We Heart STL: Shopping
With a plethora of boutiques, specialty shops and high-end retailers at our fingertips, its easy to see why the St. Louis shopping scene tugs on our heartstrings.
Best New Store: Lindbergh
Taking style cues from aviator icon Charles Lindbergh, the three in-house lines at this newly opened, eponymous store take quality to the next level, offering an impressive (and borderline massive) selection of men’s merchandise that seamlessly takes men from work to play. The Blue, White and Black collections bring something completely unique to the STL market and allow any man to easily build a fashionable wardrobe. Chesterfield, 636.536.5332.
Best LA Shopping in STL: Splash
It’s always sunny at Splash, which, after 30 years, has still managed to hold tight to its top spot on the roster of must-shop boutiques for St. Louis’ most stylish. One step inside and you’ll see that the West Coast feeling lasts all year: Find delicate lace pieces by For Love & Lemons, sassy night-out dresses by Indah Clothing and swimwear by Vitamin A and L*Space. With a vibe that channels a posh LA boutique, the brands, bright colors and unbeatable selection of swimwear will leave you feeling like you just took a trip to the coast. Ladue, 314.721.6442.
Best Denim: Sole & Blues
At this point, Sole & Blues is synonymous with denim—and The Loop’s popular boutique knows its stuff: Blues has been STL’s go-to for top industry brands for more than 15 years. On any given day, men and women can stroll in to find plenty of options to complete their look from head-to-toe—after all, is there ever a better wardrobe staple than denim? Among the many choices: denim by AG, G-Star RAW, Naked & Famous Denim and Nudie Jeans Co. And don’t forget the shoes by Camper, Diba and FLY London, as well as a selection of stylish extras by BB Dakota and Civil Society. The Loop, 314.863.2121.
Best Upscale Basics: The Clover
Even the pickiest of shoppers are sure to find a new “favorite thing” from The Clover. The Webster Groves boutique caters to shoppers with an eclectic selection of merchandise and fashionable, everyday basics that are both comfortable and chic. Upscale brands like Susana Monaco and Quinn have given casualwear an updated vibe, while brands like American Vintage and Joe’s Jeans are familiar standbys that any girl will love. Webster Groves, 314.467.0436.
Best Place to Shop The Runway: Saks Fifth Avenue
For the best fresh-off-the-runway fashion, Saks Fifth Avenue is the place to find your favorite splurge-worthy pieces from Ralph Lauren, Akris, Rag & Bone and (many) other designers. And even though the retail icon has always been a staple for international designer brands, it’s their recent shift to also include emerging designers’ work—think Yigal Azrouël and Tess Giberson—that has kept us consistently at the register. Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200.
Best Handbags: Neiman Marcus
There’s a time and place for Internet shopping, but the best part of the experience of buying a new bag comes from the senses: the smell of the leather, the softness of the material, the gleam of hardware. For a properly indulgent brick-and-mortar experience featuring the latest in designer handbags of all shapes and sizes, Neiman Marcus is STL’s choice destination. It’s become a haven for its selection of the newest designer bags (yes, even that “just spotted on the runway” Prada backpack), wallets (Marc Jacobs galore) and specialty collections (their Judith Leiber collection is as impressive as it gets). Go on—the bag of your dreams is waiting for you. Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9811.
Best Boutique Looks on a Budget: Paperdolls
With three locations and a traveling pink pd fashion van, paperdolls makes it easy for you to find on-trend boutique pieces guaranteed to be compliment magnets—and at prices that might merit a double-take. Owners Carolyn Burghoff and Beth Morris specialize in the art of stocking a store with stylish finds at bankaccount-friendly prices. Each location is filled wall-to-wall with statement jewelry, party dresses, knits, night-out looks, moto jackets, boots, heels and more— a streamlined setup to pull together a fashionable look that’ll make all your girlfriends envious. Multiple locations, paperdolls.boutique.
Best Shoes: Nordstrom
Hurried customers beware: Even the most purposeful of walks past the outskirts of Nordstrom’s shoe department will inevitably hit the brakes. After all, it’s just too good to ignore: A comprehensive roundup of footwear’s top names (Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Chanel—we could go on), mixed with stylish contemporary lines (Sam Edelman, Tory Burch and Dolce Vita), gives one the impression of stumbling straight into Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe closet—where “too many” is never a problem. Multiple locations, Nordstrom.com.
