Mayor Hickenlooper is fulfilling his mayoral duties by declaring the week of Nov. 30th through Dec. 6th, “Buy Local Week.” As a Denver business owner himself, Wynkoop Brewing Co., he knows a thing or two about the importance of supporting and stimulating your local economy. It’s not about spending more than you have or shopping frivolously, but it’s about the decisions and choices you make with what you do have. Instead of dialing Pizza Hut, hit up Angelo’s on 6th Ave. or Wazee Supper Club for an amazing pie. Instead of GAP for knit hats and scarves, try Loft-22 or Kismet Accessories in the Highlands. Instead of large department stores for shoes and handbags, try Scarpaletto, on Larimer, and http://www.dsadditions.com/, in Cherry Creek. You can check out the city’s map of featured local businesses at Colorado Local First which will include stores who are participating and offering special sales the week of Nov. 30th-Dec. 6th. I felt like their list wasn’t exactly comprehensive and could be expanded upon, as far as clothing and accessories retail goes, so see my edited list below. I am not paid in any way to advertise for any of these stores. They are truly unique, special and rare to me, and I count most of them as friends first. This season, fuel your hard earned cash back into your neighbor’s store, otherwise, you may not have them to go to at all one day.
Loft-22– I’ve wrote about these girls before, but I’ll say it again. Adorable dresses and “Going-Out” tops for date nights and cocktail hours. Adorable handbags and shoes and cute cami-panty sets.
Violet– Another re-write here, but Stacey knows how to buy. She’s been around long enough to know what Denver women want. She’s also filled her jewelry cabinet with Bloom designs, a local jeweler. Great leggings and tops- casual or work wear.
Eve– Always a fun stop! I once found an Italian, blown glass ring here! Last time I was in she had great tribal inspired necklaces- huge and bulky, and very now. She get’s 2-3 shipments a week, so I’m sure you’re bound to find something.
Scarpaletto-Stop in to truly experience first class service. I coveted a pair of black suede and patent leather, over-the-knee boots they had in the window by Stuart Weitzman. They also have another fave, Donald Pliner. Shoes and handbags and I recently spotted eye wear!
A perfect occasion is on the horizon to fully experience the scene on Platte Street downtown, just across that big, white bridge. Bundle up and head out on Thursday December 3rd, for a Winter Toast fete! Local magazine 303 will be out and about filming the festivities. I suggest grabbing a piping hot chai tea latte, at Paris Wine Bar, on Platte, and dotting down the street.
Common Era: Sweet dresses by Sole Mio, super comfy, and stylish, Seychelles shoes, and many other fabulous finds. Also, what I love about Common Era is the prices! Super affordable, and unique! The staff all seem to have “creative” on their resume- just ask to see things they’ve all created themselves.
Unity-New on the block, this store is for the “green” girl. Carrying mens and womens sustainable clothing and accessories. You can tick off that tricky, environmentally conscious person on your list.
Emage-Gear for the snow bunnies! You’ll find that perfect boarding jacket you’ve been searching for, as well as bindings,goggles, mittens and socks. Snow and skate boards are the draw-in for most, but once inside it’s also a sneaker head’s paradise and ski bum’s haven. Fave label RVCA, super comfy and kitschy tees.
Around the corner on 15th Street:
Mona Lucero Boutique– A notable local designer, Mona will be showcasing her latest designs in a fashion show on December 6th. Last year I also found an awesome wallet and hat for my beaux at her store. Counting Elsa Schiaparelli as a design muse, Mona Lucero’s designs are feminine, practical, and unique.
Highlands Square- 32nd and Lowell:
My old hood…sigh…I used to live in a little studio right above what used to be Swank Space, which is now Dragonfly. December 6th is also a happening weekend in Highlands Square with a visit from Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa, and shopping of course.
Wordshop-Can’t say enough about this spectacular papery store. Get your Holiday invitations designed here! Thank you notes for your wedding gifts, not a problem. Baby announcements, count them done. Amazing, talented and knowledgeable staff. This is the store for the guys and gals in your life who cherish that specially contrived piece of snail mail.
