Did someone say holiday shopping? Yesssss! With a thriving local fashion and design scene, Seattle’s cornucopia runneth over with more than a handful of trendy neighborhoods boasting boutiques brimming with locally-produced and handmade goods. The best part? No matter where you are in the city, you will never be far from vintage and modern duds, books, jewelry, housewares, accessories and more.

Get to the heart of these creative communities and show a little love to local shops with the help of our handy shopping guide, providing the lowdown on all of Seattle’s secret hot spots.

Discover Seattle Getaways

Capitol Hill

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A quick jaunt east of downtown along the bustling Denny Way will land you in Capitol Hill’s vibrant, urban playground. Tuck inside Melrose Market, a modern, more intimate version of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. This hidden gem is home to a burgeoning community of local creators and is a go-to spot for locally-sourced, independently-made goods. Check out Glasswing for an amazing selection of beautiful, on-trend threads as well as adorable bags and jewelry or Butter Home for fabulous modern housewares (think suitcase-friendly mugs and coasters) and printed paper goods.

Head around the corner to find more excellent fashion fits at Rove, bursting with an assortment of rare treasures.

Seattle style maven Jess Estrada from FreshJess says, “I love the mix of vintage and new casual clothes, accessories and trinkets in this Capitol Hill boutique.”

(Inside tip: if vintage is your thing, be sure to make time for Pretty Parlor, to shop vintage styles from the 1950s). Before you leave the Hill, be sure to pop into the famous Elliot Bay Book Co. to poke your nose into some of the more than 150,000 titles lining the shelves.

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If you need a quick pick me up, swing by the plant-based (yes, that means they are also vegan!) ice cream shop Frankie & Jo’s for sweet treats.

Seattleite’s Jennifer Liu states, “They introduce new seasonal flavors every month and they are always interesting and yummy. The everyday ice creams you need to try are the Chocolate Date and the Salty Caramel Ash. They also make one heck of a waffle cone out of oat flour that’s gluten-free!”

Pioneer Square

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Situated in the heart of Seattle, the historic Pioneer Square is where the city got its start and still offers an extensive collection of unique, blink-and-you-might-miss-them boutiques. Look for E. Smith Mercantile, which was inspired by the general stores from the city’s gold rush days with a special Northwest touch. With an endless supply of small-batch goodies, such as sweet smelling essential oils and candles, American-made denim, aromatic bitters in a variety of flavors and stylish home décor, not only will you be able to fill your closet but you can also stock your kitchen and bar.

If you’re like us and can never have enough shoes, head to the sophisticated Clementines and solidify your rank as one of the city’s well-heeled shoppers with a pair of beautifully-crafted shoes that toe the line between stylish and comfortable. On the hunt for the latest fashion picks? Stop by the modern and airy Velouria for independently-made women’s clothing and delicate, handcrafted jewelry, all sourced right here in the Pacific Northwest. Bonus points for dropping by one of their regular styling sessions to create a winning fashion formula.

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Slip inside E. Smith Mercantile’s hidden Back Bar and grab a creative craft cocktail and tasty small bites to fuel your shopping.

Belltown

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Located near the downtown waterfront, Belltown has become one of Seattle’s hippest communities. Its retail-centric First Avenue offers a lineup of boutiques boasting sharp duds and sweet beats within a two block radius. Start your exploration by getting in touch with Seattle’s music scene at the funky record shop SinglesGoing Steady. The knowledgeable staff will make certain that you don’t leave without a whole new stack of vinyl, plus excellent music recommendations for future listening.

Next, scour the racks of high-quality, distinctive clothing at Sassafras, which is chock-full of creations from popular local lines such as Parallel Jewelry, Other Peoples Polyester, Boho Republic and more.

Elizabeth Blanton of Road Trips + Skymiles, says:“I love the local vibe of this boutique that stocks clothing, jewelry and accessories all made by independent designers from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. It’s my go-to shop when I’m searching for a unique gift or a one-of-a-kind outfit for an event.”

If the modern and edgy apparel don’t hook you, the shop’s memorable statement jewelry certainly will. (Inside tip: That spiral staircase leads to a huge studio where 50 percent of the shop’s goodies are crafted, by hand! It doesn’t get much more local than this!)