Best Jewelry to Treasure: Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers
Since 1913, St. Louis family-owned jeweler Elleard Heffern has provided treasures to countless customers in the St. Louis area and beyond. A roster of special services, including custom design, restoration and expert appraisals, along with an American Gem Society-certified team of experts, ensure you’re getting the most customized service in town. And then there’s the selection from designers like Mark Patterson, Lika Behar and Margo Morrison, which will keep you tapping these experts for all your special occasions. Clayton, 314.863.8820.
Best STL-Made Designer Collection: SKIF International
Designer Nina Ganci and her team of knitwear experts have given Grandma’s favorite hobby an edge—turning SKIF into a nationally recognized name along the way. The store name is a derivative of the Italian word “schifo,” meaning “imperfect”—a nod to how each handcrafted piece is created without rules or restrictions, boasting details that shy as far away from the norm as possible. The ever-unconventional Ganci and crew have managed to craft an exceptional ode to the best of what independent fashion can be: handmade, natural and fun. The Hill, 314.773.4401.
Best Micro-Fashion: City Sprouts
Even the tiniest tots are sure to capture attention when they don one of the many mini styles available at City Sprouts, St. Louis’ most charming place to shop for kids and babies. The City Sprouts crew, helmed by owner Molly Curlee, is passionate about crafting a place that children and parents both love. The store comes stocked with some of the trendiest children’s brands (including Tea Collection, Oeuf and Vans) and cutest accessories, plus toys and a few bedding picks to boot. Clayton, 314.726.9611.
Best Place to Get a Deal on Dior: Byrd Designer Consignment Boutique
Just a few years after flipping from a traditional, upscale boutique to a designer consignment shop, Byrd has become one of STL’s hottest spots to buy luxury goods. From handbags and jewelry to designer dresses and shoes, Byrd is a surefire bet when you’re searching for designer deals, from Dior to Dolce & Gabbana. Each item is hand-picked by owner Emily Elbert to ensure its signature fabulousity, and even the speediest shopper can navigate the racks (organized loosely by size) without feeling like they have to shuffle through countless items to find a treasure. Ladue, 314.721.0766.
Best Designer Showroom: Michael Drummond
For fashion-forward, attention-grabbing looks, fashion’s fiercest have been turning to St. Louis-based designer and artist Michael Drummond. His one-of-a-kind, made-to-order pieces have made numerous appearances at Saint Louis Fashion Week over the years and are exhibited by local arts organizations like RAC. Thanks to the launch of his showroom in SKIF International, customers are now able to snag items from the designer’s stock in a pinch—or they can shop his newly launched web store, MichaelDrummond.net. The Hill, 314.773.4401.
Best Designer Resale: The Vault by WCE
They titled the former reality show “Resale Royalty” that way for a reason: Its stars, Women’s Closet Exchange founder Sue McCarthy, Laura Maurice and Diana Ford, have such a knack for spotting quality resale potential that their newest venture is called The Vault, a name worthy of the treasures it holds. It offers up even more of the exclusively curated selection of designer merchandise that earned the shop its resale crown. The Vault, which sits in the midst of the hustle and bustle on Brentwood Boulevard, has become a beacon of light for those craving new and gently used designer looks at a fraction of the price. Brentwood, 314.736.6511.
Best Fashion Auction: Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
The experts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers are hardly strangers when it comes to luxe, extravagant merchandise—which is why some of the most valuable collections have been entrusted to them. Their “Luxury Accessories and Vintage Fashion” department specializes in important 19th- and 20th-century designer fashion. Each item is painstakingly researched, and types of pieces extend all the way up to museum-quality finds from designers including Chanel, Hemès and Yves Saint Laurent. Clayton, lesliehindman.com.
Best-Kept Secret: Union Studio
Tucked among foodie havens like Old Standard and La Patisserie Chouquette, Union Studio has brought a new personality to the local makers scene. The space, curated by artist Mary Beth Bussen, features her work in addition to items from a variety of local artisans like Portenzo, Metro Weaving and Jenny Walker Jewelry. Although its kids’ selection is a fan favorite (featuring wooden toys, clothing and more), the wide array of wares, from the practical to the decorative, marks it as the perfect hidden gem to find a gift for just about anyone on your list. Botanical Heights, 314.771.5398.
