If you’re a person who likes women’s fashion, 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 Archie’s Gardenland, 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. Hours and phone numbers vary by store, so be sure to check out the website: www.campbowiedistrict.com/shopping.
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 by the same customers and owners (in this case, Mark Vaughan and Tad Watts) for nearly 30 years. Since 1994, Domain is where the charm of the west steeps 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. 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 or a full on wedding registry are all given the same personalized attention. Like so many of their products are exclusive to Domain, Domain XCIV is exclusive to Fort Worth.
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.
Founded by cute-as-a-button local Bekah Hale, Hale House is a boutique you don’t want to miss. It started as a collection of mined vintage and antique pieces sold out of a 1955 Airstream Bubble. Today it’s evolved into a master class in fashion merchandising of the happiest persuasion while also staying true to its roots with antiques sprinkled throughout. It’s a one-stop shop for gifts… and a little something for yourself. Like so many Fort Worth shopping gems, it’s in the Camp Bowie District.
Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon. 4900 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-349-0535, www.shophalehouse.com.
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 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, 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 is composed of barns that have been standing for over a hundred years, now 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: shops, restaurants, bars and, for some lucky people, even some office spaces. 122-128 E. Exchange Ave., www.mulealleyfortworth.com.
Hotel Drover: more than a place to wine, dine, and sleep! Inside the lobby are two shops, one of which is Lucchese Custom Collection at Hotel Drover, the only Lucchese boutique of its kind in existence. At Wide Brim by Flea Style, western sensibility meets coastal relaxation in a shop carefully curated by locals. So, there you have it. Style that’s both bespoke and cool, all achieved in one lobby. 200 Mule Alley Drive, 817-755-5557, www.hoteldrover.com/stay/stockyards-shopping.
Amanda and Matt, the creators of Kimes Ranch, have taken their fashion background to create a more thoughtful jean. With details like a special pocket for a knife, flattering pocket placement, and womenswear with a high enough rise to cover up while riding but not so high as to sacrifice style, they’ve managed to make the sartorially pleasing utilitarian. Yeehaw! 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Suite 120, www.kimesranch.com.
King Ranch Saddle Shop was established in 1853, and boy is it tenacious. During the Reconstruction Era 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 products outside of the ranch and King Ranch Saddle Shop was born. Suite 530, www.krsaddleshop.com.
In regards to a 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 practicality. Party trick: It’s pronounced lu-kay-see. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Suite 500, 817-918-7999, www.lucchese.com.
At PH Barn Door you’ll find the American Paint Horse Association’s official store featuring clothes, accessories, and some home goods like picture frames, all as unique as the Paint Horse itself. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Suite 420, 817-222-6411, www.phbarndoor.com.
Proper Supply Co. is the latest store to open its swinging 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 also things like sterling silver martini glasses and exclusively designed clothes for the bougie cowboy in your life. Suite 550, 949-874-1281, www.instagram.com/propersupplycofw.
Dolly Parton famously pleaded, “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! Fort Worth is truly being treated to the best. Now go get some famous jeans and break some hearts, ya hear? Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Suite 140, 682-610-3347, www.wrangler.com.
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? Etico is an entirely woman-owned boutique dedicated to sustainable shopping. 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. Hours and phone numbers vary by store, so be sure to check out the website: www.nearsouthsidefw.org/southside-guide.
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, https://www.simon.com/mall/the-shops-at-clearfork.
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 Jake’s 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: old school 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 out the website: www.fortworthstockyards.org/shop.
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.