If you’re a person who likes women’s clothes and accessories, you’ve found the motherlode. With cool names like You Are Here and Keeping Up with the Joneses, I counted at least ten boutiques filled with a bounty of clothes, accessories, and gifts, all with different buyers, of course, so all with different stuff! Other retail favorites are Doob, where you can get a realistic miniature cut out of yourself Honey-I-Shrunk-the-Kids-style, Archie’s Gardenland, which is run by probably the nicest horticulture-savvy people you’ll ever meet, and Carter Bowden Antiques, an ever-changing ocean of one of a kind pieces.
To Cavender’s, “boots are the roots!” Founded by James and Pat Cavender in the 1960s, Cavender’s is the fastest growing western-wear chain and, of course, it started right here in Texas. Fifty-plus years of success is chalked up to affordable, quality products and remarkable customer service. Count on Cavender’s to carry brands such as Lucchese, Ariat, Roper, and many more. Their merchandising is much more than boots, though: they have hats, workwear, gifts, clothes, home goods and, my personal favorite, a robust section for kids. Who doesn’t love a miniature cowboy or cowgirl? Cavender’s remains a family-run business to this day, and in 2019 the retailer was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. The museum is conveniently located in the Stockyards near the Cavender’s store, which, by the way, is a two-story brick situation crowned with an enormous teal boot piped in red. Follow the boot for western treasures.
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. 2601 N. Main St., 817-625-2391, www.cavenders.com.
Looking for some trusty standbys? Head to Cityview. Target, Costco, Barnes & Noble, Academy, Petco, and my personal favorite, Half Price Books, all populate the area surrounding Hulen Mall, Cityview Towne Crossing, and Cityview Centre. There are a bunch of cool youths living in brand new, trendy apartments and the area just keeps growing, and growing, and growing… As the old proverb goes, “Where the youths are, the good shopping is.” I think it was Confucious.
There is something truly special about a boutique that has been owned, operated, and loved on by the same customers and owners (in this case, the wonderful Mark Vaughan and Tad Watts) for over 25 years. Since 1994, Domain is where the charm of the west is steeped in a deep appreciation for European style and antiques. A whimsically painted armoire with luscious, down-filled decorative pillows spills out next to a sideboard featuring lamps and leather-bound books. Shelf after shelf of silky bath products sit next to elegant gifts like silver bottle stoppers and baby spoons. Lampe Berger diffusers and Juliska place settings and Nest Fragrances, oh my! Of course you can find chic guest towels and luxury linens- classic- but don’t miss Domain exclusives like their blanc marble domino set and gourmet gunpowder salt(!). The business is built on providing sincere customer service and an unmatched product mix. Customers shopping here for a special hostess gift, an exquisite antique, a room full of furniture, or a full on wedding registry are all given the same personalized attention. The longevity of Domain XCIV is testament alone that it’s worth visiting. Like so many of their products are exclusive to Domain, Domain XCIV is exclusive to Forth Worth. Don’t miss it!
Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun., closed or by appointment Mon. 3100 W. 7th St., 817-336-1994, www.domainxciv.com.
Nothing says “Texas” quite like a shopping center anchored by DFW’s darling: Neiman Marcus. The Shops at Clearfork Ranch offer both high end and mainstream shopping, food, and entertainment. Here, let me plan your day: caffeinate at Starbucks, stop into Sugarboo & Co. because you don’t know what it is and it sounds cute (it is), go to climate to shop ski gear and day dream about bunny slopes because Texas is hot, decide that while you’re here in Texas, though, you should probably grab a suit at Everything but Water, meander through Monkee’s and caress the designer wares, grab lunch at Fixe Summer House, get blown out at Toni & Guy, swing by Amorino for 3 p.m.-pick-me-up gelato, have a sugar crash and go “test mattresses” at amerisleep, get kicked out of amerisleep and go rest off your sugar coma in the AC of the AMC, load yourself up with Tex Max at Mesero, pack up the day’s loot in Tumi, and drive off into the sunset in your new Tesla. Clearfork Ranch. Lifechanging, really.
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. 5188 Monahans Ave., 817-985-3773, www.simon.com/mall/the-shops-at-clearfork.
At The Mercantile you’ll find what you’re looking for and things you had no idea you absolutely must have. With over 200 vendors, there is a wealth of everything from handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind furniture to hostess gifts to both quirky and classic home décor. It’s also home to the Rose Garden Tea Room, which means you can shop all morning, refuel, and then carry on all afternoon. If you don’t need to marathon, that’s fine, I’m just saying The Mercantile has your back, okay? Each booth is like entering a completely different store without having to go outside- ideal for Texas’ erratic weather. There are baby gifts, original paintings, vintage place settings, serving bowls, and platters and, of course, plenty of TCU gear. The Mercantile was started by philanthropic businessman Holt Hickman, and the antique mall reflects his values by holding special events that benefit local causes. Go get lost in the booths; it’s a treasure hunt.
