1251 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary , 919-454-0829, alexander-eton.com
This isn’t your grandfather’s suit shop. With a blend of contemporary styles and unique patterns, Alexander Eton brings tasteful flare to menswear.
The Art of Style
At The Art of Style, the look is chic, cosmopolitan, and modern, with a monochromatic palette that would please even the most fashion-forward urban dwellers. The store carries men’s and women’s clothes by a slate of distinctive designer brands. Look here for that cool item your closet is lacking.
210 South Main Street, Fuquay-Varina, 919-552-5201, facebook.com/ashworthclothing
The Ashworth family has kept generations well-dressed and well-hemmed. They sell clothes for any occasion, but Ashworth is the perfect destination when preparing for prom, weddings, or any other event at which a tuxedo is expected.
Bull City Apparel Customs
3023 Fayetteville Street, Durham, 919-237-3876, thebullcitystore.com
With its collection of hats and tees, this little shop packs a whole lot of love for Durham.
112 South Churton Street, Hillsborough, 917-400-9800, facebook.com/carlisleandlinny
If you thought brooches were out of style, think again. This vintage jewelry shop is all the best parts of a thrift shop, offering a variety of one-of-a-kind and classic throwback jewelry, sunglasses, cufflinks, brooches, and accessories.
118 West Parrish Street, Durham, 919-683-3201, chetmillershop.com
This home decor center offers a carefully curated, eclectic selection of gifts and artifacts by top designers, from high-end furniture to lamps, wallpaper, and prints. It’s also a down-to-earth purveyor of charming doodads of every sort: trinkets, barware, soap, globes, thermoses, and nature paintings.
This home furnishings company features the work of a bevy of talented local artists and artisans. In a pleasantly cluttered atmosphere of fun and discovery, it’s easy to lose yourself in the aisles of quirk—kids’ books and greeting cards, refrigerator magnets, mugs, and jewelry.
213 West Main Street, Durham, 919-682-1471, facebook.com/dollysvintage
There’s plenty of eclectic vintage clothing here, but Dolly’s really shines as a gift shop, with a wide array of, well, stuff for just about anyone: jewelry, party wigs, socks, cards, retro aprons, original Kit-Cat Clocks, you get the idea.
An upscale men’s clothing store that opened in early 2019, Ealdwine derived its name from an Old English word that means “old friend.” In this case, old friends pay $600 for a pair of Alden Navy Suede hand-sewn boots, but Lord, are they gorgeous boots.
Edge of Urge
Edge of Urge offers the work of innovative designers of uncommon items—women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories, baby clothes, or art for your home. The store also keeps a lively schedule of workshops and special events.
319 West Main Street, Durham, 919-688-5747, theexotique.com
Exotique has flourished for a decade with a focus on jewelry, art, and clothing made by an international creative community. It’s a gift store, boutique, and gallery with a distinct sensibility and a commitment to community.
Sequins? Check. Neons? Check. Bold prints? Check. Fierce Boutique is the place to shop for the person who wants to stand out and dress their inner diva. Owner Love Small has a keen eye for the trendiest looks and high-quality local products.
Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel
Form and Function
FF is a wonderland of funky furniture, gifts, and home accessories, both nostalgic and modern. The owners are also interior designers, so ask for advice while you’re there.
This family-run screen-printing company finds inspiration in the natural world, developing designs for its mostly women’s apparel in its backyard workshop and selling them in high-end stores throughout the country and internationally.
Located in a renovated warehouse in Seabord Station, Galatea offers hand-selected clothing and accessories that, as its website describes, are “not too young and not too old, not too big and not too small, not too funky and not too conservative.”
Gypsy Jule doesn’t want to be called a boutique. The preferred term: Misfit Mercantile. What does that mean? Rugged and adventurous. Urban and rustic. Unconventionally bohemian. Everything from fashionable boots to glassware, skirts to jeans.
Holder Goods Crafts
This sun-filled space is a furniture store, art gallery, and interior design firm, as well as a showcase for the work of local artisans, potters, and craftspeople. It’s also an agora where you’ll come upon an alluring stream of rarified objects and curiosities curated with a sharp and appreciative eye.
Local screen-printer John Pugh churns out all manner of kitschy North Carolina-themed T-shirts: There’s one with a 1920s map of Raleigh, and another that shows the state divided by its barbecue-sauce choices (tomato and vinegar)—that sort of thing.
135 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, 919-942-4563, julianstyle.com
Alexander Julian may be best known for making the argyle pattern synonymous with Tar Heel basketball, but you won’t find sportswear here. Instead, Julian provides an array of slick belts, argyle sweater vests, and crisp dress shirts for men, and standout jackets, intricate tops, and elegant scarves for women.
For men who care about their clothes, Liles is pretty heavenly. Having exclusive rights to some labels means it’s the only place around to find certain designers. Liles also does custom and made-to-measure pieces, providing that exquisite feeling of wearing something made especially for you.
