Best Shop for Masquerade Attire and Fetish-Inspired Wearables

ArtsMyths

ArtsMyths

Catering to steampunks, goth queens, Victorian-fetish-ball attendees and every fancy human in between, ArtsMyths is a specialty apparel shop unique to this city. Hats, corsets, crowns and masks for all occasions can be found year-round at the distinguished shop, along with an assortment of stockings, jewelry and accessories to make your costume pop — or just liven up your everyday apparel. The mother-daughter duo of Tiffany and Lynn Smyth run the magical fashion factory, where they also offer custom wearable pieces made from leather, feathers, fabric and every other material imaginable.

Children of the '80s, rejoice! Someone found that secret spot in your brain where all those favorite action figures, Atari games and other pop-culture rarities have been gathering dust and made it real. Walking into this quaint storefront — with the mantra "STAY GOLD PONY BOY" printed on the entrance — is akin to a Marty McFly-level time slip, where you can not only touch, but procure all those items that made your rad youth worth living...and that your mom was totally wrong to throw out.

1874 S. Broadway

Maybe it's a stretch to call Buffalo Exchange a thrift store, but it does recycle gently worn garb at more affordable prices. And what garb! Because Buffalo Exchange specializes in still-stylish clothing in tip-top condition, this spot is a destination for the hipsters of South Broadway, not to mention the rest of the city's budget-conscious trendsetters. If you're looking for bottom-of-the barrel deals, there's still a big ol' Goodwill waiting for you right down the road, but if you're looking to do fashion a favor on a dime, stay right where you are. In a throwaway world, Buffalo Exchange keeps the best and brightest sartorial pieces.

Readers' choice: Buffalo Exchange

Assemblage artist Paul Moschell creates boundary-breaking hats — whimsical, fantastical, found-object creations — that made their debut in a pop-up shop last spring. A new venture for Moschell, the hats can be worn as an out-of-this-world fashion statement, but they also work as sculptural artworks. Who doesn't need a pillbox chapeau covered with tiny plastic babies with a bird on top, or a red riding helmet bestudded with feathers, glass eyeballs and horse teeth? A tip of the hat to them.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Aaron Thackeray

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is an inquisitive child's (and adult's) dream hangout, and its gift shop just continues the exciting learning experience. Complementing the museum's regular exhibits on space exploration, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt and wild animals from all over the world, the shop offers books, interactive games, educational toys, apparel and accessories for all ages that are equally worldly. This is one spot where kids won't mind going shopping. But there's just one problem: With all the puzzles, sticky things, glowing devices and even costumes to try on, the store can be as as much fun as the exhibits, and it can be tough to peel the kids away.

Readers' choice: Denver Art Museum

Molly Brown House Museum
Molly Brown House Museum

Looking for a little something special for Mom, or maybe a birthday present for Dad? The Molly Brown House Museum stocks an assortment of great gift items, everything from Victorian-styled jewelry to history books to coffee cups celebrating women's suffrage — all guaranteed to float above the other flotsam and jetsam your parents will receive. You might even consider augmenting the gift with a couple of tickets to tour the house once occupied by Margaret Brown, a stone mansion saved more than forty years ago by the group that would become Historic Denver.

Laura Lambrecht named her Louisville boutique for Frida Kahlo, the iconic Mexican painter and cult heroine, who loved traditional garb like handcrafted embroidered huipils and woven rebozos made by village artisans schooled by their mothers and grandmothers. Lambrecht treasures the same colorful textiles and crafts, and so has filled her Bella Frida shop with handmade Mexican imports, including apparel, Talavera pottery, oilcloth and folk-art works of all kinds. Stopping in here is the next best thing to shopping at a Mexican street bazaar.

Bag designer Kerrin Pogozelski found her calling in a leatherwork class, but it took time and a few deep breaths before she felt ready to make her first handbag. Her novice creation sold even before she'd finished the last stitch, and Buxiejo Bags — a one-woman business based on old-world techniques — was born. Pogozelski works with a patchwork of beautiful and decorative leathers and fabrics to create bags with funky personality and style. Each one is unique, just like you. Shop for Buxiejo bags online or look for Pogozelski at local craft markets.

Inspired by the elaborate lamps she saw during her travels in Europe, and after completing an apprenticeship, Linda Grove revived the fine art of creating custom lampshades. That was almost three decades ago, and since then, Grove's Lili Marlene workshop has popped up in different locations around Denver. But now she's settled into a South Inca Street spot with a perfect neighbor: Table M Lamp Restoration, making this the place to go when you want to revive one of those beautiful old lamps from Grandma's attic. Go ahead: Light up your life!

lilmarlenelampshades.com

tablem.com

An impressive small business with an international presence, Rosy Rings sprang from humble roots when Shannon Cumberland began manufacturing hand-poured botanical candles with an old Crock-Pot, dented molds, essential oils and beeswax in her Denver kitchen. Today, Rosy Rings operates out of a 30,000-square-foot facility here, and Cumberland buys her wax by the ton; she's also expanded to potpourri, sachets, diffusers and home fragrance sprays. While a lot about candles has changed since the '90s, the laborious process hasn't. A single botanical candle takes two days to make, contains natural products like beeswax and soy wax, and requires glassware with 40 percent recycled content. That's one of the reasons you won't find Rosy Rings in Target anytime soon — but you can buy the handmade candles online or at 150 local retailers, including the Artisan Center, the Perfect Petal, and Artemisia and Rue.

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