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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Best of Boulder /  Best of Boulder 2013: What to Wear and Outdoor Gear
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Friday, April 26,2013

Best of Boulder 2013: What to Wear and Outdoor Gear

By Boulder Weekly Staff
Photo by Susan France
Tattoo artist Mijo of Bolder Ink

Clothing Store — Children

ROCKY MOUNTAIN KIDS
2525 Arapahoe Ave. #H12A, 303-447-2267

Second Place: Childish Things
Third Place: Gymboree
Fourth Place: Poppy
Fifth Place: Savers

Hand-me-downs can’t last forever, and besides, one child’s tastes might not hit the spot for the next kid in line.

So when that younger sibling decides it’s time for his or her own garments, our readers know just where to go. Once again, Rocky Mountain Kids has taken top honors for keeping kids stylish and happy. Boasting a large shoe selection and a huge variety of apparel, RM Kids can provide for children from infancy through tweenhood, if that’s a word. Again taking second this year is Childish Things, the high-end consignment shop for children, women and mothers-to-be.


Clothing Store — Men’s

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC. (REI)
1789 28th St., Boulder, 303-583-9970

Second Place: Patagonia
Third Place: Men’s Wearhouse
Fourth Place: Weekends
Fifth Place: Starr’s

Take a look around Pearl Street Mall and you’ll notice an inescapable trend: Boulderites wear a ton of outdoor gear, and they wear it well. Outdoor sports are so ingrained into Boulder’s identity that the clothing blends into everyday life. That’s why it’s no surprise that Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) nails down the men’s clothing category year after year. The sportswear at REI, surrounded by mountains of cool gear, is as functional as it is stylish, so you know that the button-down shirt you buy will work just as well in the backcountry as on the back patio of your favorite bar. Patagonia, with its prime Pearl Street location and top-notch gear, takes second.


Clothing Store — Women’s

ANTHROPOLOGIE
1805 29th St., 303-449-4575

Second Place: Urban Outfitters
Third Place: Coldwater Creek
Fourth Place: Umba
Fifth Place: prAna

There’s something whimsical about walking through the doors of Anthropologie. The women’s clothing store is like a storybook, and whether you choose to slip on a demure dress reminiscent of Ava Gardner or a tailored jacket that makes you feel a bit like Katharine Hepburn, there’s something nostalgic about Anthropologie’s clothes. And there’s something about the clothes that just brings out the giddy girl in each of us. From florals to polka dots and pastels, Anthropologie’s clothes are feminine yet effortlessly flattering. And in a town where women spend a lot of time sporting yoga pants and down jackets, Anthropologie is a much-needed breath of fresh air.


Clothing Store — Used

BUFFALO EXCHANGE
1813 Pearl St., 303-938-1924

Second Place: Rag’s Consignments
Third Place: Savers
Fourth Place: Common Threads
Fifth Place: Boulder Humane Society Thrift Store

Deep down, we all dream of finding something of great value for next to nothing. You know it’s true. We all want to be that dad who bought a broken-down $75 piano for his little girl only to find a Stradivarius inside. Or the lady who picked up a paint-splattered canvas out of a dumpster that turned out to be an original Pollack. Good news, treasure hunters. Our readers tell us that searching the shelves at this year’s winner, Buffalo Exchange, can give you that same feeling. It turns out that the stuff other people don’t want any more and sell to Buffalo Exchange to make some extra cash might just be the amazingly cool stuff you’ve been hoping to find for years. Who knew that hitting the racks at Buffalo Exchange could be more fun than a day of metal detecting? That jeans jacket with the awesome rhinestones you find at BE might not be a Pollack, but it still feels pretty darn good to find it.


Costume Shop

THE RITZ
959 Walnut St., 303-443-2850

Second Place: Theatrical Costumes Etc.
Third Place: Candy’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes
Fourth Place: Goldmine Vintage
Fifth Place: Savers

Boulder loves costume parties. The wackier the theme, the better. Sexy aquatic creatures? Easy. Robotic royalty? Sure. No problem, if you visit this year’s winner, The Ritz. So don’t be caught unprepared. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween anymore.

Music fans dress up in outlandish costumes at concerts ranging from The String Cheese Incident to electronica shows. We recommend sequined shorts, especially if you have really hairy legs. Whatever you choose, you don’t want to find yourself the only non-costumed member of your group. This especially applies if you’re riding to and from the show in any kind of party bus. If you don’t look like part of your group, they might leave without you. Basically, it’s much better to be the only costumed partier than the only one not in a costume. So, play it safe, and wear costumes to every social event you attend.


Dry Cleaner

ART CLEANERS
1715 15th St., 303-440-8600

Second Place: Boulder Cleaners
Third Place: John’s Dry Cleaners
Fourth Place: Environmental Cleaners
Fifth Place: Dependable Cleaners

We trust dry cleaners with our most precious, delicate fabrics. So when Art Cleaners is named the number one dry cleaner in Boulder, that win can probably be attributed to their practice of hard work and meticulous care. The company has seen Boulder’s fashion trends come and go since 1921 (we can’t help but wonder how many shoulder pads and Members Only jackets the ’80s dumped on them), and in the last decade have implemented an environmentally friendly GreenEarth Cleaning system. Art Cleaners also provides an alterations service, and offers free pick up and delivery for their customers.


