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Hootenanny—the little clothing-centric younger sibling of legendary Boston-area record store chainlet Newbury Comics—is a bit of a hidden gem. First off, it's up a gloomy ramp in a pretty unassuming mini-mall space off the main drag in Harvard Square. Second of all, it's jam-packed and not exactly beautifully-merchandised. But, it stocks all those brands that youths and college kids and hipsters and scenesters and punks all covet: Think Merc, Fred Perry, Converse, Vans, TUK, Spiewak, Paul Frank, Toms and Dr. Martens. The young, tattooed staff is friendly to boot.
The focus is on off-centered party attire for the hip and the young (or young-at-heart)—Mod for a Britpop night in Allston; a little goth and some diet-fetish for club nights in Central Square or Downtown, scene for spray-paint wielding sneakerheads and indie kids partying on Mission Hill, plus a lot of the overtly-cute and possibly-Asian for comic and animation nerds.
Aside from all those brands the shop is full of gifts, accessories and jewelry—and it's all mostly inexpensive. Odd key chains, faux vintage lunchboxes, underground make-up lines, quirky wallets (with or without the chains), cheap-o sunglasses, little, adorable odds-and-ends.
But don't let all the cute and crazy intimidate you: It's a great spot for standard issue Ben Sherman wovens, jersey basics, knock-off eyewear and oft-sale-priced canvas sneakers. Yes, the sale prices—the store is so full of merchandise there is almost always a stuffed rack of very, very good deals. Just look for the yellow stickers!
· Hootenanny [Newbury Comics]