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Photo: Glasswing

The Best Shopping in Seattle

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Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Seattle's reputation for angsty music and coffee house culture might call to mind a sea of plaid and denim, but the city where Nordstrom was born is anything but a one-trick pony when it comes to fashion and retail. A thriving local design scene means there are plenty of opportunities to discover your new favorite label at shops that stock everything from handmade ceramics and jewelry to high-end apparel.

Lovers of minimalism will feel right at home at fashion destination Totokaelo, while vintage freaks should flock to Pretty Parlor and the Fremont Vintage Mall for one-of-a-kind finds. And if plaid and denim is what you're actually after, Seattle has that, too, in spades — and your first stop should be Blue Owl Workshop.

With so many amazing shops, you won't be leaving the Emerald City with anything less than a full suitcase — in fact, you might find yourself shipping a few items home.

This map was originally published on July 21st, 2016, and has since been updated with new stores.

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Totokaelo

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After opening its doors in 2003, avant-garde powerhouse Totokaeolo brand has expanded from womenswear and accessories to art objects and men’s fashion, in addition to launching its own line and a second retail location in New York City. Head to the ultra-chic gallery-esque shop for labels like Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, and Rick Owens.
Photo: Totokaelo

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

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While this Seattle institution is a must-visit for comic book fans, any appreciator of art and storytelling should stop by to browse the selection. Both an independent graphic novel press and a storefront, Fantagraphics is one of the best spots in Seattle to pick up some illustrated reading material, whether it's an old-standby like Ghost World or a new release by one of Seattle’s local artists.
Photo: Fantagraphics

Fremont Vintage Mall

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Vintage lovers, you'll also want to block a few hours off on your itinerary for the Fremont Vintage Mall. This massive store is full of vintage furniture, ephemera, and clothing carefully selected by different vendors.
Photo: Fremont Vintage Mall

Pretty Parlor

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Looking for frills? Pretty Parlor, Seattle’s pinup-style headquarters, is your answer. With a mix of vintage and ‘50s-inspired pieces by local designers, the walls are literally dripping with tulle petticoats and Betty Draper-esque dresses. There’s also a great men’s selection (dubbed “manland”), as well as a bridal boutique.
Photo: Pretty Parlor
Multi-talented couple Leah Lawrence and Billy Bartels (she formerly ran swimwear line Drifting Arrows, while he designed men’s jewelry under the label Vim Beget) opened up Baleen when they had a hard time finding affordable, fashionable jewelry that’s made in the US. Their handmade line is simple (but far from boring), and the shop is a great place to look for gifts — like jewelry, of course, but also for goods from other local makers, including Brad Curran Ceramics and Herbivore Botanicals.
Photo: Baleen
A great place to look for gifts, Prism is filled to the brim with things to make your life more quirky and fun, from colorful geometric prints to a ceramic planter with tan lines to a wearable sleeping bag that’s surprisingly cool. You’ll find familiar brands like Baggu and Samantha Pleet as well as plenty of labels you’ve never heard of, including specialized names like Darner Socks.
Photo: Prism

Baby & Company

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After you’ve done the obligatory walk through historic Pike Place Market, stop at one of the area’s contemporary gems: Baby & Company, a favorite stop for Seattle’s luxury shoppers (there’s even complimentary valet parking). Though you may not recognize all of the labels — many are little-known overseas brands — you are going to find something you love among the modern men’s and women’s fashions.
Photo: Baby & Company

Glasswing

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A lifestyle store with a green thumb, Glasswing has a vision. Everything sold here has the same aesthetic vibe, though the wares are as varied as vintage-inspired cocktail carafes, linen jumpsuits, natural soaps and cosmetics, and gorgeous succulents. After you’re done picking out a gift for yourself from the wide selection (because you’re definitely going to want something), be sure to check out the gallery space in the back of the shop.
Photo: Megumi Arai for Glasswing

Blue Owl Workshop

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Blue Owl is one of the top retailers specializing in Japanese selvedge denim (seriously, even Reddit thinks so), stocking hard-to-find brands like Tanuki, Pure Blue Japan, Momotaro, and Naked & Famous. While the focus is menswear, there’s also a small women’s selection. Bonus: Blue Owl can hem your new jeans in-house, and once you’ve worn them in past your liking, there’s a denim buyback program for 30 percent off your next order.
Photo: Blue Owl Workshop

