Blush Boutique in Coventry sports a lovely collection of retro-looking totes, satchels, and purses (as well as jewelry, soaps and apparel) that appeal to grungy Cleveland hipsters and miniskirt wearing suburban moms alike. Many of their bags feature funky stamps and prints and are the products of local independent and emerging designers. Prices are fairly reasonable, but Blush does have strict policies about returns and exchanges.
Carve out a couple of hours to browse the racks at Avalon Exchange (in Coventry and Lakewood), where you'll find a generous selection of gently used clothing, as well as hot deals on designer names like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Betsey Johnson and the like. Here, you can score pretty much any type of "bottom" that you're looking for, be it bright pink-and-yellow spanx, pleather skirts, retro swishy track pants or ever-fashionable hoodie-footie onesies. Make room in your closet before stopping by and sell last season's apparel to the folks behind the counter for hard cash or store credit. It's a win-win.
Dust off your social responsibility cap and make your way to Banyan Tree boutique in Tremont where you'll find eco-friendly wares aplenty: Adorable print cardigans, comfy flats, wooly socks, silk screened T's, handmade bow ties— yep, it's all here. Banyan Tree also has lots of cute knickknacks that you didn't realize you needed until suddenly you do (Cleveland skyline wineglasses? Yes, please), making it the perfect place to shop for last minute gifts and treats for yourself.
VIII Accessories & Shoes
Flower Child on Clifton Boulevard is more of a sensory-exploiting labyrinth than a store, and we mean that in the best way possible. Work your way through the 15-plus rooms and find a treasure trove of vintage accessories—everything from 1950s costume jewelry to rival your crazy aunt's collection, to retro Disney character watches with twitchy ticking arms and funky, disco-era belts, gently used hair pieces, old school Playboy pins, buckles, and tie clips—all stacked, piled, and pushed together in frenzied disarray. They also have hoards of period shoes—high top sneakers, patent leather, velvet flats, roller shoes, badass cowboy boots, and the like. You'll be hard pressed to find such variety anywhere else in the state of Ohio.
Clevelander Alex Harris opened up Family First Clothing Company just a year or so ago, but has already made a name for himself in the city's clothing sphere. Family First features an eclectic mix of Cleveland swag—think T's, tanks, hoodies and hats—that make you look fresh without breaking the bank. Their beanies and hats are stamped with the company's logo FAM, which serves as a reminder of the company's motto: Family is what you make it and always comes first no matter what.
Is it cheating if we cram a handful of other fabulous stores into the final category? We think not. Deering Vintage on West 25th is home to a huge collection of vintage apparel for ladies and gents, as well as old school cards, magazines, and photos. Visit the Cleveland Shop for terrific costumes and fancy Friday outfits. This place also offers rentals so don't fret about selecting a one-time getup. Browse the racks at Thrift Nation in Parma to find great steals on business-casual attire. If, after all this, a day of vintage shopping seems overwhelming—and trust us, we know it can be—start out at Sweet Lorain on Lorain Avenue It's one of the most organized thrift shops we've frequented. Happy shopping, Cleveland.