3967 N Mississippi, 808-9880
This small but packed store has an array of clothes so visually appealing, you can't help but spend an hour perusing the goods. It's more punk than other boutiques in town, which means the prices are also more punk friendly than just about anything you'll find on NW 23rd. This is a great spot to hit if you're looking for statement items like purses made out of stuffed animals, or bags with frilly underwear sewn onto them. Plus, there's tons of reconstructed vintage stuff that's one of a kind. Also of note: they carry tons of bike part jewelry that actually looks cool. Pretty much everything at Cukoo is DIY and local, so you can shop with pride.
Pin Me Apparel
3705 N Mississippi, 281-1572
Check it: skirts in the $30-40 dollar range that you can wear with slutty boots and on a job interview. Great spot to shop for professional gals looking for suits, jackets, and trousers. Similar to the selection of lines of clothes at Yes (see below), but more "young professional" looking pieces, rather than funky and casual. They have a small but cute shoe selection, and great handbags like the oversized long black and red clutch they recently had on display. Also of note: Pin Me has items for people of all sizes, unlike a lot of elitist boutiques who just cater to anorexic super models.
The English Dept.
724 NW 23rd, 224-0724
Co-owned by Willamette Week fashion guru and designer Elizabeth Dye, this cute little boutique is for the rich, feminine professional or people who like to dress like characters from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Sailing stripes, white pants, skirts, blazers, printed coats. Fine, subtle, delicate jewelry. For the girl who prefers to make love to a partner after a month of dating rather than have a one- night stand in the back of a Camaro--or at least wants to project that image.
2823 NE Sandy, 238-4507
Tons of creepy, cool Edward Gorey stuff, like greeting cards, notebooks, knick-knacks, and other gifts. A bunch of costumey thrift clothes, meaning bright, poofy, and exceedingly funky stuff that might appeal to teenage goth kids and other misfits. They also have vintage shoes from heels to sneakers, although the selection isn't much more impressive than that of your garden variety garage sale. They also have tons of tees, and if you're looking to get into the screen-printing scene, you can contact the store about the classes they offer.
628 E Burnside, 236-7788
Now you and your friend who works on the Starbucks account at Wieden + Kennedy can shop at the same store. Yes has a huge price range so you can spend $20 or $200 and still look sharp. Check out their reasonably priced, cute selection of flats and pumps and funky Euro-style boots. Local and international designers' lines are assembled together for a one-stop of items for your entire wardrobe, including underwear, purses, jewelry, hats, sunglasses, and shoes. Lots of bright colored jewelry and cool dangly earrings, too.
923 NW 10th, 274-7114
With over 80 types of denim, this is one of the best spots in town for either the male or female designer jean whore (it may look like a girly zone from across the street, but smart boys know this store is the place to go for fly pants). You'll also find delicate niceties like plunging neckline dresses and underwear (like those delicious see-through underwear Scarlett Johanssen wore in Lost in Translation). And although it's not exactly wallet appeasing, the really affordable sale prices might make you reconsider buying a sweater poncho after all.