200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, 919-924-8669
113 South Gregson Street, Durham, 919-688-1150, morganimports.com
A gift and home furnishing store, Morgan Imports offers all manner of N.C.-focused tees and paraphernalia for proud locals or out-of-town visitors, as well as bath and beauty products, Christmas ornaments, games, jewelry, kitchen accessories, garden chimes, b, futons—just a lot of stuff, really.
210 South White Street, Wake Forest, 919-554-8040, nextconsignment.com
At this downtown Wake Forest shop, you can get your hands on designer women’s clothes, jewelry, and bags for a fraction of the price of major retailers. There’s also a well-stocked selection of kids clothing.
Nyla Elise’s distinctive T-shirts and letterman jackets have earned street cred from being worn by the likes of Kevin Hart and Kerry Washington, but owner Rick Moore says his locally sourced clothing is for everyone. Emblazoned with slogans like “Film Is My Ammo,” these tees and tanks have an urban verve all their own.
The Perfect Piece
200 East Chatham Street, Cary, 919-460-9841, dtcfoodandflea.com
If you can’t find the, um, perfect piece at this eleven-thousand-square-foot building, you’re not really looking. This home décor and gift store focuses on furniture sold through the store’s consignment inventory as well as vendors who occupy booths around the showroom.
The carefully curated selection reflects an aesthetic honed over decades. Elegant lines and a clean look pervade the collection, from clocks and tables to vases and charging cables designed to simplify your digital clutter.
1247 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, 919-460-1852, possibilitiesboutique.com
This small independent women’s clothing emporium reflects its owner’s quarter-century in the business with a look that’s bold and feminine but also comfortable and seemingly effortless. Tunic-style tops are matched with dresses in light, often diaphanous fabrics, all in a range of natural fibers.
Goldsmith Lauren Ramirez has filled her studio with heirloom-quality jewelry, a collection of curated gifts, and store decor that contributes to an off-beat, rustic feel. Pieces are crafted in-house, but the studio also stocks pieces from designers across the country.
Raleigh Denim creates authentic, handcrafted jeans sourced exclusively from the finest local textile makers, made from cloth by area designers, pattern makers, and fabricators. This is the place for pricey, indestructible selvage jeans with local pride.
Recycling makes good sense, especially when it comes to purchasing upscale clothes at affordable prices. Revolver has earned a rep as a place where you can shop in a pleasant, unhurried, well-organized environment and leave with at least one cool-AF item you just can’t live without.
106 North Graham Street, Chapel Hill; 2501 University Drive, #3, Durham, NC 27707; 919-942-2335, shopatrumors.com
Opened in 2013, Rumors has quickly become a well-loved source for delivering that elusive thrill of the find with its carefully selected range of vintage and modern styles. Denim, fur, or leather, designer label or a classic cartoon sweatshirt, New Year’s Eve or Halloween—Rumors has the goods.
Shopping at Scout Molly’s is kind of like a few girlfriends getting together and trying stuff on. The stylists make you feel comfortable, but, like a real friend, they’ll tell you when the look you like is more “Girl please,” than “Girl, yaaaasss.”
200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, 919-924-8669, sofiasboutique.us
The Stock Exchange
6120 Farrington Road, Suite B, Chapel Hill, 919-403-9977, chapelhillstockexchange.com
A contemporary consignment boutique, the Stock Exchange aims to provide curated clothing at affordable prices—everything from Chanel bags to Burberry vintage hats to Tiffany Co. earrings, not to mention a wide selection of clothing.
200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, 919-924-8669, shopthirteenwest.com
310 South Driver Street, Durham, thrivveglobal.com
Seeking to provide an “urban center for individuals to partake in an open market of closing exchanges for your thrift, consignment, and marketing,” twenty-three-year-old entrepreneur Jeremiah Pittman offers, new, used, and vintage urban apparel.
124 East Main Street, Durham, 919-323-7167, trebellainc.com
Tre Bella started as a home-operated florist shop in 2003, then added a high-end bridal store in 2008, and, in 2014, found a permanent home on Main Street, where the bridal shop combines with a women’s boutique that offers smart fashion at a variety of price points.
2053 Willow Springs Lane, Burlington, 336-229-6426, tsdesigns.com
This screen-printing company has been plying its trade since 1977. TS offers high-quality, sustainable apparel made of 100 percent North Carolina-grown cotton.
125 East King Street, Hillsborough, 919-644-8000, uniquitiques.com
The whole place is draped in vintage, from the homey décor to the curated style of contemporary women’s clothing for sale. You’ll find it all here: cowboy boots, costume jewelry, and Southern-made t-shirts.
353 West Main Street, Durham, 919-797-2767, vertandvogue.com
VV prides itself on offering cutting-edge looks for men and women that fulfill the owners’ commitment to the work of green-minded designers and artisans. The clothing is made exclusively from fine-quality natural fibers sourced from eco-friendly manufacturers and designers.
360 East Main Street, Carrboro, 919-929-3300, womancraftgifts.squarespace.com
Featuring goods from more than seventy artists, WomanCraft has something for everyone, whether it be patchwork and sewing or ceramics and jewelry. It has the added benefit of supporting local female artists and artisans.