From formal to funky – and everything in between – Charlotte is filled with unique places to shop. Here are several favorites (but get out there and find your own list of top shops).
Capitol and Poole Shop
Thanks to the expert eye and personal style of owner Laura Vinroot Poole, Capitol has put Charlotte on the fashion map. You can hardly look through an issue of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar without a reference to Capitol or its sister store-within-a-store, Poole Shop. Located in SouthPark, Capitol is a go-to for Charlotte’s best-dressed, including NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s wife, Chandra. It carries carefully curated selections from top designers ranging from Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney to Lanvin and YSL. The more-casual Poole Shop is a favorite among trendsetters looking for the perfect jeans or dress, including “Bachelorette” Emily Maynard. And the two-story vertical garden inside the building is an attraction in its own right.
4010 Sharon Road. 704-366-0388; www.capitolcharlotte.com.
Boris & Natasha
Owner Hope Nichols – a force on Charlotte’s fashion and music scene – brings her fun and funky persona to the men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and accessories offered at her Plaza Midwood store. Everyone from artists to socialites to hipsters go to find that perfect item to express themselves. Part store, part hangout lounge, you never know who you’ll find shopping and mingling amid the creative décor.
1214 Thomas Ave. 704-375-0079; www.facebook.com/pages/BorisNatasha-Clothing-Boutique/160179624030619.
Bruce Julian Clothiers
The namesake of the menswear store is a member of one of North Carolina’s most fashionable families. Julian’s father founded Milton’s men’s clothing store in 1948 in Chapel Hill; his brother, designer Alexander Julian, became famous for making bright colors on men cool. Sports figures, entertainers and businessmen flock to the Charlotte store for everything from casual looks to custom clothing. The atmosphere is a draw, too, with TVs showing sports all day, a putting green, vintage toys and an in-store bar that serves Bloody Marys made with Julian’s artisan Bloody Mary mix (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
8128-300 Providence Road in the Arboretum shopping center. 704-364-8686; www.brucejulian.com.
Many consider this Dilworth shop Charlotte’s best place to find that perfect gift or card. It started out as a tiny bookstore more than 20 years ago and now offers a unique selection of home accessories, toys, games, pet items and more. Everything is chosen with a sense of style and humor. Some of the cards may induce blushing, but that’s part of the store’s appeal. If you can’t decide what to buy, the store’s super-friendly staff always has great gift suggestions.
300 East Blvd. 704-333-7130; www.paperskyscraper.com.
Reid’s Fine Foods
The original store opened in 1928 but now has a new location in Myers Park that maintains the charm of the past – with modern updates. Considered to be among the top speciality food stores in the country, Reid’s is known for its butcher shop, in-store deli and treats from the Carolinas (double-dipped dark-chocolate-covered pecans, anyone?). Plus, it offers cooking classes, wine tastings and a catering service that will bring the foodie fun to your home.
2823 Selwyn Ave. 800-998-9855; www.reids.com.
Described as “Paris flea market meets SoHo,” this Plaza Midwood store has a revolving selection of home décor from merchants, designers and artists. You’ll find everything from original art to Mid-Century Modern furniture and antiques. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, there’s also the option of ordering custom pieces, including pillows, sofas and headboards. Among its savvy shopping fans is actress Claire Danes, who stocked up on furniture and accessories for the apartment she uses in Charlotte while filming the Showtime series “Homeland.”
1401 Central Ave. 704-930-7890; www.shopslateinteriors.com.
Visitors and residents often complain about the lack of uptown shopping options. But don’t forget about the museum gift shops. Each sells unique items that reflect the culture of the Carolinas, and it feels good knowing part of the proceeds support art and science in our community.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St., 704-353-9200; www.bechtler.org.
Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St., 704-372-6261; www.discoveryplace.org.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, 551 S. Tryon St., 704-547-3700; www.ganttcenter.org.
Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St., 704-337-2000; www.mintmuseum.org.
Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh St., 704-333-1887; www.museumofthenewsouth.org.