Velouria

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The clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home goods at Velouria are all sourced from ethical makers in North America (with a big emphasis on the Pacific Northwest), which makes conscious shopping here easy. Check the website before your visit, because the store often hosts workshops, trunk shows, and art walks with local artists and artisans.
Photo: Velouria

Salua Lingerie

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Do you love lacy things? Head over to Salua Lingerie for some of the best lingerie and loungewear in Seattle. This family-owned company was founded in Santa Marta, Colombia, where the vintage-inspired intimates, design-y swimwear, and luxe sleepwear pieces are made.
Photo: Salua Lingerie
Though traveling doesn’t always lend itself to furniture shopping, this exquisite homeware destination in Ballard has plenty of collectibles that could fit in your carry-on. If you’re local — or even if you’re not, as the website lists free shipping on orders over $50 — make sure you check out the to-die-for selection of mid-century-inspired sofas.
Photo: Digs

Lucky Dry Goods

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If vintage is your thing, you need to stop by Lucky Dry Goods. This reasonably priced and superbly curated vintage shop has two locations (the second's in the University District) that will keep you busy for hours. Pro tip: Do not miss out on the impressive collection of vintage denim, organized by size to make shopping a cinch.
Photo: Lucky Dry Goods
Seattle jewelry designer Faris DuGraf of the very cool jewelry line Faris and Deborah Roberts of clothing brand Silvae banded together to open this chic Belltown storefront. Not only do they carry their own gorgeous lines, but the duo also stocks clothing and accessories from complementary brands.
Photo: Rizom

E. Smith Mercantile

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Anyone into food and cocktails, be warned: Walking into E. Smith Mercantile is going to make you want to empty your wallet. This family-run lifestyle shop carries everything you need to perfect your at-home bar. Even better? You can sample the wares in the form of specialty cocktails and small bites in the Back Bar before (or after) you buy.
Photo: E. Smith Mercantile

Easy Street Records

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This West Seattle institution is the place to go if you’re looking for awesome vinyl. With a knowledgeable staff and frequent in-store events, this iconic spot is a haven for all things music. If you get hungry while you’re searching the stacks, head over to the adjoining cafe for an all-day breakfast.
Photo: Easy Street Goods

Totokaelo

Photo: Totokaelo
After opening its doors in 2003, avant-garde powerhouse Totokaeolo brand has expanded from womenswear and accessories to art objects and men’s fashion, in addition to launching its own line and a second retail location in New York City. Head to the ultra-chic gallery-esque shop for labels like Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, and Rick Owens.
Photo: Totokaelo

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Photo: Fantagraphics
While this Seattle institution is a must-visit for comic book fans, any appreciator of art and storytelling should stop by to browse the selection. Both an independent graphic novel press and a storefront, Fantagraphics is one of the best spots in Seattle to pick up some illustrated reading material, whether it's an old-standby like Ghost World or a new release by one of Seattle’s local artists.
Photo: Fantagraphics

Fremont Vintage Mall

Photo: Fremont Vintage Mall
Vintage lovers, you'll also want to block a few hours off on your itinerary for the Fremont Vintage Mall. This massive store is full of vintage furniture, ephemera, and clothing carefully selected by different vendors.
Photo: Fremont Vintage Mall

Pretty Parlor

Photo: Pretty Parlor
Looking for frills? Pretty Parlor, Seattle’s pinup-style headquarters, is your answer. With a mix of vintage and ‘50s-inspired pieces by local designers, the walls are literally dripping with tulle petticoats and Betty Draper-esque dresses. There’s also a great men’s selection (dubbed “manland”), as well as a bridal boutique.
Photo: Pretty Parlor

Baleen

Photo: Baleen
Multi-talented couple Leah Lawrence and Billy Bartels (she formerly ran swimwear line Drifting Arrows, while he designed men’s jewelry under the label Vim Beget) opened up Baleen when they had a hard time finding affordable, fashionable jewelry that’s made in the US. Their handmade line is simple (but far from boring), and the shop is a great place to look for gifts — like jewelry, of course, but also for goods from other local makers, including Brad Curran Ceramics and Herbivore Botanicals.
Photo: Baleen

