We mentioned Boston magazine’s “Best of Boston” ranking a few posts back. Today, we’ll present a few our favorite spots to shop from their list along with the magazine’s descriptions of the various locales.
Books: Brookline Booksmith
Despite our devotion to Kindles and iPads, it takes just two minutes at Brookline Booksmith for us to fall in love with the printed word all over again: the scuffed hardwood floors, worn from decades of use; the steady, friendly conversation at the register; the lulling background jazz; and, of course, the bookshelves, chock full of fiction and non-, paperbacks and hardcovers, the very old and the novel new.
279 Harvard St. Brookline 617-566-6660 brooklinebooksmith.com
Vintage Clothing: Artifaktori
The success of a vintage look is generally determined by whether or not it screams “time machine.” That’s why we love Artifaktori, in Beacon Hill. Its iconic accessories immediately make an ensemble pop, without looking like pop-culture throwbacks: a bright ’70s handbag here, a pair of Aurora Borealis clip-ons there. And on those rare days when we do feel the urge to turn back the clock head to toe, the clothing selection is so refined it’s hard to go wrong.
121 Charles St. Boston 617-367-5854 artifaktori.com
Men’s Clothing: Uniform
A small but well-thought-out selection of hats, bags, bathing suits, shirts, and pants from brands both familiar (Levi’s) and niche (the U.K.-bred collection Brixton) means that even if you don’t know your way around a dressing room, you’ll walk out of here looking like you do.
511 Tremont St. Boston 617-247-2360 uniformboston.com
Women’s Clothing: Vera
Radhika Rana and Vivek Patel’s year-and-a-half-old Beacon Hill shop is a breath of fresh air on a sometimes-stagnant retail scene. The Fashion Institute of Technology-trained duo eschew safe, seen-it-everywhere brands in favor of global and emerging designers like Elliatt, Kami, By Zoe, and Bodice, adding spice and surprise to Boston wardrobes.
107 Charles St. Boston 617-367-0305 www.shopvira.com
Antiques: America Dural
Among Cantabrigians’ best-kept secrets is America Dural, hidden on a quiet street in Observatory Hill. An unfussy storefront conceals treasures from every period: midcentury Bertoia chrome chairs, ornate Georgian mahogany chests, a refreshing selection of contemporary art. Only a pro could set up such an enticing array of home furnishings—and, in fact, the showroom is part of Phillip Miller’s interior design business. You could buy a single piece, but then again, why not just engage Miller to bring his cultivated eye to your entire home?
143 Huron Ave. Cambridge 617-661-4100 americadural.com