Best Streetwear: Swedlife
The Loop’s uber-popular streetwear shop prides itself for staying true to its mission of providing exclusive brands, quality merchandise and a grown-up selection of gear that’s more than just your average snapback. Owner Seth Feldman keeps the store’s shelves stocked with choice brands, like Raised by Wolves, Publish Brand, HUF and Acapulco Gold. He’s also building his in-house line, which has recently boasted impressive collabs with major brands like ????? and CLSC, as well as with equally entrepreneurial-minded locals like Strange Donuts, Seoul Taco and Blueprint Coffee (launching this month). Now that’s some major street cred. The Loop, 314.932.5102.
Best Reason Not To Skip Your Workout: Dimvaloo
More than just your average workout gear, Dimvaloo is the exclusive local retailer of Australia’s fashion-conscious fitness label Lorna Jane—and just one view of the stylish collection from Down Under will have you hooked. Each piece is designed with a fashion-meets-function vibe that has the active customer in mind: breathable, lightweight, UV protective and shrink-and fade-resistant. Dimvaloo also hosts weekly classes and events to get you in the workout mood: Join the crew for their “Wine Down Wednesday” series for a focused fitness class taught by local experts, followed by a wine-filled happy hour. Ladue, 314.824.8224.
Best Specs: Erker's Fine Eyewear
For more than 135 years, Erker’s Fine Eyewear has been a St. Louis staple, and the family-owned business has always been at the forefront of the industry. With decades of expertise behind them, Erker’s transports traditional glasses beyond the practical and into the fashionable. Brands like Barton Perreira and Cartier stock the shelves, but it’s their in-house line, NW77th, that’s reason enough to sneak a peek at their selection. Bold, colorful and designed in STL, NW77th just might be the catalyst that catapults Erker’s to further success in its second century. Multiple locations, Erkers.com.
Best Place to Shop Handmade: The Foundrie
The passion for handmade is alive and well at The Foundrie, where artisans from all over the country showcase their work in a curated setting merchandised to highlight the maker. The Foundrie is fresh off a move into its new home at West County Center, and owner Shelah McClymont promises an even wider selection of independently crafted wares. The one-stop shop features a wide handmade selection, including party supplies and kids clothing, trinkets, bath products and Missouri-loving tees. West County Center, 314.755.4581.
Best Of The West: Taubman Prestige Outlets
A coveted shopping destination and outlet for all things supremely stylish, Taubman Prestige Outlets is a trip out west that’s definitely not-to-miss. Just off Boone’s Crossing in Chesterfield Valley, Taubman sits in the heart of the western shopping district and contains nearly 60 crave-worthy retailers including Restoration Hardware, Wacoal, J. Crew Factory Outlet and H&M. The open layout is pet-friendly (bring your pooch!), and the sales just might leave you gasping for air. Chesterfield, 636.536.3014.
Best 9-to-5 Fashion: Mister Guy Women's Store
For the ladies who work hard for the money and have a serious love for fashion, Mister Guy Women’s is stocked with the timeless wardrobe options your closet desires. And it’s not your average boutique: In addition to on-the-rack regulars like Michael Stars, Elliott Lauren and Tracy Reese, they offer regular trunk show events that feature the hottest and most current collections from contemporary luxury brands like ALGO, Lafayette 148 New York and Gigi New York. There’s also the expert styling, wardrobe consultations and complimentary tailoring that make it a must-stop for the business—and shopping—pro. Ladue, 314.991.5262.
Best Gifts for Him: Dapper Gents
The unique atmosphere of Dapper Gents is in a class of its own, and STL’s most style-savvy guys have taken notice. Part barbershop, part hip menswear boutique, DG offers up classic grooming services alongside an impressively curated selection of goods that please even the pickiest shopper. Rather than looking online for his perfect gift, peruse instead DG’s selection of quality, made-in-the-USA brands like Oak Street Bootmakers and Richard Tao, leather goods from Moore & Giles and Portenzo and grooming products and gifts from Uppercut Deluxe and Brooklyn Grooming. Downtown, 314.925.8542.