Prism

Photo: Prism
A great place to look for gifts, Prism is filled to the brim with things to make your life more quirky and fun, from colorful geometric prints to a ceramic planter with tan lines to a wearable sleeping bag that’s surprisingly cool. You’ll find familiar brands like Baggu and Samantha Pleet as well as plenty of labels you’ve never heard of, including specialized names like Darner Socks.
Photo: Prism

Baby & Company

Photo: Baby & Company
After you’ve done the obligatory walk through historic Pike Place Market, stop at one of the area’s contemporary gems: Baby & Company, a favorite stop for Seattle’s luxury shoppers (there’s even complimentary valet parking). Though you may not recognize all of the labels — many are little-known overseas brands — you are going to find something you love among the modern men’s and women’s fashions.
Photo: Baby & Company

Glasswing

Photo: Megumi Arai for Glasswing
A lifestyle store with a green thumb, Glasswing has a vision. Everything sold here has the same aesthetic vibe, though the wares are as varied as vintage-inspired cocktail carafes, linen jumpsuits, natural soaps and cosmetics, and gorgeous succulents. After you’re done picking out a gift for yourself from the wide selection (because you’re definitely going to want something), be sure to check out the gallery space in the back of the shop.
Photo: Megumi Arai for Glasswing

Blue Owl Workshop

Photo: Blue Owl Workshop
Blue Owl is one of the top retailers specializing in Japanese selvedge denim (seriously, even Reddit thinks so), stocking hard-to-find brands like Tanuki, Pure Blue Japan, Momotaro, and Naked & Famous. While the focus is menswear, there’s also a small women’s selection. Bonus: Blue Owl can hem your new jeans in-house, and once you’ve worn them in past your liking, there’s a denim buyback program for 30 percent off your next order.
Photo: Blue Owl Workshop

Velouria

Photo: Velouria
The clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home goods at Velouria are all sourced from ethical makers in North America (with a big emphasis on the Pacific Northwest), which makes conscious shopping here easy. Check the website before your visit, because the store often hosts workshops, trunk shows, and art walks with local artists and artisans.
Photo: Velouria

Salua Lingerie

Photo: Salua Lingerie
Do you love lacy things? Head over to Salua Lingerie for some of the best lingerie and loungewear in Seattle. This family-owned company was founded in Santa Marta, Colombia, where the vintage-inspired intimates, design-y swimwear, and luxe sleepwear pieces are made.
Photo: Salua Lingerie

Digs

Photo: Digs
Though traveling doesn’t always lend itself to furniture shopping, this exquisite homeware destination in Ballard has plenty of collectibles that could fit in your carry-on. If you’re local — or even if you’re not, as the website lists free shipping on orders over $50 — make sure you check out the to-die-for selection of mid-century-inspired sofas.
Photo: Digs

Lucky Dry Goods

Photo: Lucky Dry Goods
If vintage is your thing, you need to stop by Lucky Dry Goods. This reasonably priced and superbly curated vintage shop has two locations (the second's in the University District) that will keep you busy for hours. Pro tip: Do not miss out on the impressive collection of vintage denim, organized by size to make shopping a cinch.
Photo: Lucky Dry Goods

Rizom

Photo: Rizom
Seattle jewelry designer Faris DuGraf of the very cool jewelry line Faris and Deborah Roberts of clothing brand Silvae banded together to open this chic Belltown storefront. Not only do they carry their own gorgeous lines, but the duo also stocks clothing and accessories from complementary brands.
Photo: Rizom

E. Smith Mercantile

Photo: E. Smith Mercantile
Anyone into food and cocktails, be warned: Walking into E. Smith Mercantile is going to make you want to empty your wallet. This family-run lifestyle shop carries everything you need to perfect your at-home bar. Even better? You can sample the wares in the form of specialty cocktails and small bites in the Back Bar before (or after) you buy.
Photo: E. Smith Mercantile

Easy Street Records