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 abundant selection of talented local makers in the West End of downtown and Nob Hill shopping districts make it easy to snap up some quintessentially Portland accessories. Read on for tips on how to dress like a Portlander (no kilts, handlebar mustaches or roller-derby socks required).
How to Dress Like a Portlander
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. 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. 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 book and following 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 downtown at Pendleton’s Home Store, where their expertly made woolen goods can often be found at discount prices.
Vintage Shopping in Portland
Browse costume jewelry, tailored suits and racks upon racks of dresses at Portland's nearly 50 vintage shopping destinations.
Shoe Shopping in Downtown Portland
Has trekking around Portland worn holes in your shoes? Head to these tax-free footwear staples and you’ll be back to exploring in no time!
Jewelry Shopping in Downtown Portland
Downtown Portland boasts an impressive batch of established luxury jewelers poised to make any diamond-encrusted fantasy a reality.
Union Way Shopping Arcade
Evoking Paris’ intimate passageways and Scandinavian architecture, this shop-filled alley connects downtown Portland’s West End with the Pearl District.
Shop for Made-In-Portland Goods
These companies churn out consistently cool made-in-Portland products, from fashionable swimwear and accessories to leather goods and lighting.
Anyone looking to dress like a Portlander is required to have at least one item that expresses city pride. For that, Portland Gear has you covered. Think “I ❤️ New York” but with a west-coast vibe. From hats and t-shirts to hoodies and scarves, this local shop is famous for a “P” logo that includes the state of Oregon in the letter’s negative space.
Garnish is one of those rare Portland-based businesses where every step of the production process is completed locally. The women’s clothing and accessories brand covers the basics from essential everyday blouses to show-stopping above-the-knee dresses. Garnish also offers personal stylist appointments and shopping parties for groups.
Ethically made clothing brand Herbivore may have stated in a spare bedroom of a Southeast Portland apartment in 2002, but today, the brand partners with other vegan-and-cruelty-free brands in the “Vegan Mini-Mall” on Southeast 12th and Stark streets. Shoppers can purchase clothing, wallets and belts, as well as books, pantry goods and even scrunchies.
The City of Roses is also known for its emphasis on streetwear. Portland fashion aficionados with this stylistic bent head to Compound. The shop showcases several niche, underground, iconic and hype brands. Still, it also acts as a community hub for people interested in growing and developing the streetwear industry beyond the retail experience. In addition to apparel, Compound also has a curated selection of toys, accessories and sneakers.
Wildfang, another began-in-an-apartment brand, is devoted to rethinking gender norms in fashion. Tired of waiting for the industry to develop women’s blazers with real pockets and button-downs that fit female frames, two Nike veterans launched their own clothing store and filled it with coveralls, vests, rompers and more.
Family-owned retailer MACHUS strives to work with the most compelling up-and-coming designers in men’s contemporary fashion and curates its collection with this goal in mind. The company’s private label sells small-batch designs. Shoppers can find these items alongside other brands at the East Burnside retail space.
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