The moment the next installment of Phoenix Flea is announced, we start squirreling away extra money. You see, the one-day modern market typically held a couple of times a year is a veritable wonderland of things we want to buy. The April market had more than 100 vendors, including local favorites Paige Poppe Art, Keep Nature Wild, Iconic Cocktail Co., and The House of Used, plus food and drink purveyors such as Mustache Pretzels and Honey Bear's BBQ. We love the wide range of available goods, the convenient location in downtown's Phoenix's Heritage Square and Science Park, and the hustle and bustle of the large crowd each market draws. The next Phoenix Flea is November 26, and you bet we'll be purchasing our tickets in advance so we can get in and start shopping as quickly as possible.

The downtown Phoenix art walk isn't the only cool thing that happens on the first Friday of the month. North of Roosevelt Row, Ivory House Vintage Shop hosts the Rollin' Retro Market. Held at North Phoenix Baptist Church, Rollin' Retro Market combines two things we love: shopping and roller-skating. Your $3 entry fee includes skate rental and access to dozens of vendors selling vintage goods plus jewelry, clothing, art, and more. The whole affair is a groovy, high-energy event we look forward to each month. And if you can't wait until First Friday to shop vintage, you can head out to Ivory House's west Valley storefront at 650 North Estrella Parkway, Suite A4, in Goodyear.

We've often said that we only get up in the middle of the night for two things: air travel and the VNSA Used Book Sale. It's held every year in February in an exhibition hall at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, and the name is actually a misnomer: When the sale began in the 1950s, it was just for books, but today you can find records, DVDs, magazines, games, puzzles, maps, and more. Hundreds of thousands of items are for sale, most for absurdly low prices — all biographies and vinyl records are just $1 each, for example — which is why book dealers, resellers, bibliophiles, and the like start lining up the night before to be first in the door. A few tips for the newbies: Bring lots of bags in case you don't get a shopping cart; if you see something you think you want, grab it, because it may not be there in a couple of minutes; and you'll get through checkout faster if you bring cash. Happy hunting.

Maybe there's a time and a place for luxury boutiques, but we'd rather be shopping at Desert Crafted, where the vibe is genuine, creative, and calm. Instead of being bombarded by glitz, we're embraced by desert tranquility here, where we always find a changing selection of goods curated by local artist Laura Plecas. On any given visit, we might find desert basics such as wide-brimmed hats or woven handbags, or self-care goodies like candles or exfoliating body brushes. We can always count on finding great gifts here, from unique earrings to ceramic trays with an evil eye motif. And the shop also carries original artworks by Plecas, which makes it a perfect place to start your journey as an art collector.

Now that we're all spending less time on the couch and more time out in the world again, shopping for clothes feels like a grand adventure. That's especially true at Phoenix General, where you'll find a carefully curated selection of fashions that strike the perfect balance between timeless and trendy. One day, you'll spot a denim jumpsuit with clean lines, and the next day you'll find a hand-knitted top with a geometric design and playful cutouts. Shelves hold accessories like hats and handbags you won't find in other shops around town, to help give the basic pieces in your wardrobe fresh life. Most importantly, the customer service here is superb, and we always feel great leaving the shop knowing we're supporting a local business with strong roots in Phoenix.

In our opinion, there aren't enough stores in metro Phoenix that are dedicated to outfitting men. And even fewer that offer carefully curated clothing and accessories that you don't see on everyone. But at least we've got Cave + Post Trading Co., which opened last year in central Phoenix. Cave + Post calls itself a "men's mercantile and general store." We call it the best place to find well-made, subtly stylish goods for ourselves and the men in our lives. Think striped summer button-downs by Marine Layer, retro sunglasses by AO Eyewear, hats by local designer Iconic Arizona, and a fun selection of graphic T-shirts. There's always something new to consider at Cave + Post, which is why we find ourselves visiting the store and the website again and again.

Well, it's come to this: Clothing from the 1990s is now considered vintage. Let's put that alarming development aside and focus on the fact that you can find stuff from the '90s, plus every other decade of the 20th century, at Antique Sugar in downtown Phoenix. The store sells clothing and accessories for men and women, and there are new treasures every time we stop in. Midcentury letter sweaters. Groovy 1970s rock T-shirts. Gorgeous Mad Men-style party dresses. Prices are reasonable, and there are bargains to be found, especially on the days when Antique Sugar marks a lot of their items at $5 to make room for new acquisitions. You can find out when the sale days are, as well as keep up with what's in store, on Antique Sugar's always-entertaining Instagram feed.

When Rihanna announced her pregnancy by posting a photo of herself, baby bump on full display, in a hot pink puffer coat, it went viral. But we couldn't help but notice the necklace she was wearing, a pearl and jewel number that purportedly cost $11,000. The superstar bought the eye-catching piece at Vintage by Misty, a small shop with a big reputation in Old Town Scottsdale. Vintage by Misty specializes in designer goods from the '60s to the '90s, everything from groovy Pucci sunglasses to disco-fabulous 1970s Gucci handbags to suede Chanel boots. There are no bargains here, but when you've been featured in British Vogue as one of best designer resale stores in the world, you don't have to offer deals. And if you've got any top-quality goods you're looking to part with, Vintage by Misty may take them, either by buying them outright or through consignment.

We appreciate a stylish pair of sneakers — on ourselves or others. So we love to browse the offerings at Many Worlds in central Phoenix. The clean, hip space is stocked with kicks from Nike, Adidas, and more, including plenty that are hard to find. On a recent visit, we ogled the Air Jordan 1 in a variety of colorways, super-comfortable Adidas Yeezy slides, and even tiny Nikes for little sneakerheads. Many Worlds shares space with Reshoevn8r, a sneaker-cleaning store and service, meaning our shoes always look their best. Besides sneakers, Many Worlds also carries branded hats, T-shirts, and water bottles, meaning we can truly look cool from head to toe.

You can really mess yourself up with a bad choice in running gear, so there's really no substitute for having smart, helpful staff who listen even better than they give sound advice. We find it every time at Runner's Den, where we start with laying a strong foundation for our feet before we delve into all the practical but fashionable running clothes we keep acquiring in the hopes it'll keep people from noticing how all that movement makes us sweat our butts off. Between group runs, workshops, injury clinics, and charity events, we constantly find ourselves getting smarter about the way we run. We love the camaraderie that develops from spending time here and meeting people for whom running might be a routine form of self-care or a chance to achieve a lifetime milestone. It's all about positivity and stretching yourself, which can't help but carry over into all those other places you test your limits in life.

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