Thanks to a trove of design talent, half a dozen local designers have competed on Project Runway (with four of them nabbing the grand prize). This attention has translated into a surplus of places to suit up for day or night. Check out the central city’s top retail hubs for a mix of both name-brand designers and signature indie aesthetics.
Within easy walking distance of central downtown and accessible by both the Portland Streetcar and MAX light rail, Portland’s burgeoning West End district is a true haute hot spot. Wildfang headlines the trendy cluster of shops with its iconic streetstyle apparel, shoes and accessories that transcend gender.
Woonwinkle, or “living shop” in Dutch, the home and accessories store offers modern and colorful goods with long-lasting appeal. Roam the airy space to find anything from colorful geometric clay earrings to an eye-popping vase ready to display in your living room.
Opened in summer 2013, Union Way occupies an alley between the Ace Hotel and Powell’s Books with a European-style arcade filled with shops and restaurants. The offerings include high-end denim from Self Edge, made-in-Portland Danner Boots and more.
Evoking Paris’ intimate passageways and Scandinavian architecture, this shop-filled alley connects downtown Portland’s West End with the Pearl District.
Downtown Portland boasts an impressive batch of established luxury jewelers poised to make any diamond-encrusted fantasy a reality.
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!
Portland is also home to big-name fashion houses. Nordstrom provides pure couture candy with legendary lines like Chanel and Gucci. Just blocks from the main store, fashion insiders snatch up apparel and accessories at up to 70% off original prices at Nordstrom Rack. Nearby, Pioneer Place spans four city blocks with more than 70 retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Tiffany & Co., Apple, Zara and H&M.
Coveted brands can also be found at luxury boutique Mario’s and women’s shop Mercantile. For unmentionables worth talking about, visit underU4men, North America’s largest men’s underwear store. Need new kicks? The flagship Nike Portland caters to runners in a museum-like space.
The Pearl District 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, Powell’s City of Books, to locally owned boutiques.
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.
The Pearl is packed with outdoor outfitters, including national retailers like Filson and REI. New Zealand-based Icebreaker, which crafts base layers and more from merino wool, has its North American headquarters here.
Stock up on workout wear at two stores located in the same block of Northwest Couch Street. National brand, Athleta, stocks a full range of gear and offers free fitness classes. Just 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.
At Cielo Home, housed in a renovated stable, lush linens, chandeliers and curiosities beckon shoppers to infuse their homes with the charms of yesteryear. West Elm is also nestled in the Brewery Blocks for furnishings and decor. Woman-owned SMG Collective showcases artisan-made rugs, poufs and more for the home.
In the Northwest neighborhood (also known as Nob Hill or the Alphabet District), century-old Victorian and Craftsman-style storefronts housing unique boutiques stand alongside national retailers, interspersed with coffee shops and on-trend restaurants and bars. In short, it’s a shopper’s paradise.
At the top of Nob Hill and best known for its lines of Portland bridge-inspired bracelets, Betsy & Iya handcrafts each sought-after piece right on-site. Oregon-based gallery and boutique Twist stocks an impressive array of handcrafted jewelry and art pieces, and Gem Set Love, a go-to spot for estate engagement and wedding rings, is also a great place to treat yourself to a vintage or locally designed bracelet, necklace or pendant. And a pinnacle of Portland’s thriving DIY scene, Tender Loving Empire presents a plethora of gifts, t-shirts, jewelry, local music, housewares, cards and much more.
Make sure Rover looks just as fashionable as his owner by picking up one of Cycle Dog‘s stylish, eco-friendly collars, which are handmade made from the soft rubber of recycled bicycle tire tubes.
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