Monday, July 23, 2007

Lucky for shoppers

A common complaint about San Luis Obispo is a lack of shopping. I was even warned about it before I moved here.

And it's true, for those of used to the offerings of a big city, SLO lacks an indoor mall and many of the retailers found nationally.

But downtown SLO features a slew of boutiques that are great for browsing (and buying) -- something that recently caught the attention of Lucky, the fashion/shopping magazine.

Lucky's August issue highlights a number of downtown shops: Ambiance, Contessa S. and Contessa S. Home, French Quarter, Romp, Therapy, Finders Keepers, Paper Sky and The Nest.

Finders Keepers on Garden Street is my recently discovered treasure trove of fashion goodies. It's technically a thrift shop, but one that carries designer labels and only clothes in good condition. I turned in a few expensive purchases I never took to and with the store credit I earned, I picked up almost my entire spring clothing collection.

Therapy, right next to Bubble Gum Alley on Higuera Street, is a fun house for rack browsing and gift items. I've wiled away afternoons poking around the witty and "useless" items you just must have and digging through the racks for treasure like the $10 pair of plaid city pants I got a few months ago.

French Quarter is a newer addition to the scene that I've only window-shopped, waiting for a free afternoon to check it out. And Romp, while nothing there is within my price range, is a great shop for shoe lust.

Lucky definitely identified some top spots. But here are some of my other favorites.

Whenever Mom is in town, we hit Ann's on Monterey Street and never fail to find something for either me or her.

Full Circle
, also on Monterey, is a good choice for more downscale second-hand shopping.

Avanti on Higuera Street, if a little pricey, always has the latest trends and probably has the best selection of women's shoes downtown, especially with the opening of a shoe-only spot next door. Lucky Lu Lu's down the street usually has cheaper versions of trendy items. Dizzi, on Morro Street, is another good spot.

For unique jewelry, I like La Creme, on Morro Street, and LiLi Clever on Garden Street, though other popular jewelers include Studio 718 and Kevin Main on Higuera.

Find the Lucky story here, and The Tribune's take on the piece here.

What are your favorite local shopping spots? Share them here.


Anonymous said...

My comment will be no surprise; I preferred SLO when "there was no where to shop".

Anonymous said...

I consider Finders Keepers to be more of a consignment shop than a true thrift store, but I agree with the rest.

Full Circle has the most adorable toys, jewelry, geegaws, etc. I love it!

I also recommend California Blonde on Garden Street, which sells interesting vintage finds as well as clothing made by local designers and cute cocktail/tiki lounge/retro accessories and novelty items.