Upper Kirby is a part of town that's basically defined by what it's not—not River Oaks, not West University, not Montrose. But with all these great neighborhoods surrounding it, it's become a magnet for shopping for those in the know. Don't let the small side street locations fool you—this is one of the best shopping districts in town.
No two visits to this shop are ever the same. Owner Don Connelly and general manager Daniel Cuellar make everything here oh-so-covetable by constantly staging (and re-staging) stylish vignettes that highlight their signature blend of new and vintage furniture, chandeliers, seating, and objets d’art. 3735 Westheimer Road
A true Houston institution, shoppers come for the one-of-a-kind mix of tools, gadgets, kitchen appliances, candles, cleaning products, china, and outdoor goods. This place is a registry hot spot for all the right reasons. 3900 Bissonnet St.
Jill Brown describes herself as a “perpetual thing-finder,” which will come as no surprise to anyone who frequents her shop. Lighting is the main offering, with a mix of vintage fixtures and her own Light Brown line of industrial metal lanterns and sconces. But you’ll also discover vintage bistro tables, Belgian anatomy charts, and plenty of other curiosities. 2940 Ferndale St.
As the name implies, finding a sweet little dress or jumpsuit in this delightfully girly shop is almost too easy. Not only does the store carry on-trend pieces by accessible designer labels like Current/Elliott, Vince, DVF, and Tibi, it regularly features appearances by designing celebs such as Petra Nemcova, Kelly Bensimon, and more. Don’t forget to check out co-owner Gina Cartwright’s jewelry line, Charmed Circle. 3201 Westheimer Road
Specializing in French, Italian and Belgian antiques, this is the city’s premiere importer of European furnishings and architectural salvage, plus the shop recently launched its own line of finishes. Don’t forget to check out the adorable orangerie out back. 3615 West Alabama St.
Owners Aaron Rambo and Ruth Davis traffic almost exclusively in things you never knew you needed, from a vintage steel prison cot to a porcelain fortune cookie figurine. A master of mixing antiques with industrial accents and modern whimsy, Rambo offers his found objects alongside a curated selection of high-end antiques, relics, and art, and regularly brings in style-setters from across the country for trunk shows and events. 3433 West Alabama St.
This fashion-forward boutique by Wendi Martin is an Austin import, and its wares are as cool as that implies. It was among the first shops to carry the perfectly tailored yet breezy wares of Apiece Apart, for example, and the deceptively minimalist space is full of neutral staples in interesting, artsy silhouettes by Rachel Comey, Creatures of Comfort, and Priory, plus sandals by Ancient Greek, handbags by Clare V and tribal-inspired jewelry from Lizzie Fortunado. 2565 Kirby Drive
Someone needs to coin a name for the existential angst that comes from spending years—years—learning to navigate this store’s ten individual buildings and the myriad treasures held therein, only to have owners Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb expand into a new adjacent space and switch everything around. The only cure for said melancholy is to spend many more hours wandering what is still the best store in Houston, only now a little bit bigger. 2418 West Alabama St.
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 Road
After previous lives as a gallerist in Houston and a theater and bookstore owner in Marfa, Lynn Goode is into her third act, selling the high-style furnishings of the mid-century modern period, with a focus on works by such acclaimed masters of design as Adrian Pearsall, Frank Lloyd Wright, Milo Baughman, and T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. 3637 West Alabama St.
Tucked into a sleepy residential street, the tiny boutique opened by this interior design firm is a fun place to pop in, with an expertly curated mix of pillows, antiques and other accessories. 2922 Virginia St.
The midcentury-inspired wares at this made-in-Houston, no-middleman are shockingly affordable. You’ll find good-looking tables, chairs and sofas, the last of which start at less than $800—basically IKEA money. 2803 Westheimer Road
Do you really need us to tell you that a luxury consignment shop on the edge of River Oaks is a treasure trove of brand-name bargains? Bargains, of course, are relative when we're talking about pre-owned handbags that can still come with four-figure price tags, but never fear, you can always walk about with something from MTYCI's affordable apothecary, jewelry and home accessory selections. 2817 Westheimer Road
We’re still waiting for the day when we can walk into a boutique and find only local labels, but the Houston-rich collection Richly Clad is pretty close. The converted bungalow houses the kind of laid-back yet stylish basics—think the perfect tee, or the ultimate sundress, but with a hint of edge—you’ll want to wear all summer long, and boasts local talent of the shelves and at frequent trunk shows. 2705 Bammel Lane
Cheryl Schulke and her partner Paul Forde hand-craft their leather goods in a century-old former mattress factory in Sealy, then sell their elegant bags, journals, aprons, and small accessories at this shop on Kirby, which also offers jewelry, ponchos, and home goods from like-minded makers. 2800 Kirby Drive
This second-floor shop in West Ave sounds like a soulless box store, but is actually a stylish Italian concept that specializes in modern suiting at incredibly reasonable prices. 2601 Westheimer Road
Turn that uninspiring lawn into an entertaining haven with help from this charming nursery and garden boutique, which is also a full service-landscape architecture firm. 3600 West Alabama St.
If you still require proof that atmosphere creates attitude, look no further than this legendary classic, fresher than ever after a move from Highland Village to West Ave in 2011. The modern, light-infused space seems to have inspired the team to seek out cutting-edge lines like Rag & Bone, Elizabeth & James, and Peter Pilotto alongside luxury stalwarts including Valentino, Diane von Furstenberg, and Oscar de la Renta. 2601 Westheimer Road
Houston is ripe for new boutiques focusing on ambitious contemporary women’s fashion, so Whim has arrived at the perfect time, featuring lines like Grey by Jason Wu, Warm by Tracy Feith, Katharine Kidd and Jenni Kayne in appropriately spare environs. 3637 West Alabama St.