Morning: Once neglected, Seattle’s Downtown has blossomed into a busy hub of shopping and sightseeing. Begin your day out with a tour of the area’s busy flagship stores. You’ll find popular outdoor outfitters like REI and Filson, department stores like Nordstrom and Barneys New York, and culinary destinations like Sur La Table. Then there are the seemingly endless stalls and shops within the labyrinth of Pike Place Market. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat before heading back out into the crowds.
Afternoon: The story goes that Seattleites are more driven by practicality than high-fashion when it comes to picking out their wardrobes; in a damp and outdoorsy city like this, anoraks, hiking boots, and fleece pullovers are more common than leather jackets and heels. But while pragmatism is an element of the local look, Seattle’s eclectic boutiques show off duds that are free-spirited, bohemian, and totally unique. Pike-Pine, the city’s hippest hood, is the perfect place to discover left-field Seattle style. Hit up Totokaelo for boundary-pushing womenswear and menswear, drop by Glasswing Shop for clothing and housewares (including a range of stylish coffee accessories, because this is Seattle), and visit Le Frock Vintage for throwback designer finds. And before you leave the nabe, don’t forget to make like a local and drop by the Elliott Bay Book Company, which is one of the best indie bookstores in this literary city.
Evening: Finally, pick up your bags and head out to Ballard, another local hub for off-kilter, independently minded style. Browse the playful fashions at Horseshoe, see the eyebrow-raising curios at Lucca Great Finds, and expand your vinyl collection at Sonic Boom Records. The best part about winding down your shopping day in Ballard? It’s also one of the best districts in Seattle for dining and drinking. After a full day out, reward yourself with oysters and Muscadet at The Walrus and the Carpenter, and toast to your shopping success.
Record Store © iStock: urbancow
Downtown © iStock: Mlenny