Every year the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale pretty much blows up the internet…or at least the blogosphere. I mean just search bloglovin’ for Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and you’ll be scrolling forrrreevvveerrr (Sandlot, anyone?). And not for nothing – the sale is pretty huge. But as I discussed on the ‘gram, I can’t get into it. Sure, there’s some good sunnies and purses, some stand out jeans, and SO MANY CARDIGANS AND BOOTIES, but I already have all the basics I could want.
And it’s so overwhelming. I have shopping carts open on Free People, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and god knows how many other sites at any given time, but Nordy’s selection is just too much for me.
This not so popular opinion coupled with a recent shoot with Julia O Test inspired me to write about my favorite not-so-known places: the boutiques in all of the places I’ve lived.
In this photo, I’m wearing pieces from boutiques in Michigan and San Francisco, and my closet is full of stuff from Arkansan boutiques. When I started blogging I had a mini-freakout, realizing linking only truly works with bigger shops. But ain’t no linking gonna stop me from wearing what I love.
So, in spite of the Nordy Sale, here’s my rundown of my favorite local shops and boutiques in the three places I’ve lived. You can shop them all online in some way or another, and get that #nonbasic (or basic if you want, too) look.
Let’s start with my roots:
Michigan shops I ♥.
Haystacks. This boutique is my favorite for accessories, but I have some awesome sweaters from them too. I’m pretty sure they invented infinity scarves, or at least they did in my closet. I seriously own two scarves for every season from the folks at Haystacks and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
Frances Jaye. If you’re looking for the opposite of Nordstrom, shop here. Their necklaces are so freaking unique and every top and dress is something I want in my closet like now. Bonus points for having a super shoppable online store and 15% off your first purchase when you sign up for emails! They also do features on their employees, which just makes it even more special to say TAKE MY MONEY NOW, YOU GUYS ARE WONDERFUL.
Tikal. Every dress I wore in college was from this wonderful little place. A little boho. Always classy. This place is a nonbasic dream. They don’t have a shoppable site (yet) but their Instagram feed is bomb, and I’m sure you can call them right up to purchase. Or just take a little trip to Holland, Michigan 😉
Woosah Outfitters. Erica, the founder and artist of this shop is seriously the coolest person you’ll ever meet. Her apparel is all designed and made from woodcuts BY HER and inspired by nature and the woosah vibe (she explains it better here). I have nearly worn out my Father Nature baseball tee after wearing it every weekend for the past couple years. Everything is made on the comfiest of fabrics – you seriously won’t get out of them once you’re in. Bonus points: your dude will be so pleased with any gift from Woosah, I promise.
Arkansas shops I ♥.
E.Leigh’s. I think I went to this shop every Saturday that I lived in Arkansas. If you’re looking for adorable dresses, rompers, really anything, this is your place. You can shop their Instagram super easily!
Indigo. My next stop every Saturday was Indigo (can you tell I had a lot of free time there?). You can shop their IG as well, and they have my faves of everything. Think Free People and beyond, in boutique form.
Fringe. Yet another dope Southwestern-vibe boutique. They make shopping their IG super easy and post outfits constantly. Bonus points: their Instagram is flat lay goals, and gives me so many outfit ideas.
Maude. ALERT: One of the most shoppable boutique sites I’ve listed. Just take a scroll through their dresses alone and you’ll understand why I love this place. I’ve only been in person once, but have coveted their site ever since.
San Francisco shops I ♥.
Ambiance. There’s a reason Ambiance was voted SF Weekly’s Best Women’s Apparel this year (and 10 other years, too). This place has it all. I spent 3+ hours at their Marina district shop only to realize they have another store front next door! Of course, I spent another good chunk of time in there too. They have the best basics coupled with the most unique dresses. When I have an event, this is the place I go for a dress. I recommend shopping their Instagram if you can’t get to the store front…but really, get to that storefront!!
Betabrand. Heard of the dress yoga pants? Then you’ve heard of Betabrand. They crowdsource and crowdfund clothing designs, and the results are freaking fantastic. I got the All-Day Coat this winter and love every moment I spend in it. My dude also swears by their Bike to Work Britches. And if you’re looking for poop emoji apparel, look no further.
Audrey. You can’t quite shop these guys online yet, but they’re definitely one to watch. I got a couple items here and love them all (the waffle sweater I’m wearing, for example) and they’re SO inexpensive for the area, guys! Next time you’re on Valencia, please please check them out.
Wallflower. My new favorite vintage shop! Again, on Valencia, I want everything in this place. They even have an online shop for you out-of-towners that crave authentic SF fashion.
Little Paper Planes. This little shop on Valencia is my go-to for all jewelry. I’m really not into earrings and rings I can’t wear every day, and these guys make stuff that lasts. Little Paper Planes is a true artist shop – per their site, “Little Paper Planes assists artists in their careers” – so you should DEFINITELY SUPPORT THEM. They started out as an online shop, too, so all ya’ll non-natives can shop from your couches too.
Shop the shops I just mentioned.
Now, go get out there (or to the sites) and shop!
Photos by Julia O Test Photography.
Top. Audrey SF.
Jewelry. Little Paper Planes.