Shop like a local with this guide to Seattle's best boutiques
Credit: Flickr/Maëlick  

Shop like a local with this guide to Seattle's best boutiques

Accessible by a quick drive across the border, Seattle is a Vancouverite’s most convenient weekend shopping getaway. But aside from the Premium Outlet, Nordstrom Rack, and Pacific Place Mall, have you ever explored what local boutiques have to offer? From high-concept fashion boutiques to unexpected floral shops, here’s a guide to some of the must-shop (or window shop) independent boutiques the next time you’re in Seattle.

Click through to check out the top 10 boutiques.

Totokaelo

Totokaelo

With an all-white austere gallery design, Totokaelo (pronounced toh-toh-kye-oh) is a mecca for those who express ideas through fashion. This lifestyle concept store offers carefully curated selections of fashion, footwear, accessories, and home goods that are neither safe nor commercial. You’ll come across independent brands like Won Hundred mixed in with established designers such as Zero + Maria Cornejo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Maison Martin Margiela. Even if you don’t plan to drop thousands on a shopping spree, check out the store for its design concept. Head downstairs to the men’s department, where you’ll discover a zen garden amidst its showroom-like environment.

1523 10th Ave, Capitol Hill

NuBe Green

NuBe Green

If you want to shop sustainably, NuBe Green (pronounced newbie) is where you want to go. This quaint shop sells home wares, letterpress cards, clothing, adorable children’s goods, and handmade accessories all made in the USA. True to its mandate of providing products that eliminate new materials, this spring, owner Ruth True launched Nube9, a line of psychadelic streetwear made from recycled plastic bottles. Whether you’re a long-time friend of the environment, or just a newbie, this store that will show you how cool shopping sustainably can be.

1527 10th Ave, Capitol Hill

Glasswing

Glasswing

Part boutique, gallery rental space, and design office, Glasswing is predominantly known as the ever-evolving lifestyle concept store offering the best of the Pacific Northwest. Among the local selection of clothing, beauty products, and furniture, you can even find plants available for purchase. Plus, there’s a full-sized mounted bear as part of the decor. Yes, that’s how West Coast we’re talking about. Some of the coolest Seattle-based designers can be found at Glasswing, including minimalist Wyatt Orr and print-loving Silvae. Visit Glasswing for a dynamic retail experience.

1525 Melrose Ave, Capitol Hill

Butter Home

Butter Home

Nestled in the wood-beamed loft at the coolest Seattle market place, Melrose Market (move over, Pike Place!), is Butter Home. This 360-square-foot boutique feels like a crafty grandma’s attic, offering knick-knacks like vintage-inspired glassware, handcrafted kitchen accessories, and letterpress posters that tell you which produce is in season each month. Check out popular Seattle-based accessories brand, Baleen, here. We love her affordable earrings that come in simple geometric shapes like miniature hexagons.

1531 Melrose Ave, Capitol Hill

Velouria

Velouria

If you’re the type who loves indie designers, Velouria is your boutique. The store is full of cute, quirky designs, spanning clothing, art, accessories, and swimwear made in the USA and Canada. After a quick browse through the racks, you can easily spot Vancouver designers Allison Wonderland and Erin Templeton products. Look out for Seattle-based Frankie Four’s colourful vintage-inspired swimwear that you can buy either off the rack or through custom order.

145 South King Street, Pioneer Square

E. Smith Mercantile

E. Smith Mercantile

E. Smith Mercantile is the brainchild of mother-daughter team Kate and Jessie Poole. This turn-of-the-20th-century-inspired American general store stocks a small but strong selection of sunglasses, shoes, and skinny jeans among its dry goods (tea, coffee, candy, sauces). There’s even a bar at the back of the store. Why wouldn’t you want to hang out somewhere you can shop and get a stiff drink?

208 1st Ave S, Pioneer Square

Fleurt

Fleurt

If looks can deceive, then floral and garden shop Fleurt is the biggest deception in Seattle. While you can shop for indoor planters or vases, the majority of the store is meticulously merchandised with home accessories such as soy wax candles, fancy sea salts, and Kate Spade-like note pads. In a nutshell, if want your home to look a bit more Pinterest-worthy, look no further than Fleurt.

112 S Washington St, Pioneer Square

Ottica Seattle

Ottica Seattle

With online optical purveyors like Warby Parker, why would we ever need to step foot inside an optical boutique? Quality and unique design, argues Ottica storeowner Arlene Phillips. But don’t expect to find any big-name brands. Instead, you’ll discover designer collaborations with Ottica, artisan brands focused on craftsmanship, plus a never-ending selection of titanium frames in funky colours. Fun fact: Ottica is the only retailer in the US that carries Hapter, an Italian brand that fuses military-inspired fabric onto hinge-less industrial-grade surgical steel. If this isn’t the epitome of quality and uniqueness, we don’t know what is.

2025 1st Ave, Belltown

The Finerie Colab

The Finerie Colab

As the lifestyle offshoot of The Finerie, the Colab carries a wonderful mix of contemporary home decor treasures. From pop art to pillows, lotions to locally made furniture, it’s a one-stop shop for styling your home. There’s also a sweet selection of local fashion designers at the Colab, including Kate S. Mensah, Victoria Postolit, and Julie Danforth. The latter of which you can custom order evening wear. Check out the Finerie Colab to style your home and yourself.

1921 2nd Ave, Belltown

Sell Your Sole

Sell Your Sole

Tucked behind the Cherry Street Coffee House, Sell Your Sole is one of Seattle’s best hidden gems. The consignment boutique carries impressive designer brands (ahem, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Celine) at reasonable prices. The best part about the store is that it’s super shoppable – clothes are grouped by garment type (for example, LBDs, skirts, jeans). As well, the shoe salon on the second floor is designed intimately like a walk-in shoe closet, complete with a gigantic mirror and comfortable couch, perfect for trying on Louboutins. 

2121 1st Ave, Belltown