An Insider’s Guide to Portland Shopping

Between tourists coming into the shop and long lost friends that magically reappear via Facebook Messenger because I’m literally the only person they know in Portland, I get a lot of questions asking where to go and what to do in town. I developed a copy-and-paste email that I send to everyone with inquiries, as well as a little map that we hand out to customers in the shop, giving guidance on eats, shopping, drinks (although I’m not an expert on this one) and local adventures. And so, as a born and raised Portland girl, I figured it might be nice to publish this list on the good ol’ internet, starting with my favorite shops around town.

Interestingly enough, I’m not the biggest shopper. I know that’s funny for someone that chose retail as their career path, but it’s true. I like to buy quality pieces that will last a long time and have an element of stylistic staying power, so the stores that I’m featuring here all buy into that concept (Forever21 did not make the cut…). I also happen to know the owners of most of these stores personally, and can vouch for the fact that they are all incredibly wonderful, inspiring, talented, and kind people. So that doesn’t hurt. Now on to the list…

 West End Select Shop  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: West End Select Shop is a small but mighty shop featuring some of the coolest international brands that you've never heard of but are going to feel really awesome being able to tell your friends about. West End's owner Andi spent time living in Japan and Amsterdam, and has definitely brought back those vibes to PDX. Her designer list could feature a google translate section, and that's why I love it. Come in for fun, colorful pieces that are truly original.   https://westendselectshop.com/   West End Select Shop Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: West End Select Shop is a small but mighty shop featuring some of the coolest international brands that you’ve never heard of but are going to feel really awesome being able to tell your friends about. West End’s owner Andi spent time living in Japan and Amsterdam, and has definitely brought back those vibes to PDX. Her designer list could feature a google translate section, and that’s why I love it. Come in for fun, colorful pieces that are truly original.   https://westendselectshop.com/    Field Trip  Neighborhood: SE  Why I Dig It: When I moved back to Portland a few years ago, Field Trip was one of the first shops that I stopped into, after reading about it online. I loved the light, bright, and airy space, and was greeting by the lovely owner, Kara, who has a similar experience to me- she had been working in fashion for a long time but had always wanted to try retail and decided to go for it. We quickly bonded over our businesses and similar aesthetic. Kara has turned this space into a haven for wellness, mindfulness, and all around zen, featuring brands that will set the mind and body right. She also hosts workshops with amazing partners like  Free and Native . This place is not to be missed!  http://www.shop-fieldtrip.com/   Field Trip Neighborhood: SE Why I Dig It: When I moved back to Portland a few years ago, Field Trip was one of the first shops that I stopped into, after reading about it online. I loved the light, bright, and airy space, and was greeting by the lovely owner, Kara, who has a similar experience to me- she had been working in fashion for a long time but had always wanted to try retail and decided to go for it. We quickly bonded over our businesses and similar aesthetic. Kara has turned this space into a haven for wellness, mindfulness, and all around zen, featuring brands that will set the mind and body right. She also hosts workshops with amazing partners like Free and Native . This place is not to be missed!  http://www.shop-fieldtrip.com/   Johan  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: If I had to pick one word to describe Johan, it would be 'really-fucking-cool'. This 3-in-1 word also applies to Johan's owner, Laura, who has an ease and confidence about herself and her business that I really admire. Johan started in a small space attached to Laura's home on the East Side and grew into a cool (sorry, it's just the best word for this store) space a few blocks from WM GOODS that sits, quirkily enough, next to a parking garage. The space is spare in its design but chock full of amazing designers, local and beyond, as well as vintage finds. Laura has her finger on the pulse of what the average joe doesn't yet know they're going to be obsessed with in a year, and curates a wearable yet adventurous selection. Go for the clean, minimal selection, stay for the inspiring conversation with Laura.  https://www.shopjohan.com   Johan Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: If I had to pick one word to describe Johan, it would be ‘really-fucking-cool’. This 3-in-1 word also applies to Johan’s owner, Laura, who has an ease and confidence about herself and her business that I really admire. Johan started in a small space attached to Laura’s home on the East Side and grew into a cool (sorry, it’s just the best word for this store) space a few blocks from WM GOODS that sits, quirkily enough, next to a parking garage. The space is spare in its design but chock full of amazing designers, local and beyond, as well as vintage finds. Laura has her finger on the pulse of what the average joe doesn’t yet know they’re going to be obsessed with in a year, and curates a wearable yet adventurous selection. Go for the clean, minimal selection, stay for the inspiring conversation with Laura.  https://www.shopjohan.com    Backtalk  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: Backtalk's owner Katie has a great eye for vintage, color, and interesting finds. She has an eclectic style that spans jewelry, home goods, clothing, and more. The shop aesthetic begs to be featured on your 'Spaces I Love' Pinterest board, with colorful and wavy hanging racks, and layers upon layers of treasures. This is the type of shop that you can start casually browsing and soon realize you've been there for half an hour. I also love Katie for her honesty, sense of humor, and a true love and knowledge of her products.  