A quick stroll down the block and you’ll find another excellent boutique called Khulman. From a well-edited collection of on point and hard-to-find men’s designers to buttery leather wallets, you can expect a custom shopping experience. Be sure to take advantage of owner Scott Khulman’s helpful expertise and let him guide you to that perfect winter coat. Seriously, he won’t steer you wrong and will even whip up custom-tailored fits.

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Cozy up Belltown’s at speakeasy-style Bath Gin & Co. for a post-shopping cocktail. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the entrance right away, this gem of a bar is truly hidden – it’s a wooden door nestled in the alleyway between First and Second Avenue. Once inside, your sleuthing skills will be rewarded with an awe-inspiring list of handcrafted beverages. We recommend letting your talented bartender mix up your favorite spirit and watching them work their magic to create a fabulous concoction.

Ballard

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Skip the bustling department stores downtown in favor of heading north to the Scandinavian town of Ballard to shop the neighborhood’s burgeoning selection of unique boutiques. For an adventure in all things retro, head to Trove Vintage. Blanton states, “With a well-curated and artfully displayed selection of vintage clothes, you won’t be disappointed if you wander into this amazing boutique.”

From there, duck into the superbly curated Tides & Pines, which perfectly embodies the Pacific Northwest, from the shop name itself to the stunning prints on the walls. With amazingly-scented incense, an impressive array of natural bath products and fragrances and clothes with local flair, you may need to pick up an extra bag to tote all of your goodies home. Just don’t forget to give the cute resident pup a pat on the head on the way out.

Wander down the block to the unique and stylish Camelion Design, our favorite spot for a variety of novelty accessories, scented candles, clever letterpress greeting cards and books. The shop’s owner handpicks all items made with environmentally safe materials, which makes shopping for your earth-conscious pals a snap.

If you’re up for a little more walking, make a trip to Baleen for affordable and fashion-forward jewelry. Peruse the swoon-worthy lineup of chunky gold statement rings, classic bangles and unique earrings (nearly all of which are handmade in-house in the attached production studio). You are sure to find an excellent gift or two for your trendiest of friends or even yourself!

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Kick back, relax and refuel at one of the ten breweries found within five square miles in Ballard, which is quickly becoming a hotspot for top-notch suds.

Fremont

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The self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe,” the quirky Fremont is one of the most eclectic spots in the city, which is excellent news for shopaholics. Firm believers of the phrase “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” will find themselves at home in the basement of the Fremont Vintage Mall, which is a far cry from your grandma’s antique store. More like a museum than a store, the shop offers curios from nearly every decade for a nostalgia-filled experience.

Fashionistas should be sure not to miss the quality clothing, accessories and jewelry from local designers such as Prairie Underground and Pirouette Essentials at Show Pony or Pipe & Row’s hip closet of designs flown in from as far away as Australia and Demark.

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Cap your day off with something sweet and sample Seattle’s other crave-worthy bean – chocolate! Swing by the Theo Chocolate Factory for a behind-the-scenes tour and enjoy a peek inside the “confection kitchen” as well as see the chocolate production process in action from bean to bar!

With an unrivaled local shopping scene, Seattle is the perfect spot to expand your fashion horizons and discover your new favorite designer at shops that stock an amazing number of handcrafted and locally-made apparel and jewelry. The next time you are in town and in need of a little retail therapy and some fresh threads, be sure to save time to get lost on the city’s bustling streets and snag some premium denim, beautiful baubles and maybe a new shirt or two! Just don’t blame us if it doesn’t all fit in your carry on.

 

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Photo Credits: Feature Photo: Diane Webb 1st photo block: Pretty Parlor. Credit: Laura Musselman Duffy. Melrose Market. Credit: Richard Ha. Pretty Parlor. Credit: Laura Musselman Duffy. Elliot Bay Book Co.  Credit: Sfgamchick. 2nd photo block: Pioneer Square. Credit: Lori Butler. 3rd photo block: Singles Going Steady. Credit: Matthew Rutledge. 5th photo block: Fremont Vintage Mall. Credit: Andy Nystrom.  Show Pony. Credit: Show Pony. Theo Chocolate Factory. Credit: Richie Diesterheft. Fremont Troll. Credit: Justin Hodkinson.

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