Once as barren as the 15-hour drive from stylish L.A., Denver’s fashion marketplace has developed its own profusion of brick-and-mortar boutiques, with even more room to grow. Currently, Yelp counts a total of 290 “clothing-boutiques-in-and-around-the-metro-area.” This, in Denver—a city whose citizens have long tended to gravitate more toward Patagonia than Prada. For those who can’t afford to spend your time (let alone the remaining funds on every credit card you possess) exploring all of these outlets, fear not, we’ve cited a few options to fit any budget.
$ = You understand the importance of hi-lo style pairing
$$ = You want wearables that are also washables
$$$ = Two words: investment piece
$$$$ = The reason credit cards exist
Gracing the racks of this pioneering Denver boutique—which was established in 1985—are arguably some of the most famed designers in the game. They include Thakoon, the burgeoning star that had Vogue’s Anna Wintour singing his praises in the 2009 documentary The September Issue; and Rick Owens, whose SS2014 line landed with a punch that left the fashion world seeing Wile E. Coyote-style stars swirling above their heads. Note: The steep price tags here might bring those swirling stars back, but those who want to find designer duds at a discount can swing by their outlet shop, located downstairs from the Cherry Creek boutique.
If the colors in your closet are more akin to that of your morning café au lait than of the latest OPI collection, we get you, but more importantly, Goldyn gets you. Neutral hues abound in this space, yet it’s anything but bland. Housing a slew of progressive designers—including some local contenders, such as Cartel Noir and The Woods—you can bet (or spend) your bottom dollar on nonpareil pieces that are guaranteed to be as much of a statement as a C.J. Henry drawing.
This little shop in the coveted LoHi neighborhood, which was founded by a couple of 22-year-olds, has big promise. Unlike the over-merchandising (read: clutter) typically found in stores of this nature, Whorl has a showroom-like aesthetic: clean and utilitarian. Add attentive personnel, and this shop has all the makings of a high-end retailer—minus the scary price tags. Don’t miss the boot jewelry, designed by local Megan Kaltenbach (5280’s pick for Top of the Town 2014), or their crisp neoprene bags, imported from Italy, that are currently de rigueur.
$: True Love
If you’ve ever spotted the giant red pump that hogs some of South Broadway’s prime sidewalk space, you’ve found True Love. A haven to vegan-friendly shoes and accessories, this Baker merchant sells nothing that costs more than $60, giving you diamond-quality duds at cubic zirconia prices. Bonus: There are tot-sized shoes available for your favorite diva-in-the-making.