Best of the City 2016

Best of the Bayou City: Shopping

Including where to find the best furniture with a story behind it and the city's best boutique row.

By Houstonia Staff July 18, 2016 Published in the August 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Best Men’s Store

STAG Provisions

This Austin import sells button-up shirts from Jack Spade and RRL jeans but doesn’t stop there, offering other manly goods such as barware, engraved lighters and knives, along with books about camping, motorcycles and ’70s rock bands. 

2614 Westheimer Rd.,

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Best Quinceañera Dress Shop

Ellidas Bridal

The shop’s two Houston locations offer your standard fairytale gowns, complete with tulle-and-rhinestone bling, plus extravagant show-stoppers from designers like Vian’k Mansur and Ragazza featuring satin, bustles and stunning embroidery.

Multiple locations, 

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Image: Lucchese

Best High-End Boots


Walk into the flagship Highland Village location of Texas’s oldest bootmaker—established in the 1880s—and you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a friend’s luxury ranch house. Choose a pair of exquisite handmade boots straight from the floor (starting at $300) or design your own custom creation. 

4051 Westheimer Rd.,

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Image: Todd Spoth

Best Toy Store

Big Blue Whale

At this shop, which feels like a whimsical indoor playground, toys encouraging exploration and education are displayed side-by-side with vintage selections that will build memories as fast as they bring them rushing back.

237 W. 19th St.,

Best Consignment Store

Memorial Assistance Ministries

This 14,000-square-foot thrift store has 20 departments, but it’s the consignment shop in the rear that stocks brand-name dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry you’re after—that is, if you can make it past the rows of mid-century modern furniture, vintage books and vinyl albums.

1625 Blalock Rd.,

Best Kids' Clothing Store


The racks at the resale shop often feature brands like Mini Boden, Janie and Jack, Kissy Kissy, Hanna Anderson and Baby Gap, offering stylish, lightly-used outfits at discounted prices to help ease the pain of pulling out your wallet every few months for the next size up.

249 W. 19th St.,

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Best Window-Shopping

River Oaks District

There’s only one place in town so chic that even the stop signs are painted a fashionable black. While accessible stores include Bonobos, COS, L’Occitane and Baanou, most cater to Houston’s moneyed elite. The district is also a window-shopper’s paradise—think creative, colorful displays at Dior, astronomical heels at Giuseppe Zanotti, and sparkling jewels at Harry Winston.

4444 Westheimer Rd.,

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Best Boutique Row

Rice Boulevard in Rice Village

As West Ave and River Oaks District battle it out for big-name national retailers, Rice Village has seen an explosion of local boutiques, including these favorites:

For On-Trend Clothing: Raspberry Rose

2434 Rice Blvd.,

For Party Supplies: Emerson Sloan

2414 Rice Blvd.,

For Cleverly Curated Jewelry: J. Landa

2412 Rice Blvd.,

For Party-Ready Looks: Azuz

2402 Rice Blvd.,

For Youthful Fashions: WildBloom

2513 Rice Blvd.,

For Elevated Basics: Piermarini

2427 Rice Blvd.,

For French Luxuries: La Taste

2417 Rice Blvd.,

For French-Inspired Living: Olivine

2405 Rice Blvd.,

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Image: HTX Made

Best Furniture with a Story Behind It

HTX Made

In a warehouse in east Houston, grads from UH’s highly regarded Industrial Design program are forging modern furnishings—custom and pre-made tables, shelves, lighting, chairs, beds and more—from reclaimed wood. Each piece comes with its own story, whether it’s made from pine pulled out of an old barn or pecan foraged from a local creek.

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Best Boutique for Finding Local Designers


Since 2002, Jackie Adams has been at the center of Houston’s fashion community, hosting exclusive trunk shows at popular events that spill out of her Museum District store and onto the sidewalk. She also keeps a rotating co-op section, featuring pieces by up-and-coming Houston lines like Onyii & Co. and A Leap of Style.

5306 Almeda Rd.,

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Best Bridal Designer

Damsel White Label

This is a line for Houston ladies who want a wedding declaration—not just a dress. Designer Natalie Harris breaks all the bridal rules, infusing color and pattern into dresses that range from sexy-minimalist to vintage-charming to truly-Texan, complete with bluebonnet motif.

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Best Local Trend

The Caftan

A piece of clothing that’s simple, chic, perfect for warm weather and designed to go from poolside to date night—no wonder the caftan has become a major Bayou City style statement. Whether you prefer hand-dyed fabrics by Mirth Caftans, colorful bejeweled versions by Elle Milady, or gauzy caftan-like capes by VAHA—all Houston brands—there’s no wrong way to wear one.

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