Start your outing on the west side of First Avenue at (1) Fini, located near Pike Place Market in the courtyard of the Inn at the Market building. Step inside and be transported into the closet of an elegant Parisian: Druzy necklaces sparkle from their stand (most pieces are $50–$90), a stack of Thomas Paul cotton voile scarves beckons, and brightly patterned Marimekko umbrellas ($20) sit at the ready for a shower.
Around the corner, on First Avenue, a mountain (wo)man vibe exudes from (2) Zebra Club; the 26-year-old high-fashion-meets-sportswear shop is the first stateside boutique to carry eco-friendly, truly waterproof Perfect-Dry cotton garments (including a limited-edition sweatshirt for $85).
Your inner wrangler will love (3) J. Gilbert Footwear, stocked with luxurious leather footwear ranging from clogs to crocodile-encrusted boots by Lucchese ($150–$900).
Take 10 strides into (4) Ottica Seattle to peruse smart, high-end eyewear and sunglasses.
See “Il maestro” (5) Gian DeCaro Sartoria for your suit needs: The custom tailor specializes in trim Italian suit wear, and also offers a sublime selection of socks, neckwear and pocket hankies ($25–$225).
Dana Guyton, owner of (6) Sustalux (shown above), moved from SoDo into the new Makers work and event space at First Avenue and Lenora this summer to expand her collection of vintage clothes, designer bags, oversized sunglasses and funky colorful belts—all offered at prices that make thrifters go weak in the knees. (We’ve purchased many a frock for less than $40.)
Guyton has some company: Tucked into a hidden suite behind the Cherry Street Coffee House, Natalia Biner’s new (7) Sell Your Sole Consignment Boutique boasts impressively well-named garments and shoes (say, Prada, Jimmy Choo and Vivienne Westwood). Biner has organized her russet- and lime-colored space by garment type, with colorful dresses from the likes of Kate Spade opposite edgy Vince jeans and plaid Alexander McQueen skirts; $100 designer dresses abound, with more unique pieces topping $500.
Cross to the eastern side of First Avenue at Blanchard Street, where bohemian boutique (9) The Endless Knot is doling out deals via weekly promo codes on its Facebook page; follow it for as much as 30 percent off oversized Matt & Nat boho bags, Dear Creatures sweet day dresses ($118) or embellished cardigans (around $68).
Long has (10) Karan Dannenberg clothier reigned at 2232 on First Avenue, where the charismatic owner has amassed an eclectic collection of designer garments in her 14 years of business. Now, Dannenberg is spreading the local love, carrying floaty, brightly hued frocks by Belltown’s own Cameron Levin ($80–$210) and Martha Driver’s Rock Star Jewelry statement necklaces (starting at $200).
In anticipation of a major remodel in January, (11) Baby & Co. owner Jill Donnelly is celebrating 36 years in business with fall garments themed around the concept of dance, adding luxurious Italian designers Hache and Ter et Bantine as well as girly frocks from Parisian brand Paule Ka to the boho-meets-Euro wear the shop is known (and loved) for.
Alhambra (12) tantalizes with big names—Gary Graham, Inhabit and Dana Kellin, to call out a few—served up with low-key attitude in a sweetly soothing space complete with big beams and luxurious fitting rooms.
Take a quick field trip south on Second Avenue to Stewart Street. There you’ll find (13) Ian, a shop akin to our ideal boyfriend: friendly, well dressed and with a wicked sense of humor. These qualities shine through in the dark red, skinny J Brand jeans ($198), cozy striped three-quarter tops from Life/After/Denim ($59) and cheeky Paste tees with screen-printed parrot images ($45). A Seattle-made, fleece-lined Freeman jacket ($265) completes any fall ensemble.
Across the street, take a fancy to (14) Fancy, a jewel-box boutique glittering in locally designed necklaces, rings and earrings (such as the statement jewels shown above). In addition to killer crystal necklaces from artist Debra Baxter ($230-$375) and metal earrings from West Seattleite Sarah Loertscher ($135-$210; see page 131), the shop carries its own line of chunky rings (from $1,100).
Beauty bonus: Drop your bags at the car, then spruce up your ’do at (8) Gary Manuel Salon. (Before hitting one of Belltown’s famous happy-hour spots. Might we recommend ordering the “broccoli blasted” at Black Bottle?) For $30, the elite team will shampoo, massage your scalp, dry and style your mane in about 30 minutes.
Park and go
Parking on First Avenue near Pike Place Market can be spotty; the best bets are farther north past Lenora and on Second Avenue between Blanchard and Vine streets.
Local photographer Charlie Schuck has re-created the curiosity shop concept at (15) Object, his new gallery and gift boutique perched across the street from Tavolàta on Second. At his shop (open Thursday-Saturday), Shuck has curated an assortment of locally made furniture, kitchenware (including Ballard company Ladies and Gentlemen’s darling salt and pepper shakers, $60) and wall hangings from Iacoli and McAllister, and Bainbridge design firm Grain, along with the occasional weekend bag in which to carry your finds.