AOL PICK from our Editors
Newbury Street serves as the hub of Boston shopping. Brands like Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade and Ermenegildo Zegna planted their Boston outposts there, along with a slew of smaller, local boutiques. Now the action is spreading out around the city, most notably to the South End. But idiosyncratic specialty shops are now scattered all over town, including in odd corners of places like Somerville. Worth noting: As in most other Northeast cities, Boston’s central shopping district has gone the way of its local department stores. No more Jordan Marsh and no more Filene’s means you can skip Downtown Crossing as a Boston shopping destination.
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Sure, it’s a mall. But every trip includes at least one rainy day, right? And Copley Place offers one-stop luxury shopping like nowhere else in Boston, or New England for that matter. The 75 stores include Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss and BCBGMAXAZRIA. Parking, restaurants and two hotels—The Westin Hotel and The Boston Marriott Copley Place—are also tucked in there.
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Neighborhood: Back Bay
The Newbury Street boutique, founded 30 years ago by Ines Capelli continues to set the standard for high-style women’s wear in town, frequently appearing on best-of-Boston shopping lists. Owner Leslee Shupe, Capelli’s hand-picked successor, knows how to change with the times, while always pleasing customers who can afford four-figure price tags. No wonder the Serenella’s Facebook friends range from designers like Milan’s Massimo Alba to boldfaced Boston names like Suzy Welch and Tonya Chen Mezrich.
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Neighborhood: South End
If you find yourself wondering where that guy you saw on the street got that perfect hipster hat, casual but sharp shirt or eye-catching messenger bag, odds are he was shopping at Uniform. From Original Penguin to Ben Sherman to Property Of, Uniform has the brands that will work at the cooler offices in town, as well as the club. They’re looks you won’t find many other places as you're shopping in Boston.
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The sign outside Leavitt & Peirce says “Gifts—Tobacco—Games.” That hardly conveys the idiosyncratic appeal of this 127-year-old shop across the street from a main gate to Harvard Yard. Cigarettes, pipe tobacco and all the equipment that goes with the—let’s face it—unhealthy habits are a stock in trade here. But one will also find a wide array of chess and backgammon sets and unusual items, from wooden Go bowls to a pewter, casket-shaped flask, to monkey bookends. Leavitt & Peirce is steeped in history, unavoidably masculine and a bit offbeat—all staples for a fun stop while shopping in Boston.
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After 20 years in the Back Bay, LouisBoston (“Louie,” not “Lewis”) is building an exciting new home on the waterfront, almost next door to the Institute of Contemporary Art. The doors opened there in early 2010. Founded in the late 1800s, Louis today is the city’s prime clothier, especially for men, frequented by celebrities, athletes, the powerful and the hip. Owner Debi Greenberg, who took over from her father in 2003, plans to add a spa to the clothing store and restaurant. And she hopes the new location will maintain Louis’ special place in the city’s fashion scene, which she felt was damaged when stores like H&M and Victoria’s Secret moved into her Newbury Street ’hood. Despite these potential threats to the location's ambiance, Louis still remains on our list as some of the best Boston shopping.
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