Best Shopping Destination for Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen
It’s part of every guidebook to Atlanta. It’s heralded as the premiere shopping destination of the South. Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Versace all reside here. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are nothing to balk at, either. And let us not forget Jeffrey Kalinsky, who in 1994 introduced Atlanta to high-end fashion by opening Jeffrey alongside his already successful shoe boutique Bob Ellis (now part of Jeffrey). Walking through PHIPPS PLAZA, one can imagine what life must be like for the rich and fabulous. With the addition of such boutiques as New York staple Barney’s Co-op, trendy chain Intermix and classic line Theory, we paupers are still breaking the bank — and perhaps considering a second mortgage.
3500 Peachtree Road. 404-262-0992. www.simon.com.
Best Boutique for Trendsetters
It’s unusual to stay relevant in fashion as long as BILL HALLMAN has, but somehow, this venerable store seems to have the freshest, cheekiest looks to help you stay ahead of the crowd. And now occupying an expansive 6,000-square-foot space, it has enough room to be twice as good. BH has always been about more than trendy denim and hipster T-shirts, but the addition of such men’s brands as Paul Smith and John Varvatos has upped the sophistication quotient. The women’s side, meanwhile, is off the hook, with more bags, accessories and even a carefully selected vintage selection.
784-792 N. Highland Ave. 404-876-6055. billhallman.com.
Best Place for Timeless Threads
You could haunt Goodwill like a ghost and never find vintage items as choice as those at STEFAN’S. From ’50s bowling shirts and fur-trimmed swing coats to wool fedoras and over-the-top evening wear, this 30-year-old L5P shop stocks pristine items that look and wear like brand-new. It also carries cuff links, eyeglasses and even space-age curtains in a store that’s meticulously organized despite being crammed with merchandise. The attention to detail extends to the elaborate window displays, which are among the most inventive and inviting in town.
1160 Euclid Ave. 404-688-4929. stefansvintage.com.
Best Not-so-bargain Bargain Shoppin’
The coveted spring 2007 Stella McCartney dress — a silk, strapless A-line mini — still, months later, haunts our dreams. And those Sergio Rossi stilettos? Don’t even get us started. It’s hard being a broke girl with a rich girl’s wants. But at LUXE, let the nightmares be gone. The well-appointed boutique recently has reopened its doors, this time on Marietta Street in of-the-moment West Midtown. Owner Jenn Ripley scours the land in search of recent seasons’ hot designs and sells them for 50 percent to 70 percent off retail. The above-mentioned dress, at $649, might not be cheap — but compared with its original tag of $2,700, it’s a steal. And so be it if we’re a season off. We can rest easy knowing the fashion of our dreams really can come true.
1000 Marietta St., Suite 102. 404-815-7470. www.luxeatlanta.com.
Best OTP Bargain Couture
Despite its location in a drab strip shopping center off the beaten path in the suburban jumble of Sandy Springs, FANTASTIC FINDS delivers the goods, fashion-wise. The modestly appointed consignment shop is filled with pre-owned jackets, skirts and little black dresses from such hot labels as Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Bebe and Chloe, as well as samples and close-outs from top designers and high-end stores. On a good day, you might walk out with a Stella McCartney top or a Chanel bag, or find a gem on the $5 rack. Fantastic, yes?
220 Sandy Springs Circle, Suite 189. 404-303-1313.
Best Sample/Trunk/Clearance Sale
The Big Apple has the fabled semiannual Barney’s Warehouse Sale; we’ve got the locally renowned INTOWN BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE, where bargain hunters can score seriously marked-down duds from Bill Hallman, P. Valentine, Veruca, Laced Up, Mitzi & Romano, Wish and other merchants of edgy attire. Deals are especially strong on jeans from such makers as Evisu, Acne and Seven, but there also are T-shirts, sweaters, dresses and shoes out the wazoo. The two-day fashion free-for-all takes place in a windowless, cement-floored stockroom a half-mile from the Carter Center. The only question is, can you wait until February (or July) for the next sale?
728 Ralph McGill Blvd. 404-876-6055.
Best Store Makeover
Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHo art gallery — if you weren’t so consumed with browsing through its racks of Nice Collective, True Religion and Martin Margiela. The clean lines, black-and-white palette and stark furnishings of the main floor are made less imposing by the use of lowly materials such as bare plywood for wall paneling and construction nails for accessory hooks. Downstairs, the dim, book-lined shoe vault, where specialty kicks rest dramatically on glowing white boxes, is an equally captivating space. And the brilliant ad campaign — shots of local musicians wearing Wish’s wares — only complements the store’s hot new look.
447 Moreland Ave. 404-880-0402. wishatl.com.