Go here for: Special occasion gifts (new house, new baby, new job) without the boutique prices.
Editor’s pick: Make My Notebook blank journal by local artist Sara Blette, $15.
The details: This six-month-old shop is designed for both the aimless wanderer and the chronic gift-giver. Look for reasonably priced jewelry from Boulder-based Alison Blair Studio and Paddywax candles for the girly girls, and let the Colorado-spun style suck you in with an Alchemy Goods belt made from recycled bicycle tubes or a Spudski (a potato masher with a ski pole handle).
Bonus: Drop in for monthly happy hours to mingle and imbibe. Check dates online.
Find it: 1671 Central St., 720-524-3085, reverieliving.com
Go here for: High-tech, low-weight outdoor gear with a slashed price tag.
Editor’s pick: Demaree Canyon 800-fill down jacket, $99.99.
The details: Based in Boulder, this outpost opened a year ago in Denver’s Riverfront ’hood. The idea: When you’re packing light for the backcountry, sometimes your backpack itself is the weight problem. Enter GoLite and its feather-light apparel, sleeping bags, and, of course, backpacks.
Fun fact: Items here are typically at least 40 percent off what you’d find for similar gear at other retailers. Why? You can only buy GoLite products directly through the company’s shops—so no extra markup.
Find it: 1535 Platte St., 303-477-0547, golite.com
Go here for: A just-sexy-enough dress for date night.
Editor’s pick: Priscilla sheer-sleeve top, $36.
The details: Twenty- and thirtysomethings will feel at home here—every item is under $100—and they’ll appreciate the one-stop-shop vibe: Love that navy blue mullet dress? A five-minute scan will get you a belt, blazer, and chunky beaded necklace to finish the look.
Eco-cred: We love the shelves, tables, and garment racks made of beetle-kill pine. Ride your bike in? Ask about the two-wheeled customer discounts.
Find it: 2021 W. 32nd Ave., 303-718-2645, inspyreboutique.com
Go here for: Inexpensive, trendy women’s attire for happy hour or a couples’ night out.
Editor’s pick: Pastel, floral-print wraparound headband, $13.
The details: This bargain clothing and accessories boutique has become a Denver staple after eight years with statement jewelry, smart purses, and modish dresses that mix well with classics. Stop in each season to snag a few wardrobe updates without blowing your whole paycheck.
Fun fact: Founder Kristi Walstra attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, which is where she sources most of her inventory.
Find it: 3450 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-7827; 26 Broadway, 720-389-6051, shopstarlet.com
Go here for: Après-ski wear for the whole family.
Editor’s pick: White True Grit lace-trimmed fur vest, $104.
The details: A well-curated array of mountain-smart jackets, sporty tops, and extras from familiar brands (Prana, Teva, and Patagonia) fills this converted Victorian house. Don’t see your size? The staff can check sister store Boone Mountain Sports in Evergreen or place a special order.
Bonus: Head to the backyard for great clearance deals on last season’s holdovers.
Find it: 3719 W. 32nd Ave., 303-728-9002, 32ndwest.com
Go here for: Funky-cool gifts for any occasion or your own retail therapy.
Editor’s pick: Bicycle hand-screen-printed pint glasses from Vital Industries, $10 each.
The details: Husband-and-wife team Simon and Nicole Wolsey-Neech provide an eclectic medley of handmade, antique, and trendy home decor and knickknacks, plus a small selection of clothing. We can’t resist the dog collars made from retro fabrics.
Don’t miss: Stop by on First Fridays to meet some of the store’s artists and sellers.
Find it: 4020 Tennyson St., 720-596-4732, jollygoodsdenver.blogspot.com
New Kids on the Block
Fresh retail near Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall.
Housed in a small brick cottage, this year-old sewing workshop and retail space is brimming with character, craft kits, and color. Creative types will swoon over the dynamic mix of unapologetically fun prints and designs from Joel Dewberry of FreeSpirit or Maude Asbury of Blend Fabrics. Crafty type? Quilting and sewing lessons start at $25. 2023 17th St., Boulder, 303-997-8245, fabricateboulder.com
The perfect last-minute stop for going-out attire, this women’s boutique offers cute, versatile basics at guilt-free prices ($28 tops? $60 dresses? Yes, please!). Bonus discovery: the rear-of-the-store hairstyling bar. Make an appointment Tuesday through Saturday for a blowout or updo before your special occasion.
1638 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-0682; 510 Elk Ave., Crested Butte, 970-349-6824, retailtherapyco.com
The shop’s move last summer from Boulder’s Hill to east Pearl Street proves that concert bills have a home beyond the dorms. The sophisticated graphic selection of new and vintage prints—including classics like the Allman Brothers Band and the Beach Boys—emphasize Colorado venues. Prices range from $6 to more than $3,000 (!) for rare finds. 1505 Pearl St., Ste. 101, Boulder, 303-527-2701, posterscene.com
Nod & Rose Storehouse
This five-month-old boho-chic boutique is stocked with a varied selection of approachably hip and reasonably priced garments for guys and gals, including denim, dresses, and sparkly accessories. Husband-and-wife owners Nod Norkus and Elizabeth Rose run the store with a Southern hospitality borne out of their North Carolina roots. 1220 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-442-2322, nodandrose.com