that is packed with, well, shirts and things. The "things" category includes pins, patches, stickers, tapestries, weird purses, and weirder shoes. But you're here for the shirts — specifically, the band shirts. An entire half of the store is wallpapered with the faces and logos of rock stars and rock bands, punk outfits, rap icons, reggae legends, and femmes fatales. At the counters, you'll likely meet husband-and-wife co-owners Larry and Deb Teiman, who opened the place in 1980 and sell gear from acts like At the Drive In, The Dead Milkmen, N.W.A., Wu-Tang Clan, and Frank Zappa. Those are just the bands we remember from last time we were there. There's much, much more: This place has 50,000 SKUs.

Before we stepped into Many Worlds, we'd never been in the presence of a pair of shoes that cost as much as a down payment on a car. The new sneaker boutique in midtown Phoenix has a mint pair of used Nike Air Yeezy 2 Solars — along with dozens of other, slightly less spendy kicks. The minimalist space is home only to a few racks of shoes from the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Converse, plus a small area devoted to Many World-brand T-shirts and shirts by Supreme. Lookie-loos are welcome, so even if high-end sneakers aren't in your budget or your feet are too small for anything in the store, the staff will greet you warmly. But if you decide to buy, know that the service doesn't end when you walk out the door; half of the space is taken up by Many Worlds' Reshoevn8r concept, which sells display cases and shoe-care products, and even offers shoe-cleaning to keep your purchase looking fresh.

Babies are expensive, period, but especially so if you want to keep them decked out in cool fashions and surrounded by engaging toys. At Baby Bloomers, you can pick up kids' duds on the cheap without feeling like you're settling for less. The store draws a steady stream of used clothing by beloved brands, still in good condition. It's the perfect place to grab outdoor toys, educational items, fancy clothes, and playtime gear. The selection changes often, which makes it easier to find treasures every time you visit. And when you're ready to let go of the children's items cluttering up your closet, you can take them to Baby Bloomers for a cheerful assessment of whether they're a good fit for the store, which carries maternity wear and clothing for kids from infants to size 16. When you want your kids to thrive without spending the big bucks, Baby Bloomers is there for you all the way.

Running hasn't had a moment this big since Forrest Gump laced up his shoes back in the mid-1990s. Since the pandemic hit, the family-owned Runner's Den, which has made uptown Phoenix its home for over four decades, has stepped up its game to assist those new to the sport (and those who returned to it after realizing their local gym wasn't going to open anytime soon). Its friendly, knowledgeable employees will get you fitted into a cool pair of shoes that won't give you shin splints, and to help everyone get what they need to make the most of their time outside, the store has offered free delivery options and curbside service to customers. But what we love most about Runner's Den is that the staff isn't just trying to sell you stuff. You can find information on topics like hydration and nutrition on the website, and after COVID-19 settles down, it'll get back to its lineup of group runs, race training, and other activities that promote and support the local running community.

Sometimes, we look out our office window at the hot asphalt of central Phoenix and dream of going somewhere far away. When these bouts of wanderlust hit, we know it's time for a trip to Arizona Hiking Shack. We're merely amateur adventurers, so we go there to buy maps of local trails, clothing from brands like Columbia, and Tonto Passes for excursions in the national forest. But we can't help but linger and look at all the incredible stuff the store offers — essential and optional gear for rock climbing, kayaking, camping, backpacking, and more. Arizona Hiking Shack rents equipment if you're not ready to commit to buying an item, and the knowledgeable staff is always willing to answer questions, from which hiking shoe is best to how much food to bring along on a camping trip. Next time we get the opportunity to escape to the great outdoors, Arizona Hiking Shack will be our first stop.

Cardio sports have experienced a resurgence during the pandemic — so much so that local bike shops have been struggling to meet the demand. Mike and Steph Cox (and their dog, Snickers) of the Ahwatukee Foothills shop Curbside Cyclery are just as busy as the bigger bike retailers, but they've sacrificed none of the high-quality personal service and expertise they offered before the coronavirus bump. The store has you covered in the way of bikes, equipment, shoes, apparel, and accessories. Things are rough out there still, but inside Curbside, cyclists can count on the help and the gear they need for a smooth ride.

Yes, Bobbie's Flowers & Marketplace is located in a bland southeast Valley strip mall called the Tempe Dental Plaza, but inside, you'll be thoroughly transported somewhere far more verdant. Bobbie's is a family-owned florist that's been around since 1949, and it sources flowers from first-rate greenhouses on the California coast. The key here is cold-chain management — or keeping all cut flowers cold till purchased. Inside, you'll also find yard decor like bird houses, pots, and planters, as well as Arizona-made gifts. But the best part about Bobbie's is the way the staff, composed of three generations of family members and some longtime staffers, interacts with its customers. The shop offers a Flower of the Month Club, sends random bouquets to medical personnel, and manages giveaways like posting first names on Facebook (if that's your first name, you get a free bouquet).

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