September in Ballard gets fall fashion. Photo courtesy September.

Seattle gets a bad rap for its fashion sense: Flannels and tech tees only get you so far. But let the rain wash away your stereotypes. There's a thriving fashion scene in this town, driven by artfully curated clothing boutiques like these.

Remember that pandemic restrictions have changed our shopping habits—some of these small spaces keep a strict shopper limit, while others are open only by appointment. Check shops' sites before visiting.

Ballard

September

The best boutiques make you want to live the life they’re selling. Spend a few minutes here and you may soon find yourself at a hillside picnic in a pair of tan leather Seychelles and a burnt orange maxi dress (or at least with an armful of earthy candles and cozy blankets).

Prism

It’s a fitting name for a boutique that brings a much-needed dose of color to a city of blues and grays. But don’t mistake playfulness for trend-chasing. From Girlfriend Collective’s brightest leggings to holographic Rains jackets (to the jewel-tone French press you’ll fantasize about using while wearing it all), Prism makes the case for statement pieces that cut through the gloom.

Capitol Hill

Freeman

Why trust another city with your rainwear? Freeman’s made-in-Seattle raincoats and cozy basics conjure up images of an idyllic camping trip without making you look or feel like you're wrapped up in the tent.

Glasswing

Open by appointment

Perhaps the most serene of Seattle’s boutiques, Glasswing is all earth tones, canvas, and greenery—outfit yourself in wear-forever pieces from designers like Jan-Jan Van Essche and Evan Kinori while you outfit your home garden (yes, even at the shop’s clothing-centric Melrose Market–adjacent location). 

Sway and Cake

You know your eternally sun-drenched, Instagram-bohemian friend who somehow looks effortlessly fashionable in a wide brim hat? This is where she gets her jumpsuits, distressed denim, and, yes, that elusive fedora. 

Chinatown–International District

Momo

Traditional Asian fabrics meet Scandinavian influences in this Japantown storefront’s collection of apparel, accessories, and giftable goodies. It’s a fusion worth experiencing before the boutique closes up shop at the end of September.

Downtown

A Mano

The exposed brick interior of this cozy downtown storefront complements a display of artisan Italian shoes and handbags, plus a prime jewelry counter full of handmade pieces and glittering gems.

Baby & Company

A city with this sartorial art gallery at its helm for 44 years could never be unfashionable. Visit before it vanishes: Baby & Company is leaves town for Sun Valley, Idaho at the end of September.

Jackstraw

Jackstraw’s selection of apparel is an elegant upgrade to the earthy Northwest look—plaid wool takes the form of tailored jackets, cargo pants get extra details and a slimmer fit.

First Hill

Likelihood

Open for in-store pickup only

Hypebeast-meets-normcore grew up and got the keys to a minimalist Capitol Hill apartment—the focus here is on fashion-forward sneakers, including exclusive releases and high-demand collaborations, but the clothing selection (Comme des Garçons, Human Made) is among the city’s best for menswear. 

Fremont

Pipe and Row

Between the Richer Poorer lounge sets and the rack of hand-selected vintage clothing, you’ll find on-trend looks for patio cocktails and the quarantine couch alike at Pipe and Row—that is, if you can stop your head from swiveling (Jewelry! Dad hats! Wall full of socks!) long enough to browse in earnest.

Madrona

Hammer and Awl

Tailored in leather, suede, brass, and corduroy, the Pacific Northwest everyman should settle in easily at this carefully designed neighborhood spot, stocked with modern accessories and select clothing for the everyday and occasional.

Hitchcock Madrona

This funky boutique blurs the boundaries between art and accessories with an array of could-be-gifts or just-for-me artwear: Chunky rings, statement bracelets, and original necklaces nestle alongside custom crewnecks.

Juniper

Racks of flowy blouses and a closet full of sustainable cotton stay stocked with designers who keep an eye on fashion’s ecological impact. Bracelets handwoven in Columbia and locally made goods fit the theme.

Pioneer Square

Division Road

Open by appointment

Your dad’s trusty patina-kissed steel-toed boots from 1980s U Village? It turns out they do make them like that these days—plus all the menswear basics and outerwear to craft a wardrobe of high quality and long-lasting Seattle fits.

Clementines

Open for virtual appointments

Walking a mile in any heel, boot, or clog from Clementines means a comfy-but-stylish stroll—and odds are good you’ll leave with a locally designed (and accessory-heavy) outfit to match.

Ebbets Field Flannels

Co-founder Jerry Cohen has been slinging a stash of wool flannel jerseys and vintage-inspired baseball caps for over 30 years. Authentic reproductions of old-school fashions from an impossibly wide range of sports and leagues make this a one-stop shop for repping any time or team. 

West Seattle

Fleurt Collective

This boutique has a little bit of everything: apparel and accessories, plants, candles, health and beauty products, and cloth masks. The mom and daughter duo behind it all have been curating the collection for 10 years, fit with aesthetics straight from a trendy millennial’s daydream.

Lika Love Boutique

Masks can surely be fashionable—at least the ones at Lika Love. Alongside comfy tie-dye fits and other out-and-about women’s clothing, owner Malika Siddiq wraps it up with personalized styling and subscription boxes.

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