Best Gifts for Her: Lusso
Whether you’re seeking a creative wedding gift or the perfect outfit for a night out, Lusso is STL’s answer to “Where can I find ____?” For 15 years, Lusso has been carving out its niche, and its resulting expertise shows: Charming kitchenware, dishes and home decor items sit just steps away from an impressive selection of trendy jewels (by Alexis Bittar and Michelle Pressler), shoes (by the likes of Rachel Zoe) and clothing (from Yoana Baraschi and Rungolee). Lusso even has a gift registry and complimentary gift wrapping, so the task of finding that perfect “thing” for “so and so” just got easier. Clayton, 314.725.7205.
Best Vintage: Parsimonia
The South Grand District’s vintage pick has gone from being an in-the-know hideaway to in the limelight as one of the hottest places to find stylish artifacts from times past. Since its inception as a web store in 2010, owner Beth Styles has taken her passion for secondhand from online to STL’s first mobile vintage shop (courtesy of a 1960 Holly trailer) and then to a brick-and-mortar stocked with finds of all shapes and sizes in the heart of the city—proving that the good old days are here to stay. With her treasure trove of stock, we wouldn’t have it any other way. South Grand, 314.659.8467.
Best “Favorite Room” Furniture: West Elm
West Elm burst onto the St. Louis shopping scene less than two years ago, inspiring the city’s avid redecorators to step up their game. Its moderately priced line spans from the smallest of finds (succulents, frames and bookends) to the largest of must-haves (tables, couches and bedroom sets) to create a haven of home decor for the shopper who’s looking to stock a space as stylishly as possible. Saint Louis Galleria, 314.863.5287.
Best Local Furniture Maker: Goebel & Co. Furniture
St. Louisan Martin Goebel has built his brand on quality and functionality—and it shows. Using the finest species of timber sourced as close to home as possible (mostly cherry, walnut and white oak), each piece is created (literally) from the ground up with care and precision by experts. Goebel’s furniture is designed with the simplest forms in mind, eliminating unnecessary ornamentation to showcase an authentic piece of American craftsmanship that will stand the test of time. Midtown, 314.807.1745.
Best Home Accessories: Frill Home
Just one step inside Frill Home and you’ll already be well on your way to completing that room redecorating project, whether such a thing was your intention or not—and that’s just the way co-owners Kristin Ebert and Marci Marsh like it. An eclectic mix of all things decor, Frill offers floor lamps, sconces, furniture, pillows and extravagant extras in styles that are a bit off-the-cuff, from brands including Oly Studio (for which Frill is the official retailer in the region), Bungalow 5, Noir and Worlds Away. The best part? Frill is appropriately merchandised for both the interior designer and the decorating novice. Ladue, 314.696.2222.
Best Vintage Decor: Momoderne
Stumbling across a rare Ib Kofod-Larsen reclining chair or an impressive collection of Danish mid-century items is nothing new at MoModerne, St. Louis’ top go-to for high-quality vintage pieces that fill the void in any room. Customers can take a spin through the well-stocked retail space or shop their monthly estate sales located at homes across the metro area, which feature fantastic collections of mid-century pieces. Webster Groves, 314.495.4095.
Best Gifts for the Home: K. Hall Designs
K. Hall Designs has been a locally owned St. Louis staple for more than 18 years, growing from a small storefront to a well-known brand across the country. Sticking true to its roots, K. Hall is a top source for all things “wicks:” It carries the K. Hall brand and other consciously crafted candles, as well as bath products from Barr-Co., U.S. Apothecary and Simpatico Home. Its flagship Brentwood store even offers a curated selection of decor items to complete your space. Multiple locations, khalldesigns.com.
Best Antiquing: Heirloom Room
Cherokee Street’s Antique Row never disappoints, and this is one of our favorite stops. With a rustic and natural vibe, Heirloom Room is the place for an eclectic selection of antiques and locally crafted or fair-trade wares to keep your personal oasis looking ever so chic. It even has a rentable, fully decorated space for your next small gathering or event. Cherokee Street, 314.772.8000.
Best Bookstore: Left Bank Books
Since its doors opened in 1969, Left Bank Books has remained true to its mission of providing St. Louis readers with a culturally diverse selection of books and programming that fosters creativity and informed thinking. Today, despite a shuttering of national bookstore chains, Left Bank is still at the top of its game. Its staff curates reading lists that parallel current events; organizes book clubs that provide a forum for discussing social justice issues; and coordinates events that bring top literary talent to STL. We can’t argue with the stock of used books in the basement, either. Central West End, 314.367.6731.