Boulder’s a little bit hippie, a little bit high end. We’ve got both extremes here, which expresses itself in our clothing shops, too.
Boulder has extremely high-end, fashion-forward boutiques that carry designer brands, as well as inexpensive, locally-owned shops where you can always score a bargain.
Here’s a look at our favorite places to shop on the two edges.
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Max Clothing Stores, 1177 Walnut St.
Max is the place. Harper’s Bazaar named it a “style leader,” and it carries some of the world’s most desired collections. One claim to fame: In 2011, Diane Von Furstenberg held a fashion show to celebrate Max’s 20th anniversary and raise money for the Children’s Hospital. She was a keynote speaker.
Max also sponsored the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Denver Art Museum in 2012.
Max also has its own brand, Rask Fine Jewelry, which has made it to a list of celebs.
There are also Max locations in Cherry Creek North, Aspen and Denver.
Brands carried: Alexander McQUeen, Dries Van Noten, Céline, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, Prada, Yves St. Laurent, Tomas Maier, Calvin Klein. View the rest of the lines Max carries here.
Knit Wit, 2021 Broadway
Knit Wit is a hard-core high-end clothing boutique in downtown with a European feeling. Hard core, as in this is for real fashionistas who are searching for a unique and powerful piece to add to their wardrobe. You’ll feel like you’re in a small shop in Paris as you browse this women’s clothing store. Price tags are steep but you’re paying for quality, style and rarity; you won’t see this clothing anywhere else in Boulder.
Respect the clothes when you shop here and leave food, drink and bulky strollers outside. Space is limited and the clothes are precious.
Brands carried: Unless you’re a regular at the runway in Milan, you probably won’t know many brands here.
Chelsea, 1646 Pearl St.
Chelsea has been a local favorite, carrying designer women’s clothing in downtown Boulder, for more than 14 years. While you can find a more diverse spread of price points here, Chelsea is still known for its quality and even its sales rack isn’t exactly cheap. Chelsea carries jeans, locally made accessories and chic dresses. While fashion is at the forefront here, this shop is relaxed and not pretentious.
Brands carried: Elizabeth and James, Theory, Calypso, Splendid, James Perse, Genetic Denim, James Jeans, Chan Luu, Sanctuary, Susana Monaco.
Eleanor and Hobbs, 901 Front St. #100, Louisville
The drive east to Louisville is worth it for this cute shop. Eleanor and Hobbs sells highly curated, fashionable clothes, accessories and home goods. Whether you are looking for a quality pair of jeans or a sophisticated top or a casual and trendy new outfit, the staff here is always friendly and can help you browse the racks in the small shop. You can find some accessories on a lower price point, but because Eleanor and Hobbs carries brands like Velvet and Citizens of Humanity, it’s considered a member of Boulder County’s high-end club.
Brands carried: 360 Cashmere, AG Jeans, Amanda Uprichard, Baublebar, Bella Dahl, Barr Co., Benson, Bloom Jewelry, Carrot and Gibbs, Chan Luu, Chaser Brand, Citizens of Humanity, Clare V, Cotton Citizen, Faherty, Frank and Eileen, Heidi Kidd, Jack Black, Joah Brown, Mantraband, Mauritius, Michael Stars, Mother, Monrow, Parker NY, Paula Rosen, Peter Millar, Rails, Sanctuary, S’well, TeeLabs, TOMS, Velvet, White and Warren, Wilt, Wooden Ships.
Willow, 2595 Canyon Blvd.
Willow carries designer brands of everything from simple T-shirts to leather jackets, amazing handbags, dresses and perfect fall sweaters. Willow is a bigger store than many high-end boutiques, which means it has a great selection — of both famous designers and up-and-coming names. Likewise, you can find some less expensive options under $100, but Willow also has the must-have items topping $300.
