The Pearl is one of Portland’s top shopping destinations. The walkable former warehouse district adjacent to downtown houses a wide range of national and international retailers, as well as homegrown favorites — from the world’s largest independent bookstore to locally owned boutiques.
Books & gifts
There’s a reason Powell’s City of Books is universally loved by locals and visitors alike. The iconic, independently owned bookstore is larger than most city libraries, occupying five floors and an entire city block. Among the nine color-coded rooms, on-site coffee shop and huge assortment of locally made gifts, even Kindle converts can go gaga. Not far away, Oblation Papers & Press also defies the digital world with a unique selection of timeless cards, journals and letterpress gifts.
The vintage- and pinup-inspired swimsuits at Popina are designed locally but have made waves with retro fans all over. Mabel & Zora specializes in dresses with timeless charm, some designed in-house — the kind of closet fixtures that will stick with your wardrobe for years. You’ll also find chic women’s clothing and accessories at House of Lolo, including brands like Parker, Black Halo and Genetic Denim.
Lizard Lounge keeps its customers coming back with table tennis, coffee (even live music during First Thursdays) and stacks of goods for men and women like eco-minded duds from Nau and wool wonders from Oregon outfitter Pendleton. Sustainability is the focus of EcoVibe Apparel, a local boutique whose sleek line of men’s and women’s denim, shirts and jewelry is as stylish as it is earth-friendly.
Within a block of each other — and of Powell’s – you’ll find both an expansive outpost of Philadelphia-based Anthropologie, which offers boho-chic women’s clothing and home goods, and J. Crew sister brand Madewell.
Athletic & outdoors
The Pearl is packed with outdoors outfitters, including national retailers like Filson, The North Face and REI. New Zealand-based Icebreaker, which crafts base layers and more from merino wool, has its North American headquarters here.
Women can stock up on workout wear at two stores located in the same block of Northwest Couch Street. Portland-based retailer Lucy carries clothing, undergarments and accessories for yoga, running and training. Next door, national brand Athleta stocks a full range of gear and offers free fitness classes. Two blocks away, Lululemon Athletica trades in yoga gear for women and men.
Portland-based shoemaker Keen Footwear has gone international, but you can still peruse their distinctive tough-but-stylish shoes at the flagship garage-themed retail space filled with salvaged metals and recycled bleacher seats that double as shoe-testing surfaces. Speaking of international footwear, did you know that Portland is the U.S. headquarters of Dr. Martens? Shop their iconic boots — and 200 more models — across the street from Powell’s.
For fashionable footwear, look no further than Imelda’s and Louie’s Shoes, where men’s and women’s shoes from brands like Corso Como and Frye come in styles aimed at comfort and style.
For the home
Cargo is a colorful, sprawling warehouse stocked full of Asian-import goods for the home and garden. At Cielo Home, housed in a renovated stable, lush linens, chandeliers and curiosities beckon shoppers to infuse their homes with the charms of yesteryear. Major retailers in the Brewery Blocks include West Elm for furnishings and decor and Sur La Table for premium kitchen wares.
The gallery shop at the Museum of Contemporary Craft carries a rotating selection of finely crafted art and home goods — think ceramic dishes, handblown glassware and turned wood bowls.
The Pearl District is home to many art galleries, including names like Froelick, Augen and Elizabeth Leach, which have become synonymous with Northwest arts. If you’re considering investing in art, Portland’s lack of sales tax promises immediate savings.