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. 7200 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-377-0910, www.the-mercantile.com.
A fairy-light strung concourse inside of The Stockyards, Mule Alley deserves its own listing. Although the barns it’s composed of have been standing for over a hundred years, they’ve been gutted to outfit retail and restaurateurs aplenty. The quaint street dead ends into another exciting development, too: Hotel Drover. Mule Alley is the place to be! Every week there seems to be something new swinging its doors open there: shops, restaurants, bars and, for some lucky people, even some office spaces. 122 E. Exchange Ave., www.mulealleyfortworth.com.
A Mule Alley stand out so far is MB Mercantile & Supply, an experience that has one foot in vintage charm and the other in hip functionality. Ugh, Somehow, they’ve filled an entire store with treasures that make special gifts and opportunities to “treatchaself.” There’s a giant vat of artisanal salted caramels that will change your life. They go fast because… people like me. The whole place is an 1800s saloon steampunk vibe, like if a dusty cowboy were driving one of those old, giant-front-wheel bicycles to catch a train out of the Stockyards, all while wearing one of those spooky plague/bird beak masks. Are you with me? There are mountains of musky candles, lavish soaps, Americana games, handmade jewelry, vaudevillian toys, and notebooks with things like vintage science diagrams on them. Underneath everything is another curiosity waiting to be discovered, like bowls of miniature magnifying glasses and old rail ties for purchase. The whole place is magic, it’s some of the best merchandising I’ve ever seen, and it’s right here in Fort Worth. Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 128 E. Exchange Ave., Suite 580, 817-928-3230, www.mbmercantilefw.com.
In regards to a more classic outfitter in the Alley, look no further than Lucchese Bootmaker, home of your bespoke forever boot. It all started when Lucchese brothers Salvatore and Joseph emigrated from Italy to Texas, bringing their father’s cobbler legacy with them. With fans from Prince Harry to Sandra Dee, Lucchese boots are canonical. Simply put, it’s where elegance meets western utility. Party trick: It’s pronounced lu-kay-see. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. On days the store opens accordingly, the hour of 11 a.m.-noon is reserved for at-risk population shoppers only. Suite 500, 817-918-7999, www.lucchese.com.
Dolly Parton famously plead, “Why’d you come in here lookin’ like that, with your cowboy boots and your painted on jeans, all decked out like a cowgirl’s dream?” I have a strong feeling her inspiration was the one and only Wrangler. While ubiquitous in the world of denim, a Wrangler store as fabulous as the one in Mule Alley isn’t as common. There are only three like it in the country! So Fort Worth is truly being treated to the best. Now go get some famous jeans and break some hearts, ya hear? Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Suite 140, 702-239-8107, www.wrangler.com.
King Ranch was established in 1853, and boy is it tenacious. After the destruction of the Civil War, the ranch had to get back on its feet, and part of that was hiring in-house craftsmen to create their very own saddles. After mastering that craft, King Ranch output expanded into more leather gear, all branded with King Ranch’s iconic “W.” Due to legend-fueled demand, they began selling product outside of the ranch and King Ranch Saddle Shop was born. Suite 530, www.krsaddleshop.com.
Proper Supply Co. is the latest store to swing open its saloon doors to shoppers in Mule Alley and features western wear with their crown jewel: Stetson. The store describes itself succinctly on its Instagram as an outpost of carefully curated, American-made, story-driven, merch, all with exceptional service. They carry gorgeous, silversmith-crafted jewelry for everyone, belt buckles galore, and boots. Many, many boots. There are things like sterling silver martini glasses and exclusively designed clothes for the bougie cowboy in your life. Suite 550, www.instagram.com/propersupplycofw
Near Southside is near… cool people. Truly. Sinaca Studios is both a glass-blowing school and shoppable gallery. A shop called Leaves has books and tea. You see what they did there? Their main goal is to create community and dialogue centered around literature. Etico is a boutique dedicated to sustainable shopping and is entirely woman-owned. Supporting tribal artisans worldwide is Brooha Market, and Kendall Davis Clay features local handmade ceramics for purchase. Are you sensing a trend? If you’re looking for environmentally friendly wares and a DIY vibe, this area is for you. 1606 Mistletoe Blvd., 817-923-1649, www.nearsouthsidefw.org/home.
