For a look that’s streetwise, sharp, and well-shod, try these five shops.
Recently, a star Seahawk entered Gems, the sleek, minimal, low-profile shoe store that almost feels like a Japanese jewelry boutique, and bought one pair each of all the boots and sneakers handpicked by tastemaking shop owner John Mooney. If you’re not in possession of that kind of coin, s’all good: Even one pair of the not widely available kicks by Timberland, Puma, Clae, and Pointer can help you evoke an urbane hip-hop sensibility that’s filtered through Northwest outdoorsiness and Anglophilic tennis culture. Gems, 615 Western Ave, Pioneer Square, 206-624-4367; gemssneakershop.com
Skate and Narrow
Coming off like an art gallery that favors highly designed yet refined hoodies, sneakers, and skateboards, Goods was an immediate hit on the Hill when it opened in 2003. Its recently opened Bellevue outpost is on its way to becoming an Eastside institution, too. Basically the Banana Republic of urban-sympathetic twentysomethings (and a contingent of wait-outside-all-night sneaker freaks), the shop curates premium denim and smart, slightly street-edged gingham-check button-downs to go with its iconic Gucci-aping logo tees. Goods, 1112 Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-622-0459 and 989 112th Ave NE, Ste 101, Bellevue, 425- 453 6743; needgoods.com
Off the Wall
The national brand Stussy got a major image overhaul in the aughts, as it went from slinging trendy, mass-produced screen-printed hoodies at the mall (remember the ubiquitous black shirts with the eight-ball design?) to proffering understated apparel for an ever-snobbifying caste of modern skateboarders. The California-based retailer also began tucking itself in next to local boutiques on the West Coast. Goods owner Scott Downing welcomed them this past Black Friday; the shops share an exposed brick wall, and many customers. Stussy, 1108 Pike St, Capitol Hill, 206-467-5030; stussy.com
Around the Way
Bigger than a bread box but smaller than the average scenester’s studio apartment, Winner’s Circle lofted storefront is a cozy hangout operation with a bent for making small-batch T-shirts that reflect some aspect of the always-expanding local rap scene. Area brand Actual Pain and national streetwear names such as 10 Deep show up in graphic casual wear, and limited-run CD releases by local artists like Shabazz Palaces can be found—if you’re lucky, if you’re looking—beneath the cash register. Winner’s Circle, 1353 Olive Way, Capitol Hill, 206-860-6879; winnerscircleseattle.com
Tough to remember the Starter brand Seahawks sweater from childhood, or the three-iterations-ago Gary Payton Sonics jersey, but there they are at Throwbacks Northwest, Seattle’s premier stop for sports-related vintage apparel. Eighties gear is around, but it’s mostly a ’90s explosion, with loud teal Charlotte Hornets logo tees, customized snap-fit Mariners hats, and shiny satin jackets from just about every team worth representing. Throwbacks Northwest, 1205 E Pike St, Ste 1D, Capitol Hill, 206-402-4855; throwbacksnw.com
Tour more Seattle shops and boutiques to learn the latest trends, discover inspiring gift ideas, and find accessories for the home.