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Texas Shopping

By George
524 N. Lamar
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 472 5951

This retailer has served Austin's (admittedly small) fashion-forward crowd for some 25 years. In 2001, husband-and-wife team Matthew and Katy Culmo consolidated their men's and women's stores to provide chic clothes and accessories, creating a one-stop shop for software execs and stylish profs. The owners handpick collections each season, with everything from designer dresses from Nicole Farhi to Seven jeans.

Century Modern
2928 Main St.
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 214 651 9200

It's mid-century-modern madness at this unpretentious Deep Ellum storefront, where artfully composed suites take you back to 1950s high style. Go ahead and sit in the 1951 Eero Saarinen armchairs or the classic 1950s Eames lounge chairs by Herman Miller. The icons are everywhere: a Robsjohn-Gibbings triangular table, Hans Wegner sofa, Paul McCobb cabinets, Edward Wormley dressers. But there's also generic, period Danish modern and just plain cool-looking no-name stuff. As a bonus, the showroom has the nation's top selection of sleek Deco broadcast microphones from the dawn of radio and television (1920s through 1950s), as well as vintage aero-style fans and kitchen appliances.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 5 pm.

Hotel Photo
Dallas Farmers Market
1010 South Pearl Expressway
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 214 939 2808

A vast outdoor market—one of the largest of its kind—stands in the shadow of the downtown high-rises. It includes acres of cut and potted flowers and a sprawling International Market specializing in mass-produced handicrafts such as Hacienda-style furniture and exuberantly glazed Mexican ceramics. But country folk and urban foodies alike flock to the block-long metal sheds full of fresh-from-the-farm produce—everything from watermelons to peanuts—so voluptuously shaped and beautifully displayed that it might be described as food pornography. Farmers vie for the most perfect presentation, with kale tied in neat bunches, strawberries piled in little pyramids, and the string beans neatly arranged in pint-size boutique baskets. Samples are frequently offered.

Open daily 7 am to 6 pm.

Hotel Photo
Highland Park Village
Preston Road and Mockingbird Lane
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 214 559 2740

Dallas's profound contribution to mall culture began with this National Historic Landmark, the first self-contained, sole-proprietorship shopping mall in the nation's history. Built in 1931 in a Spanish Mediterranean style, the lovingly maintained outdoor mall actually does feel Mediterranean, with beautiful trees, a central fountain, terra-cotta tile roofs, and gracefully arched storefront windows framing artful displays. There was a time when equestriennes from surrounding Highland Park—Dallas's Beverly Hills—tied up their horses in front of the shops; now they drive luxury SUVs and dress for lunch. The charming retro ambience frames some of the biggest names in fashion today, with exclusive boutiques featuring Hermès, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Escada, Calvin Klein, and Polo/Ralph Lauren.

Sundays noon to 5 pm, Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm.

M.L. Leddy's Boots & Saddlery
2455 N. Main Street
Fort Worth , Texas
Tel: 817 624 3149

Since 1941 this premier maker of custom boots and saddles has done business at the corner of Main and Exchange in the Fort Worth Stockyards. At first you think you're in a high-end boutique stocked with surprisingly tasteful rhinestone cowgirl cocktail wear, Ermenegildo Zegna jackets, pure beaver cowboy hats, and emerald-studded gold belt buckles. The next room, however, is packed with utilitarian gear for real cowboys: saddles, spurs, gloves, bits, and bridles. The back room is equal parts cowboy and couture: The floor-to-ceiling display of M.L. Leddy's famous cowboy boots is shot through with colors you never imagined: turquoise kangaroo, chartreuse lizard, gold ostrich, and purple stingray (which has a glittery, finely pebbled surface). Turn them over for the sticker shock; most are four figures. If you want to spend more, custom-made boots take four to five months; this is where Elvis, LBJ, and the Shah of Iran got theirs. But real cowboys and cowgirls—still a large part of Leddy's business—will buy ostrich-skin boots as light and supple as Italian loafers, get right on their horses, and wear them for decades.

Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm.

Neiman Marcus Downtown
1618 Main St.
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 214 741 6911

Dallas's reputation as a city that shops with near-religious fervor began with this flagship emporium in 1914. The luxury "specialty store" was born in this seven-story Beaux Arts–style building, which has stood for generations as a shrine to couture quality and impeccable customer service. Today the cheeky, minimalist window displays proclaim NM's unflagging fashion-forward attitude. But inside there's a reassuring timelessness, as if you are entering a fashion cathedral, with cloisterlike vaults and stunning 1950s "artichoke" chandeliers hovering over the first-floor handbags and jewelry. That soothingly retro, mid-century-modern ambience pervades the succeeding floors, where you find the swank menswear displays, the couture salons—Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, St. John's—resembling little chapels, and the Steuben glass and Waterford crystal presented like museum pieces. The experience is capped off by the top-floor Zodiac Room restaurant, a pale chartreuse and white-linen aerie where Dallas's most elegant lunches have for decades begun with the complimentary demitasse of chicken broth and a popover served with strawberry butter.

Open Mondays through Wednesdays 10 am to 6 pm, Thursdays 10 am to 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm.

