There’s more to nailing Portland’s signature casual-cool look than simply popping on a little plaid and a pair of hiking boots. After all, a true local is prepared to cycle to work, dodge raindrops and hoof it to a gallery opening in one versatile ensemble. Luckily, the West End and Nob Hill shopping districts make it easy to snap up some quintessentially Portlandic accessories.
Here’s what to look for (just remember to leave the kilts, handlebar mustaches and roller-derby socks to the, er, advanced Portlanders):
A stylish yet durable bag that keeps all of your necessities in one easy spot is definitely on any local’s gotta-have-it list. Ellington leather bags put a Portland spin on this wardrobe basic with leather sourced from an environmentally friendly tannery. Nearby Orox Leather creates hand-made goods that are built to last, including purses and briefcases made from domestically sourced leather and sustainable (often even recycled) trappings.
City guys and gals need their feet to look good but still be able to walk for blocks. A pair of Rachel Comey boots from Solestruck meets both criteria. Danner Boots has been proudly based in the Pacific Northwest for more than 80 years (you can even try out the iconic red-laced boots from the film Wild!), and a pair of iconic thick-soled Doc Martens can be found at their West Burnside outpost.
No Portlander’s outfit is complete without the addition of a printed Pendleton (Oregon-based since 1863) Portland Collection cardigan. Find yours at Frances May. Try on their iconic flannel shirts and wrap yourself in a printed wool blanket at their downtown store, where their expertly made woolen goods can often be found at discount prices.
Fit right in with the biking community with an over-the-shoulder buckle bag from Chrome Industries’ only Northwest storefront – and don’t forget to stash your cash in a locally crafted, vegetable-tanned, domestically sourced Tanner Goods leather wallet. ’Nuff said.