The Perfect Petal– Not only a first rate florist that has been featured in Martha Stewart, but also my favorite stop for a special pair of earrings or a show stopping necklace. Unique home gifts for that special someone with a new address. Candles, soaps, and funky gadgets to stuff the stockings.
Max Outlet- Denver’s little black book for designer fashion. A little known secret situated in the Highlands is Max’s outlet. Find a Stella McCartney resort tunic or a Dries Van Noten blouse. It may be last season, but designer classics never go out of style. Lanvin, Prada, and Chloe- yes please.
Dragonfly- They website appears to be down now, but they are next to Max. Free People is a great find here and I always loved the brand of nail polish they carry, it escapes me now, but check around for the square bottle of enamel. Cute belts and sweaters are always in stock.
Babareeba- A favorite consignment/vintage shop. I’ve wrote about them before, but it’s a favorite pit stop on 32nd. Find a rare, vintage pin, or silk scarf for the fashionista on your list or the mature woman on in your life who appreciates quality.
Pout Beauty Boutique– This is a newbie to me. Let me know if you’ve been or have stopped in. This is more of a, “on my list to visit” than a recommendation, but it looks intriguing.
Starlet-Tiny shop but sweet baubles and girlie items. They’ve also expanded with a second store on Broadway.
http://www.kismetaccessories.com/-On the corner of Meade and 32nd, you won’t miss it because you will have stopped in Wordshop first. Carries clutches by Ellington, clever wall hangings, and pretty silver jewelry by Jeanine Payer.
Real Baby-Hands down, the best baby boutique in Denver. Funny onezies with phrases like, “My Dad’s a Nerd,” nifty gadgets and cutting edge gear. If you or someone you know is expecting, this is the place to pick up something special. Who doesn’t like shopping for babies? I’ll admit I wander in to see what I might like for my hope chest.
The Uncommon Thread– A place to get hot “jeans.” Oldies like, 7 For All Mankind, Taverniti, and Joe’s, and David Khans for the woman who has a “real” body and doesn’t want her crack hanging out at dinner. Also, some newbies that I am not familiar with-Married to the Mob, Jedidiah, and Junk Food. Mens and womens, nice.
Frolik– Hanky Panky panties and super comfy, wide-legged pants by XCVI.
Garbarini-Another shop filled with designers, you’ll find Hudson jeans, the perfect long sleeved tees by Majestic, and those sexy BCBG finds. AG denim, Milly and Yoana Baraschi are also hanging the racks at this Cherry Creek North stop. Donald Pliner shoes are always in store.
DS Additions-Denver’s 5280 Magazine chose this boutique as Top of the Town in 2008. Luxe is bountiful here. Included in the mix are handbags by Rebecca Minkoff, clothing by Samantha Treacy and a dozen or more jewelry artists.
Max-As I mentioned before, minus the last season. This is where the designer duds start in Denver. A step up, you can find an Yves Saint Laurent or Bottega Veneta handbag with your holiday bonus check here. Maybe even a bondage wrap dress by Herve Leger that everyone’s been clamoring for.
Blush– An adorably chic boutique that reminds me of San Fran! Carries comfy jersey by Rachel Pally, Velvet and Graham and Spencer and Billy Blues.
Well, this list is becoming quite long and I only covered a few areas. I missed Gaylord and Pearl Streets, and the entire SOBO hood but this is a pretty intensive start. You get the idea… So this holiday season, step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself to shop locally- every dollar really does matter. Make it an event with friends or loved ones. In all of these areas there are amazing coffee shops and restaurants to break at. I want to point out that sometimes it is only in our head that “boutiques” cost more because they have a fancy name, but you can still find sales and you can still find merchandise that is priced the same as if it were at Macy’s or Nordstrom, you’re just supporting a face and possibly a future friend rather than a big, monopoly. I’d love to hear about your favorite local stores and why too! Write me!
Here’s a laundry list of others I must not miss mentioning:
Fancy Tiger Clothing