Northpark Center
8687 North Central Expressway
At Northwest Highway
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 214 361 6345
Fax: 214 363 5267

The evolution of mall culture continues with this landmark, which brought the indoor mall to a new level of luxurious good taste when it was built in the mid-1960s. Developer and noted art collector Raymond Nasher (of the Nasher Sculpture Center) insisted on subtle architecture and signs, natural light, and lots of landscaping indoors and out—as well as displaying scores of modern art masterpieces from his own sculpture collection. Class—and Nasher's art—still shows four decades later; absent a soaring atrium or a skating rink, NorthPark continues to be the most elegant and popular mall in a city that leads the nation in malls per capita. There's something for every taste, from Brooks Brothers to Victoria's Secret, along with spas, salons, and sporting goods. But in the main this is prime fashionista turf: Anchor tenant Neiman Marcus is flanked by a panoply of shops including Burberry, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, Billy Reid, Giorgio Armani, MaxMara, Tiffany & Co., Arden B., and DeBeers.

Open Sundays noon to 6 pm, Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm.

Sam Moon Trading Co.
11826 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas , Texas
Tel: 972 484 3084
Fax: 972 243 3106

This discount accessories store, now the centerpiece of a north Dallas mini-mall of price-slashing retailers, has to be seen to be believed. In one enormous warehouse-size room, at almost any given hour of the day, hordes of women, from gimlet-eyed urban fashionistas to desperate suburban housewives, can be found picking through huge bins piled high with handbags or perusing case after case of earrings, necklaces, watches, and bracelets. Much of it looks and feels like designer merchandise, but the gasps here are reverse sticker shock: This is an alternative universe of $14 beaded evening clutches and $25 designer totes (not to mention two display cases full of $15 rhinestone tiaras). They're not counterfeits—there are no labels—but instead are entirely legal, looking enough like the real thing to pass inspection in the best places. The eponymous Mr. Moon, a wholesaler, keeps prices shockingly low by selling directly to the public. Come prepared for a hectic shopping experience.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 6:30 pm.

South Congress Avenue
Austin , Texas

The anchor of Austin's hippest hood, this pedestrian-friendly strip also offers the city's most eclectic shopping. Coeds and scenesters get decked out at vintage stores like New Bohemia (512-326-1238) and Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds (512-444-2002;; trendy homemakers haunt antiques emporiums such as Uncommon Objects (512-442-4000); country boys load up on gear at Allens Boots (512-447-1413; Line up with the locals at the walk-up window of Amy's Ice Cream (512-440-7488; On the first Thursday of each month, SoCo merchants stay open late and offer food, drinks, and live music as part of a boisterous block party (


This neighborhood just north of downtown Dallas, which is roughly defined by the route of the McKinney Avenue Trolley, is chockablock with charming older residences that house many of the city's best art galleries, florists, frame shops, boutiques, and antique shops. Shaded sidewalks actually encourage walking, so begin with Stanley Korshak. Located in the Crescent Court (Philip Johnson's massive 1985 French Second Empire–on-steroids concoction), this impeccable local specialty store is fitted out in a luxuriously contemporary Milanese style, with designer boutiques, bridal shop, and the most stylish menswear in town. Uncommon Market consists of two picturesque houses and an adjacent warehouse, all overflowing with a global selection of reasonably priced furniture, decorative accessories, and architectural salvage. There are whole rooms devoted to leather-bound books, old leather luggage, and light fixtures—and an entire yard full of stone and cast-iron urns. Riddell Rare Maps & Fine Print has a rich selection of 17th- to 19th-century cartography and historical prints, focusing on Texas and the West. Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery features cutting-edge fine-art photography by regional icons as well as international stars. At the north end of Uptown is the West Village, a two-block retail–residential development with more than 30 glamorous, young-thinking shops where you can buy Vespas, custom-tailored shirts, gourmet dog biscuits, or really outrageous urban cowboy attire. Ahab Bowen is bursting at the seams with vintage dresses and costume jewelry.

Victory Park
Along and between Victory Avenue, Victory Park Lane, North Houston, and Olive streets
Intersection of I-35 and Woodall Rodgers Freeway
Dallas , Texas

If Highland Park got Dallas mall culture started, Victory Park took it into the 21st century. This master-planned living and entertainment development, centered around the American Airlines Center stadium, is like a candy store for grown-up kids with much bigger allowances than they once had. Early returns are in, and in addition to several high-rise luxury apartment buildings, they've already brought in dozens of top boutiques, including Diane von Furstenberg and Zegna; a gleaming modern W Hotel with its Bliss spa, its world-class Craft restaurant, and its rooftop Ghostbar; plus Vegas's N9NE Steakhouse, a House of Blues, and a host of other restaurants that range from the not-bad to the not-good. In the works are a Mandarin Oriental hotel (slated for 2010) and a Museum of Nature & Science. Its bizarre Orwellian name aside, Victory Park is a fascinating, at times troubling insight into the ways in which malls—and Dallas itself—are combining shopping and living communities into high-end gated "lifestyle centers."

Waterloo Records
600 N. Lamar
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 474 2500

At a modest 6,400 square feet, Waterloo is hardly a megastore, but it's a music lover's dream. A weekly sales chart tells you what the savvy locals are buying, and 11 listening stations let you evaluate their tastes. Don't like what you bought? Return it within ten days—for whatever reason. Many of the big touring acts stop by for in-store performances the day of the show, sometimes with free beer provided by sponsors.

Whole Foods Market
525 N. Lamar
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 476 1206
Fax: 512 476 5704

The organic food revolution started in 1980, when Whole Foods Market, devoted to all things natural, was founded in Austin. A few blocks from the original, its gargantuan new flagship—at 80,000 square feet, it's nearly three times the size of most supermarkets—is a food Disneyland where you can you can dip strawberries in a chocolate fountain at Candy Island or browse the acres of organic produce. A trip here is at once eco-friendly and decadent.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.