Visit Downtown Seattle's West Edge Shopping District

The neighborhood nickname might be unfamiliar, but these shops are well known for innovative style.

Stroll south down Western Avenue below Pike Place Market; once you hit University Street, you’ll find the first gold mine, (1) Liave, stocked with carefully chosen European home décor. Owner Cornelia Veit scouts Parisian trade shows, bringing back finds like German-made lamb’s wool blankets ($150-$300) or Ahmaddy print scarves that come in asymmetrical shapes ($80-$120).

Head up the Harbor Steps toward First Avenue to discover glam women’s wear hot spot (2) The Finerie, brimming with local designers, including Seattle favorites Heilyke and Masha Osoianu. This fall, Project Runway’s Christopher Collins is also delighting Finerie shoppers with his vegan suede jackets ($375).

Saunter one block down to experience the soul of men’s clothing in (4) Jack Straw’s urban space. With a knack for cross-generational appeal, owner John Richards plays to quality-conscious shoppers with mainstay collections such as Junya Watanabe, Dries Van Noten and Engineered Garments.

Next door, (5) A Mano has your footwear covered with thoughtful, handmade European shoes such as an Elisanero metallic oxford lace-up ($475).

Just across First Avenue, (6) Far4 will delight you with stylish, unusual finds, such as magically illustrated, decal porcelain plates (shown above) or a Buccellati sterling silver fig-shaped dish ($325).

The (7) Seattle Art Museum Gift Shop is a gift haven for lovers of local artists’ unique work. Our current obsessions: Peggy Hunt’s bold statement jewelry made from recycled bicycle tires ($160–$240) and Deb Schwartzkopf’s detailed ceramic dishes.

Nearby at (8) Sandylew, revel in eclectic sophistication from around the globe with women’s wear from Heide Ost, Silkbox and Neesh. This fall, owner Sandy Lew-Hailer is stocking on-trend equestrian pants as well as her very own Grrdog sterling silver and mixed-media jewelry line.

Wrap up your fall shopping with classic Marimeko striped crew neck tees ($80–$300) from (9) Pirkko, just across the street.

Beauty bonus: When 4 p.m. rolls around, take a “Very Happy Hour” break at (3) American Cutting Co. for a shampoo, deep conditioning with an essential-oil scalp massage, blowout and, yes, a complimentary cocktail—all for $65.

Park and go
Loop behind and below Pike Place Market on Western Avenue to snag a two-hour metered street space (free all day on Sundays).

Extra incentive
West Edge is papered in pretty paper supply shops: It’s a bit of a jaunt from the Market, but be sure to check out (10) Paper Hammer, on Second Avenue and Union Street, for a plethora of wonders, such as doorknob hangers, garland letter sets and coasters.

You’ll have to squeeze into (11) Paper Feather, Jennifer Cullin’s darling 180-square-foot space, tucked away on Western Avenue directly across from the Pike Place parking garage. Cullin gives old delights new life, crafting 1920s sheet music into decorative, floral embellishments ($3).

Located at the foot of the Pike Street Hillclimb, feast your eyes on (12) Pike Street Press’ letterpress cards, posters and invitations, and snag a few clever “Decomposition Books” made from recycled paper, bound with trendy print covers ($9.95).


The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

(From left to right)

1.  Sock It to Me
This Portland-based company has the corner on the whimsical-sock market. Go for the women’s Shakespeare-themed “Taming of the Shoe” or the men’s Multi Player gaming sock for a silly but sophisticated fashion statement. $11.50–$12,

2.  Darn Tough
The name says it all. Based in Vermont and manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these mid-calf, micro crew hike/trek socks are sure to keep your tootsies dry and happy on a hike. The fun colors will make you even happier to take off your boots at the end of the day. $20, available at

3.  Peony and Moss
Founded by Seattle local Eva Spitzer, Peony and Moss brings the pretty with these high-quality cotton socks. We like the Scandinavian pattern knee high, but the thigh high works well with the high-booted crowd. $30–$32,

4.  Mod Socks
Bellingham’s Mod Socks pays serious homage to its Northwest roots with its “Bigfoot Loves Washington,” a women’s knee sock, and the “Bear Necessities” crew sock for men. $10,

5.  Strideline
This Seattle-based company took the city by storm with its skyline lacrosse sock. Now it has come up with a new digital ink technology that brings photo-realism and hometown pride to your feet. Get the new skyline, Husky Stadium or the Sounders sock just in time for soccer season. $16–$18,

6.  Balega
The unique left/right construction and deeper heel pocket of these crew socks make them a favorite in local specialty running shops, such as Super Jock ’n Jill. Balega’s ultralight quarter sock, $13, has been called the sheerest, lightest sock on the market and has garnered lots of hard-core running fans. Available at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle, Capitol Hill, 911 E Pine St.; 206.329.1466;