Brands carried: Zadig & Voltaire, IKKS, IRO, The Lady & The Sailor, McGuire Denim, DL 1961, Rails, Halston, Mackage, Closed Lizzy Denim, Splendid.
Cedar & Hyde Mercantile, 2015 10th St.
This sister-run shop blends high quality with quirky. Find clothes, home decor and more at this unique curated boutique. Cedar & Hyde isn’t over-the-top expensive (although it has some pricey items), but it is packed with hip, quality options with a savvy urban eye. Find denim, dresses and decor all with a story. You can even find gourmet sandwiches and fresh flowers here.
Brands carried: See a full list of the designers at Cedar & Hyde here.
Nod & Rose, 901 Pear St. #101
Nod & Rose in downtown carries clothes for both men and women, although it’s received the most attention for its men’s fashion. The shop describes its style as “creative progressive” yet “classically grounded.” The shop is cozy and hip; you’ll want to stay a while and feel inspired simply by the design. Add to that trend-setting style and diverse labels and you’ve got a fashion win.
Don’t miss the jewelry table.
Nod & Rose is run by a husband and wife duo.
Brands carried: Scotch & Soda, Elle Jay, Tellason.
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Ramble on Pearl, 1638 Pearl St.
Ramble is our favorite place on Pearl Street to get brand name duds on the cheap. Designers actually sell or give Ramble their overstocked and unwanted/unsold clothes, which Ramble sells to shoppers for up to 60 percent off. These aren’t used clothes. Just last season or samples.
As a bonus: Ramble employs people with cognitive disabilities as part of a nonprofit. So not only do you get a good deal but it’s for a good cause. All sold by some of the friendliest sales associates you’ll ever meet.
Brands carried: Krimson Klover, SkirtSports, Icelandic Design, Sherpani Bags, Billabong, Under Armour.
Violette, 1631 Pearl St.
Violette, on the Pearl Street Mall, specializes in dresses, as well as unique clothing and glamorous accessories. While this locally owned (by a mother and daughter) shop sparkles and glistens, many of the options are reasonably priced. Violette describes itself as a “lovely boutique with affordable sensibilities.” You can definitely find a beautiful dress for less than $100 here, maybe cheaper, although there are some pricier options if you can splurge. Also look for bags, hats, jackets and other fashion pieces for women.
Rags Consignments, 3129 28th St.
Rags is a local consignment favorite, specializing in designer brand clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry for women. Sell your unwanted brand-name clothes and buy gently used clothes here for a discount. Rags doesn’t feel like a regular consignment shop because it’s so curated and organized (shop by color). It’s easy to sift through and the turnover is quick, so every time you visit, it feels like a new shop.
Pro tip: Don’t miss the Rags Warehouse, 2890 Bluff St., filled with 6,500 previously consigned clothes. In other words, this is stuff that didn’t sell at Rags but is still worth selling. Like a third chance. Everything here is 20 percent off Rags’ already discounted prices.
Brands carried: Banana Republic, Gap, Ann Taylor.
Common Threads, 2707 Spruce St.
This is another name-brand consignment store, but with a twist. Common Threads also teaching sewing and crafting classes, which can help you save money when shopping (learn how to alter clothing). You can find high-end products for discounted prices here. You never know what you’re going to find. The store is easy to navigate and is well organized. It also offers wardrobe styling and personal shopping.
Common Threads opened in 2007 and is run by a pair of sisters.
Brands carried: Anthropologie, J Crew, Prada, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci, Fendi, Lanvin, Madewell, Lululemon, Free People, James Perse.
Fabulous Finds Upscale Consignment, 600 S. Airport Rd., Longmont
Head to Longmont for this huge upscale consignment store. Fabulous Finds spans 5,000 square feet of clothes, home decor, jewelry, accessories, shoes and even furniture. It also has a special branch (a few doors down) for women size 16 and up. Fabulous Finds has earned several awards, including being named the best consignment store in Longmont and one of the top 25 women-owned businesses of the year.