While there are excellent clothing stores scattered all over the city—from legendary designer emporium Louis in the Waterfront district to mix-and-match boutique Mint Julep in Harvard Square, they’re most concentrated in the South End and Back Bay. While you’re in the area, don’t overlook the upscaleCopley Place mall for luxe designer boutiques and some of the city’s best department stores, including outposts of Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus.
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A move to larger digs a few years back meant only good things for this leading-edge women’s boutique. More rack space means more styles from the likes of Ace & Jig, Current/Elliott, Rachel Comey and others. Capsule collections of shoes, jewelry and accessories are also on display, as are home goods like candles and fragrances. You’ll even take inspiration from the interior design of the boutique, which feels as much like a beautiful Beacon Hill studio apartment as a retail space.
A one-stop shop for the fashion-conscious male, with a good selection of smart shirts, cardigans, casual jackets, shoes and cheeky socks. Uniform also stocks a line of Freitag messenger bags and wallets, made from recycled truck tires, and selected shaving products from Jack Black.
A suburban shoe store expanded its horizons and the city’s fashion-conscious were the richer for it. The South End shop is as focused on clothing as footwear, carrying coveted designers like Isabel Marant and Lemaire. The shop’s denim collection is arguably the best in town and staff members are skilled at guiding customers towards the perfect pair of jeans. A well-curated selection of sunglasses, jewelry and, of course, footwear means you can build a head-to-toe look in one visit.
Opened by a mother-daughter duo, this South End boutique is the perfect place for ladies of all ages to try on girly wares from hard-to-find designers, with an emphasis on proprietor favorites like Lauren Moffatt. Tucked away just off the main drag of Tremont Street, the shop's rustic, whimsical decor is positively enthralling.
At first glance, it looks like any other convenience store, the window lined with faded bleach bottles and paper towels. Something's odd though—the kid behind the counter is a little too stylish, the water stains on the ceiling are too perfect, the horse race on the TV seems to be caught in a loop and none of the bottles of detergent seems to have moved in months. Step in front of the faux Snapple vending machine to activate the hidden sliding door and reveal the secret store within a store. Inside is the ultra-modern interior of Boston's flyest sneaker shop—carrying rare kicks from Nike Tier Zero and Adidas Consortium—as well as deluxe streetwear and books on art and design.
Area men seeking a casual yet put-together aesthetic can hit up the collections at Sault and then call it a day. Owner Philip Saul stocks his store with rugged, stylish closet staples, from eco-friendly henleys to Jake Spade sweaters and Penfield jackets. Accessories include messenger bags, embossed leather wallets and skinny ties. Sault is also the perfect gift-shopping spot for that enigmatic male relative in your life, offering home items like vintage boat models and woven rope doormats.
The patriarch of Boston’s fashion scene. For decades, owner Alan Bilzerian has outfitted the city’s most stylish denizens, men and women alike, in styles from Issey Miyake, Isabel Marant, Rick Owens and more. This is not a boutique for the student set—prices regularly run into the four figures—but for those with money and a dedication to style, this is only indie boutique to visit.
One of the city’s most exciting retail openings in years has reminded residents to care about more than North Face jackets and LL Bean boots. Native Bostonians Jessica Knez and Joseph Morrissey combined their retail acumen (both have worked as buyers) to unveil what’s new and next in fashion. The three-floor Back Bay space displays the sculptural works of burgeoning and cult designers like Proenza Schouler, Alyx, Ports 1961 and Jacquemus. Men get fair play here too, with street styles from Comme de Garcons, APC and Visvim.
Shop owner Lana Bakarat is determined to cure New Englanders of their Lilly Pulitzer habits. In her new Beacon HIll clothing store, she stocks structural dresses and separates, mostly in black, that push up against preppy Beacon Hill looks. The jewelry collection is just as offbeat and includes chunky rings, earrings and gothic snake pendants—and, if you’re appetite is whetted, more jewelry can be found at sister store Heist down the street.
Within moments of entering you’ll want to move into this cozy and gorgeously appointed jewelry boutique, which sits on a quaint side street in the middle of the South End. Sisters Megan and Moira Flynn stock their shop with delicate, modern pieces from carefully selected designers both local and national, including the eponymous M. Flynn line. The soon-to-be betrothed will drool over the wedding collection, which includes engagement rings, bands and cufflinks.