Best Place for a Victorian Lady to Shop
Many an unintentional wedding dress has been plucked from Circa 1900's racks, as have otherworldly periwinkle gowns with turquoise rickrack and whimsical things like cotton shorty dresses with hunting-dog motifs or those linen lumberjack sneakers that are currently in vogue. Here's a place where you can be demure or sprightly--and if the folds of your demure or sprightly purchase are a little too voluminous, you can even buy a rose-festooned clip to gather them in.
Best Place to Land Feet First
DSW Shoe Warehouse
8051 S. Broadway, Littleton
In heaven, they say, the streets are lined with shoe stores. But if you're not yet ready to depart the planet, DSW is a near-facsimile. The big store, boasting over 20,000 men's and women's shoes at any given time, sells designer and name-brand shoes at up to 50 percent below retail. But it's not your typical junky discount shoe house: DSW stocks classy brands like Amalfi, Via Spiga and Papagallo alongside sensible footwear from Clark's and Rieker. And selection? Aisle after aisle of shoes are lined up according to heel height and fanciness quotient, with boxes containing various sizes of each style right on the floor, where you can try them on at your leisure.
Best All-Round Vintage Clothing
4483 N. Broadway, Boulder
For more than eighteen years, the pink building with bright turquoise trim in north Boulder has been known as Candy's--run by (who else?) Candy, as keen a cowgirl as you're likely to find in these parts. Whether you're hankering to look like Patsy Montana or Tom Mix, there's no finer selection of classic Western wear available in the state. And if vintage Western isn't your cup of tar, there are men's and women's clothes in styles ranging from turn-of-the-century on up. Even those lost souls heavy into the polyester-disco-platform-shoes look will find wearable bliss here.
Best Western Consignment Shop
77 S. Sheridan Blvd.
You'll find plenty of changes in Attitudes. This consignment store specializes in Western clothing, particularly women's attire, and has plenty of prime stock to choose from. Whether you're looking for something to wear down on the farm or the next time you kick up your heels, these racks show exactly how the West was worn.
Best Anti-Leather Protector
It's never too late to save face. To combat the harshness of the Colorado climate, Boulder resident Donna Baase developed Cowgirl Cream. It's an intense blend of botanical ingredients--including herbal extracts, sunflower and vitamin E oils, aloe vera and jojoba--designed to soften even the most craggy range-rider's weather-stressed skin. The cream has become so popular that Baase now mixes up a fresh batch of the stuff each week; you can purchase it at local stores, including Alfalfa's and Wild Oats, or order by mail (3555 Cloverleaf Drive, Boulder 80304).
Best Deal on Leather Goods
2433 Curtis St.
Who wants to spend a lot on luggage when it's about to go through DIA's baggage system? When you're going for bulk--and bargains--join the pack that frequents Atlas Luggage. This is the outlet for the metro area's seven Colorado Baggage stores, and it carries discontinued or irregular models of Samsonite, Hartmann and assorted other name brands at incredibly discounted prices. Carry on, Denver.
Best Used Levi's
301 E. 57th Ave.
The front of Boss Unlimited doesn't have a fancy sign--just a seventeen-foot tall pair of Levi's plastered on the front of the building, calling out to commuters on I-25. Boss does a whopping business in the used Levi's trade--and its vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry collection has become regulation wear for those trendy little bar-hoppers in their early twenties. Boss isn't only a favorite for locals; George Clinton's people shopped there when they were in town. Why? Because it's kitsch. It's cool. And it looks divine on your behind.
Best Thrift Store
Your Kinda Thrift Store
7150 N. Pecos St.
9365 Ralston Rd., Arvada
The Your Kinda Thrift Stores aren't as large as some of their competitors, but they hold treasures for those who know how to look. Some of the gems we've found include a Fifties-era ladies' Western shirt in mint condition, books on jazz history, King Louie bowling shirts, vintage dresses and tuxedo jackets. Prices range from cheap to reasonable, and Wednesdays are bag days--bring your own paper grocery bag and fill it with specially tagged articles for only three dollars a bag.
Best Upscale Thrift Store
4751 N. Broadway
If you've ever wondered where the Salvation Army's good stuff goes, we have the answer: Sally's Attic. The fine china, old (verging on antique) furniture, faux-silver goblets, 25th-anniversary plates, beaded purses and nicer clothes (including wonderful period wedding dresses of the quality you can rarely find anymore) are packed into this little shop on the grounds of the Army's Denver rehab center. You'll have to dig a little deeper into your coin purse, of course, but almost any piece that's hung around the shop more than thirty days is discounted 25 percent. One trip to Sally's and you'll be an attic fan.