The Stockyards is overflowing with incredible restaurants, and of course there are plenty of great stores in which shoppers can work up an appetite. Find sturdy, beautiful boots at Cavender’s or Leddy’s and hats at the aptly named Best Hat Store. Get laced up with elegant equine necessities like saddles, spurs, and ropes at KO Trading. If you’re visiting, snap up a non-cheesy souvenir at Texas Jakes Trading Company, Destination Fort Worth, or Texas Hot Stuff. Flip through old and new presses alike at Chief Records- while they have all kinds of genres, this is where you’ll find the good stuff: true blue country vinyl. There’s something else for hipsters- Texas Western Legends satisfies all your Victorian steampunk attire needs. If you enjoy looking like an 1800s Texan school marm ready to jump on a horse (who doesn’t?) head to Jersey Lilly Old Time Photo Parlor at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame to capture proof you were born in the wrong era. There are historic walking tours on offer, and did I mention open containers are permitted in The Stockyards? Enjoy.
Hours and phone numbers vary by store, so be sure to check the website: www.fortworthstockyards.org/home/shop#categories.
With live music echoing and wafts of delicious food from outdoor restaurants in the air, Sundance Square is alive and bustling. Duck into Haltom’s, a Fort Worth jeweler since 1893, Willow House, a family-owned boutique filled with hand-picked and regularly updated selections, and Houston Street Toy Company, where “the focus is less on electronics and more on creativity and the senses.” There are also some trusty standbys, like H&M, Sunglass Hut, and JoS. A. Bank. If you like people watching and a big city vibe, you’ll love taking it all in here. Sundance Square was first developed by the Bass family in the 1970s, and its retail offerings and general vibrancy have aged like a fine wine.
Hours and phone numbers vary by store, so be sure to check the website: www.sundancesquare.com/shopping.
If you’ve ever had a frustrating, expensive experience at an Apple store, make some noise! If you’ve ever been grateful that there’s one nearby, though, make some noise! If you don’t even use Apple products, make some noise! Fortunately, the store is flanked by fabulous shopping to both help blow off steam and pick up necessities. There are several well-curated boutiques, often family-owned, like The Impeccable Pig, Altar’d State, and Runway Seven. There are also comfortable classics such as Chico’s, Anthropologie, and J.Crew. There’s a lot to see, and University Park Village’s sleek façade and retail offerings make the Apple store waitlist all the better. What do you mean it’s $150 for you to turn my phone off and on again? I’d much rather spend that at Kendra Scott.
Hours and phone numbers vary by store, so be sure to check the website: www.simon.com/mall/university-park-village.
Settled next to the Trinity River, aptly named Waterside is a pretty cluster of stores, shops, and trendy places like CycleBar. There’s a colossal REI, which is especially key right now since people have a newfound interest in getting out into wide open spaces, magical places where fresh air is kept. Also, if you’ve been staying in and have become a bit of a self-made chef, you might consider upgrading your tools at Sur la Table. It’s pronounced sir-la-TAWbluh, and I’m telling you so you can impress your friend Pierre. There is more info on Pierre in the West 7th listing below. My favorite place in Waterside, though, is Pinspiration. They have an ever-changing menu of crafts and DIY projects based on what’s trending on the internet that month. They also have a bar, so, you know, you can buy rainbow pom poms and a beer. It’s a real one-stop-shop. Bryant Irvin and Arborlawn Dr., www.watersidefw.com.
From the historic Montgomery Plaza all the way to the latest place crowned cool by TCU students, there’s a lot happening on West 7th Street. This is the neighborhood where the fabled Domain XCIV is located, after all. You can buy small-batch, artisanal treats at Dude, Sweet Chocolate. This ain’t your stuffy friend Pierre’s chocolaterie in the 7th arrondissement à Paris, non. It’s better. Head to Esther Penn boutique for a sartorial curation by Texas women touched by sunny LA style. The buying is small-batch and has to pass the “must have” test for both of the owners, so you know every item is good. Peruvian Atelier has been a purveyor of jewels for 35 years, and FIG Designers outfits women in luxurious, European bespoke clothing. Stop by Uncommon Angles for kaleidoscopic home showpieces, and discover more avant garde homewares at Wrare. Those last few words were a tongue twister. After all that shopping, if you realize you forgot to get something for a loved one waiting at home, swing by The Flower Market on 7th for a true-blue European cash-and-carry floral situation. You can make up a bouquet as you go with florists on hand to guide you along. www.fortworth.com/about/neighborhoods-districts/west-7th.
If you’ve been carefully studying Tan France’s art of the French tuck on Queer Eye, you know he loves a good Bonobos store. Guess which shopping area has a Bonobos? WestBend, my friend. At Dear Hannah you’ll find adorable accessories like beaded rosé bottle earrings. They also carry dog toys like a stuffed “Lick Croix” can and the brand Stoney Clover, which is a pastel paradise of accessories like pouches and patches. Marine Layer has created custom fabrics and then made Cali-inspired loungewear for everyone. Tyler’s has athletic wear, and Blue Mercury has skincare. I’m a poet, I didn’t know it, Warby Parker has designer glasses, revolutionarily priced for the masses. 1701 River Run, www.westbendfw.com.