https://backtalkpdx.com/  Backtalk Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: Backtalk’s owner Katie has a great eye for vintage, color, and interesting finds. She has an eclectic style that spans jewelry, home goods, clothing, and more. The shop aesthetic begs to be featured on your ‘Spaces I Love’ Pinterest board, with colorful and wavy hanging racks, and layers upon layers of treasures. This is the type of shop that you can start casually browsing and soon realize you’ve been there for half an hour. I also love Katie for her honesty, sense of humor, and a true love and knowledge of her products.  https://backtalkpdx.com/  Frances May  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: Frances May is is now the OG of Portland's style movement. When I was growing up in PDX, the best places to shop were Nordstrom and... that's it. In came Frances May with its ridiculously stylish & on trend designer list spanning from Acne, Jesse Kamm, to Rachel Comey, and many newcomers in between. It brought a New York sensibility to a city that (I'm sorry) desperately needed a style upgrade from the usual look of North Face jackets and cargo pants. Bonus: your dude can shop too! This is a store that I hope never leaves, because without it, what would Portland be?  https://www.francesmay.com/  Frances May Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: Frances May is is now the OG of Portland’s style movement. When I was growing up in PDX, the best places to shop were Nordstrom and… that’s it. In came Frances May with its ridiculously stylish & on trend designer list spanning from Acne, Jesse Kamm, to Rachel Comey, and many newcomers in between. It brought a New York sensibility to a city that (I’m sorry) desperately needed a style upgrade from the usual look of North Face jackets and cargo pants. Bonus: your dude can shop too! This is a store that I hope never leaves, because without it, what would Portland be?  https://www.francesmay.com/  Alder & Co  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: If I had to describe Alder & Co in a phrase, it would be 'can I move in?' Between  Hilary Horvath 's incredibly gorgeous floral design business, which is headquartered in the shop, to Alder & Co's beautiful collection of ceramics, home goods, perfect gifts, skincare, and more, this place is a design enthusiast's dream. I go to discover something European that I am too Americano to know about, and leave with the prettiest little something (last time was a pair of Gabriela Artigas earrings) that I didn't know I needed. Also, Alder & Co is right around the corner from WM GOODS, so I've got that neighbor pride!  https://alderandcoshop.com/  Alder & Co Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: If I had to describe Alder & Co in a phrase, it would be ‘can I move in?’ Between Hilary Horvath ‘s incredibly gorgeous floral design business, which is headquartered in the shop, to Alder & Co’s beautiful collection of ceramics, home goods, perfect gifts, skincare, and more, this place is a design enthusiast’s dream. I go to discover something European that I am too Americano to know about, and leave with the prettiest little something (last time was a pair of Gabriela Artigas earrings) that I didn’t know I needed. Also, Alder & Co is right around the corner from WM GOODS, so I’ve got that neighbor pride!  https://alderandcoshop.com/  House of Vintage  Neighborhood: SE  Why I Dig It: House of Vintage pushes me to my limits. And by that I mean that I have some serious merchandising anxiety and stores with packed-in displays tend to overwhelm me, but the loot is usually so good at this place that I don't care. I've been coming to House of Vintage since High School and found that it was the perfect 'let's kill a Saturday afternoon' excursion. From great vintage dresses, weird toys from the 90s that you hope don't come back to haunt you in your sleep, and endless racks of random treasures, I guarantee you'll find something.  http://www.houseofvintagenw.com/portland/  House of Vintage Neighborhood: SE Why I Dig It: House of Vintage pushes me to my limits. And by that I mean that I have some serious merchandising anxiety and stores with packed-in displays tend to overwhelm me, but the loot is usually so good at this place that I don’t care. I’ve been coming to House of Vintage since High School and found that it was the perfect ‘let’s kill a Saturday afternoon’ excursion. From great vintage dresses, weird toys from the 90s that you hope don’t come back to haunt you in your sleep, and endless racks of random treasures, I guarantee you’ll find something.  http://www.houseofvintagenw.com/portland/  Shop Boswell  Neighborhood: SE  Why I Dig It: I first heard about Brookes Boswell's hat business when I lived in NYC and was excited to meet her when I came back to Portland. Her business has grown to include a light and airy studio/shop that gives you the opportunity to figure out what your noggin' size is (because who knows these things), but also to check out her perfect curation of up & coming designers like Caron Callahan, Correll Correll (my personal fave), Paloma Wool, and more.   https://www.shopboswell.us/  Shop Boswell Neighborhood: SE Why I Dig It: I first heard about Brookes Boswell’s hat business when I lived in NYC and was excited to meet her when I came back to Portland. Her business has grown to include a light and airy studio/shop that gives you the opportunity to figure out what your noggin’ size is (because who knows these things), but also to check out her perfect curation of up & coming designers like Caron Callahan, Correll Correll (my personal fave), Paloma Wool, and more.   https://www.shopboswell.us/  WM GOODS  Neighborhood: SW  Why I Dig It: Oh, hi! I didn't see you there! Yes, I included my own shop on this list but honestly, it's because this is where I do most of my shopping. I've worked hard to pick out designers that make comfortable, easy, relaxed, and timeless pieces. Things that can live in your wardrobe year after year without that sinking feeling of buyer's remorse. Personal favorites in the shop include Mara Hoffman, LOQ, Calder Blake, Mary MacGill, and The Great.  https://www.shopwmgoods.com/   WM GOODS Neighborhood: SW Why I Dig It: Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there! Yes, I included my own shop on this list but honestly, it’s because this is where I do most of my shopping. I’ve worked hard to pick out designers that make comfortable, easy, relaxed, and timeless pieces. Things that can live in your wardrobe year after year without that sinking feeling of buyer’s remorse. Personal favorites in the shop include Mara Hoffman, LOQ, Calder Blake, Mary MacGill, and The Great.  https://www.shopwmgoods.com/

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