Best Shopping in Boston 2005

Children's

2005 Best Toy Store

Scorning soulless plastic and cynical corporate tie-ins, Henry Bear’s makes a specialty of medieval castles, wooden blocks, dinosaur hand puppets, and dolls ready for teatime. Toys run the gamut from...

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Children's

2005 Best Children's Bookstore

Kids? Reading? Ha. Pass the remote. Fortunately this Porter Square independent publisher and bookshop still emphasizes literacy and creative storytelling, matching up unequaled illustrations with cross-cultural tales to create award-winning...

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Children's

2005 Best Children's Clothing

These days, kids’ fashion sense is outpacking their growth spurts. So when Pixie Stix opened this year, it gave budding shopaholics and tagalong moms something to cheer about. The chic...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Bookstore

It’s not easy for an independent bookstore to weather the perfect storm of Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com; more local favorites have closed this year. But this shop takes...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Sporting Goods

This locally based chain has the latest athletic apparel, from Adidas to Puma to Under Armour, and equipment for just about any sporty endeavor, including pedometers, snorkeling masks, and boxing

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General Shopping

2005 Best Vintage Clothing

When it comes to looking good, creativity is key. Learn to express yourself, piece together original outfits, and steer away from mass-marketed merchandise by heading to Café Society. The store’s...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Newsstand

Die-hard magazine enthusiasts who can’t wait to devour their favorite glossies have found a home at Trident. The well-chosen mix of popular publications and obscure journals—from the New Yorker to...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Gifts

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Mondays. Gifted gift-givers can always find occasions (however obscure) worth buying for. And Wild Goose Chase’s eclectic crafts and handmade housewares make it simple. The Brookline boutique sells...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Smoke Shop

Cigar Masters might seem like your average smoke shop. It’s not. Sure, it’s got the requisite walk-in humidor brimming with expensive stogies, but there’s also a low-lit bar and acres...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Makeup

Armani. Dior. Bobbi Brown. Trish McEvoy. La Prairie. We love small makeup shops, but when it comes to beauty’s most coveted brands, the phrase “you can only get it at...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Winter Gear

Mountain climbers, snowshoers, and downhill racers alike will find weather-appropriate gear at Ski Market. The reasonably priced lined mittens, sleek ski pants, and featherweight down jackets are high quality; the...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Running Shop

The wall of New Balance, Nike, Brooks, and Saucony sneakers is just for starters. Marathon Sports also stocks running maps, reflective vests, fuel belts, and fun gadgets. But what really...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Watches

Bill Clinton caused a commotion when he visited Alpha Omega’s flagship store last summer and fell for a few watches. That comes as no surprise to us. The venerable shop’s...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Music, New

An independent music store with a fairly priced, unbeatable selection? Yes, it still exists. This hip shop, with a staff straight out of High Fidelity, sells everything from Britney Spears...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Art Supplies

Just down the psychedelic stairs at this subterranean Central Square art-supply mecca you’ll find artfully arranged rows of paints, brushes, paper, and tools for every possible occasion. The unpretentious, approachable...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Bike Shop

What do former Olympians, triathletes, and collegiate cycling champs know about bikes? A lot—and many of them work at Wheelworks. So whether you’re a commuter, recreational cyclist, or professional competitor,...

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General Shopping

2005 Best Bath Supplies

Waterworks’ assortment of beautiful tiles, stylish showerheads, and adorably petite powder-room sinks will inspire you to overhaul every WC in your house. And the luxurious niceties—plush towels and robes, fresh-smelling...

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Houseware

2005 Best Kitchen Appliances

The location ain’t Park Plaza chic, but kitchen-wise, this 20,000-square-foot space is virtually unbeatable. Inside, you’ll find products including professional-quality Thermador and Viking ranges and glamorous wine refrigerators from Sub-Zero....

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Houseware

2005 Best Lighting

Lighting makes a room, and the selection at Wolfers can give any home a welcoming glow. The Allston gallery has fixtures for every space—indoor and out. It caters to a...

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Houseware

2005 Best Garden Supplies

Even if you don’t have a garden, Winston’s supersized Newton lot is worth a visit. A stroll through the main shop and the verdant, two-acre complex of greenhouses and outdoor...

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Houseware

2005 Best Hardware Store

This 57-year-old landmark recalls a time before superstores and strip malls. Its amiable staff can help you sort through the somewhat chaotic arrangement of wares, from seeds, potting soil, flowerpots,...

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Men's

2005 Best Men's Clothing, Casual

If Seth Cohen were to leave The O.C. and open a clothing store, it would look like Uniform. The store has Standard American shirts, Original Penguin blazers, Ben Sherman polos,...

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Men's

2005 Best Men's Shoes

A guy looking for wingtips has plenty of spaces to shop. But a man hunting for casually chic kicks—a pair of checkered Vans or throwback Asics—should quicken his stride in...

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Men's

2005 Best Men's Clothing, Sophisticated

There are certain advantages to Boston’s lingering Anglophilia. Aquascutum is one of them. The sole American outpost of the venerable British chain carries trim tailored suits, broad-collared dress shirts, and...

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Women's

2005 Best Women's Shoes

Smaller boutiques deserve snaps for cleverness and class, but no one touches Neiman’s when it comes to sheer selection. Sole searchers here can browse through zebra-print Manolos, steel-heeled Kors slingbacks,...

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Women's

2005 Best Jewelry, One-Stop Shopping

Special occasions call for spectacular jewelry, and this Boston institution’s got it covered. Popping the question? Buy a Shreve Astral Cut diamond. Celebrating an anniversary? Look to designer collections by...

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Women's

2005 Best Maternity Clothing

Style and comfort: two concepts once forsaken by expectant moms. That is, until Katie Tagliavia’s new shop gave a maternity-sized shout-out to pregnant women everywhere. Tagliavia’s boutique, with ample couch...

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Women's

2005 Best Jewelry, Specialty

Don’t let the cool carats and sophisticated décor fool you: There’s nothing intimidating about this family-owned spot. Affable brother-sister team George Pelz and Pam Swartz stock gold-and-leather Misani bracelets, diamond-studded...

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Women's

2005 Best Accessories

Why shop at a chain store? At Lavender, linens, candles, and other tabletop wares are culled from independent European vendors. And while a French country vibe pervades the shop, it’s...

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Women's

2005 Best Lingerie

With a display that ranges from classy crêpe chemises to Bolivian-cotton robes to sheer but demure Simone Pérèle bras, Lingerie Studio is an overachiever in the realm of underthings. Reasonable...

Winner