Jewelry Store

HURDLE’S JEWELRY
1402 Pearl St., 303-443-1084

Second Place: Walters and Hogsett Fine Jewelers
Third Place: Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery
Fourth Place: Angie Star Jewelry
Fifth Place: Cronin Jewelers

Boulderites like their jewelry, like shopping local and like being socially conscious. We suspect that’s why our readers picked Hurdle’s Jewelry as their favorite jewelry store again this year. It’s a great, locally owned business that has an excellent selection and doesn’t sell conflict diamonds. Can you say trifecta? Hurdle’s not only designs one-of-a-kind pieces for its customers, it also sells some of the top designer jewelry brands like Ritani, Scott Kay, Rebecca Overmann and Amali. So if you’re feeling the need to add a little bling to your life or someone else’s, our readers say that Hurdle’s is the place to go.


Lingerie

CHRISTINA’S LUXURIES
2425 Canyon Blvd., Ste. 100, 303-443-2421

Second Place: Victoria’s Secret
Third Place: Fascinations
Fourth Place: BoulderFields

One of the best ways to set yourself singing along to “I feel pretty! Oh so pretty!” is to start at the bottom layer of your clothes. You could, in theory, stash some lacy trim under your down parka in the depths of winter and feel a little extra special, even under your turtleneck. And there’s no better place to get your pretty things than Christina’s Luxuries. And it’s not all about your underthings. Stop in for fun swimwear or sleepwear, or to freshen up the rest of what your closet has to offer. You’ll feel pretty.


Optical Store

ASPEN EYEWEAR
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-447-0210

Second Place: Boulder Vision Center
Third Place: Envision
Fourth Place: College Optical
Fifth Place: Wink Optical

Once upon a time, wearing glasses was actually considered a bit of a hardship. Then something happened, and wearing glasses became cool. Now everybody from movie stars to top athletes are wearing glasses even when they have perfectly fine vision. Wearing glasses has become sophisticated and sleek — a sign of intelligence. Go figure. Aspen Eyewear has been helping Boulderites look chic for more than 20 years. Carrying more than 30 brands of frames, from Maui Jim to Kate Spade to Nike, you can rest assured that Aspen Eyewear will have you putting your best frame forward.


Outdoor Gear

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC. (REI)
1789 28th St., 303-583-9970

Second Place: Neptune Mountaineering
Third Place: Boulder Army Store
Fourth Place: Jax Mercantile
Fifth Place: Patagonia

Do you love hiking? Camping? Climbing? Skiing? We’re shocked. You live in Boulder, and probably live for outdoor sports. So for your Chacos, or your Nalgene, or your puffy down jacket, head to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). They have staff to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction — which is good, because otherwise you might get lost in all the sections. (They’re separated into outdoor activities that Boulder residents enjoy, so the sections go on almost endlessly.) They also have a community area with books and classes and, occasionally, live music. Also shocking. REI clearly doesn’t know its Boulder customers at all. If you become a member and shop there enough, which you probably already have, you get dividends at the end of the year. Yep, free money to spend on more outdoor gear. And if something you bought there rips or breaks, you can return it for a new one, no questions asked. Unless maybe you set it on fire, or botched a tie-dye job on it. (It happens. This is why we can’t have nice things.) Then they might ask questions. But if you can’t get a free replacement, they also have “garage sales” where gear is sold super cheap.


Shoe Store

BOULDER RUNNING COMPANY
2775 Pearl St., 303-786-9255

Second Place: Pedestrian Shops
Third Place: Two Sole Sisters
Fourth Place: Shoe Fly
Fifth Place: Brown’s Shoe Fit Company

This repeat winner for best shoe store is another one of those things that makes us think about why we love living in Boulder — where else in the world would a running shoe company take the lead as best shoe store? Of course, the Boulder Running Company didn’t just win on athletic appeal alone. The store stocks great running and walking shoes in addition to favored casual shoe brands. Its staff is available to help, and a free video gait analysis can assure you’re getting the right shoe on the right foot, and the left foot on the left — wait, no. There’s more to it than that. And when you do get the appropriate shoes on your feet, you can join one of their weekly group runs to put them to the test.


Tattoo/Piercing Parlor

BOLDER INK
2735 Iris Ave., 303-444-7380

Second Place: Tribal Rites
Third Place: Rising Tide Tattoo and Gallery
Fourth Place: Claw and Talon Tattoo
Fifth Place: Enchanted Ink Body Art Emporium

Tattoos are too ubiquitous these days to be the shocking symbol of youthful rebellion they once were. Today, they are more popular than ever because they are an expression of one’s individualism. For tattoo lovers, their body is their canvas, and local ink-lovers think that Bolder Ink has the best artists around. It’s the oldest such shop in Boulder, and it has a sterling reputation among those in the know. Tribal Rites gets runner-up props for its piercing and tattoo operation on the Hill.


STAFF PICK: Place to Create Your Own Sweater

SHUTTLES, SPINDLES & SKEINS
635 S. Broadway, Unit E, 303-494-1071

So you woke up this morning and realized that you really wanted to knit a sweater. Of course, your first step is to start spinning wool into yarn. But then, after that first cup of coffee, you realized that you don’t know how to spin wool into yarn, and after another cup, you remember that you don’t know how to knit either. Don’t despair. Just get yourself over to Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins and they’ll take care of everything. They can teach you how to spin and knit as well as provide you with all the great materials you’ll need. Heck, while you’re there, you might as well take up weaving and any other number of crafts in which this store specializes. Whether it’s lessons or wool you need, this place has got you covered.

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