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August 18, 2009

50 Best Fashion Stores in America

We shopped the country for the best stores right now. Program your GPS—these gems are worth planning your next vacation around.

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Photo Credit: Karin Catt

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AMERICAN HAUTE SPOTS

ATLANTA, GA

1. Bill Hallman
784 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA
(404) 607-1171
billhallman.com
The Draw: If you want a keepsake that isn’t emblazoned with peaches, this is the place to get it. Owner Bill Hallman stocks his shelves with vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces from local designers at a mix of price points so that new labels (think: less expensive) can mingle with the more established ones.

2. Jeffrey
3500 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA
(404) 237-9000
jeffreynewyork.com
The Draw: Pairing luxe labels with superb service (they’ll organize your closet and send clothes to your home!) is what this multidesigner specialty shop by Jeffrey Kalinsky is all about.

AUSTIN, TX

3. Kick Pleat
918 West 12th Street
Austin, TX
(512) 445-4500
kickpleat.com
The Draw: Get a taste of Austin’s art scene while you shop. Owner Wendi Koletar teams up with local artists to display their masterpieces above those of Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey, and Mociun. Get on the store’s e-mail list to nab an invite.

4. Gallery D
436 West 2nd Street
Austin, TX
(512) 322-5241
gallerydaustin.com
The Draw: Sisters Emily and Julia Keast bring Made in Heaven jeans and Antik Batik to Austin fashionistas in this light and airy shop that opened last March.

BOSTON, MA

5. Gretta Luxe
10 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
(617) 536-1959
grettastyle.com
The Draw: Celeb stylist, TV personality, and all-around powerhouse Gretta Monahan built this two-store mini chain. High-end collections from Michael Kors and Chloé may set you back a bit, but the full service and knowledgeable staffers are free of charge.

6. Crush Boutique
131 Charles Street, Boston, MA
(617) 720-0010
shopcrushboutique.com
The Draw: If you can’t get out of work before this store closes, give owners Rebecca Penner and Laura Macris a call. They’ll extend their hours so you can snag a dress for your date. Schedule a three-hour private shopping party (with complimentary wine and cheese) for you and your friends to peruse items by brands like Dolce Vita and Rory Beca at every price point.

7. The Velvet Fly
424 Hanover Street, Boston, MA
(617) 557-4359
thevelvetfly.com
The Draw: This cozy boutique mixes one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that date as far back as the ’30s with new retroinspired items from designers like Kensie, Tulle, and Hype—all for less than $300.

CHARLESTON, SC

8. Hampden Clothing
357 King Street
Charleston, SC
(843) 724-6373
hampdenclothing.com
The Draw: No creature comfort is overlooked in this boutique. While you’re trying on Alexander Wang and Vena Cava, your guy can plop down on the sofa in front of the flat-screen TV and enjoy a complimentary beer. At the Greenville location, the bedroom-size dressing rooms even come with a mini fridge!

CHICAGO, IL

9. Blake
212 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL
(312) 202-0047
The Draw: This boutique’s minimalistic decor (there isn’t even a sign outside) reflects the clean lines of the clothes it carries. Among one of the first stores ever to feature Martin Margiela and Marni, Blake loves discovering and developing major players in fashion—making for buys that last a lifetime.

10. Ikram
873 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 587-1000
ikram.com
The Draw: Ikram Goldman, the owner of this chic shop (and fashion adviser to Michelle Obama), has an eye for picking unique pieces by coveted designers. This is the only store in the state to carry the lines of Jason Wu, Thakoon, and Isabel Toledo, making it a natural destination. Prices are steep, but clothes practically come with a head-turning guarantee.

11. Handle with Care
1706 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 751-2929
handlewithcarechicago.com
The Draw: This Old Town staple, which turns 28 this year, is divided into two rooms: One carries fun, of-the-moment clothes, accessories, and gifts, all for less than $250; on the other side, you’ll find more timeless pieces by designers like the chic Trina Turk.

12. Le Dress
1741 West Division Street
Chicago, IL
(773) 697-9899
ledresschicago.com
The Draw: If you’re in the market for the perfect dress, this shop was made for you: It’s packed to the rafters with frocks from more than 50 designers at prices ranging from $50 to $500. A L’emergency Kit, stocked with a mini nail file, safety pins, doublestick tape, and mints, comes with every buy.

COLUMBUS, OH

13. Jinny
844 North High Street
Columbus, OH
(614) 291-3600
shopjinny.com
The Draw: L .A. fashion-industry transplant Jin H. Fillinger brings her stylish sensibility to the artsy Short North area with this shop that’s outfitted with vintage fixtures and antique ottomans. Expect to find international lines you don’t see every day in the States, like Willow, Losselliani, and De Couture.

DALLAS, TX

14. V.O.D.
2418 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX
(214) 754-0644
vodboutique.com
The Draw: Call it the Valley of the Dolls (get the acronym?) of Texas. This shop is the only store in Dallas that carries the hard-to-find Isabel Marant line, in addition to other coveted labels, like Vanessa Bruno.

HONOLULU, HI

15. Aloha Rag
1221 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 115
Honolulu, HI
(808) 589-2050
aloharag.com
The Draw: Don’t let the touristy name fool you. Unless you consider a Givenchy handbag a souvenir, you won’t find any tropical memorabilia here. High-end pieces by designers like M/Marani, which you can’t get anywhere else in the U.S., are a nice alternative to typical island wear.

NEXT PAGES: LOS ANGELES, CA - MCCLEAN, VA - MIAMI, FL - NASHVILLE, TN - NEW YORK, NY - PHILADELPHIA, PA - PORTLAND, OR - RICHMOND, VA - SEATTLE, WA


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