Essential indie boutiques in Vancouver

Every city has those amazing, out-of-the-way stores that tourists often don’t know about. Whether they’re stocked with beauty products, unique clothing, quirky cards or vintage pieces with a story, these are the essential Vancouver stores that you need to have on your shopping radar. No rainy afternoon is wasted perusing these boutiques while stopping in at cute cafés along the way! [Photo courtesy of Neighbour / Woman]

Neighbour / Woman

Favouring European designers, you can find Neighbour's beautifully curated mens and womens boutiques just down the block from one another. These upscale spots definitely have a higher price point (think brands like Acne, Common Projects and Comme des Garcons), but it’s worth a turn around the gorgeous store to look for investment pieces.

One of A Few

354 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B6

Located in a gorgeous white space in Gastown, this is one quirky and stylish boutique. They have simple, but elegant separates from little known European designers and interesting accessories I saw my first Building Block bag here and they stock plenty of structured leather bags with interesting details such as a wood ball or tassels.

Front & Company

3772 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N7

This well known Main Street store has amazing vintage and second hand collections as well as little trinkets for the home. I snagged a favourite white lace dress from here and still wear it years later. They also have a second shop next door with the best greeting cards in the city (I jokingly got one for my mom with the following: “My therapist says its not your fault.”)

F As In Frank

2425 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E1

My favourite vintage t-shirt (a New York music tee) is from this shop on Main Street. F as in Frank has one of the best t-shirt selections in the city, with prices ranging from $10-$100 (think a rare Bruce Springsteen concert tee – yup, have that one too!). They’re also known for having a great assortment of vintage Levi denim cut-offs for a lot cheaper than you’ll find at Urban Outfitters.

8th & Main

2403 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E1

I discovered this newer store after lunch one day at 8 ½ around the corner (amazing appies!). 8th and Main have great unknown and very affordable brands, which makes for a fun and unexpected shopping trip. The budget-friendly price point makes it the perfect store for trendier pieces. I also love their jeans from Just USA (affordable and flattering).

Nouvelle Nouvelle Retail Inc

208 12th Ave E, Vancouver, BC V5T 2G9

With locations in Gastown and Mount Pleasant, this local boutique has beautiful basics for men and women (think classic striped tees, simple bottoms and quirky shoes). As a sucker for a good greeting card, I was drawn into the store to also find beautiful stationary, as well as dainty jewellery, purses and an apothecary section.

Kiss & Makeup

1545 Marine Dr, North Vancouver, BC V7P 1T8

This is the best place for hard-to-find beauty brands like Vincent Longo and Ellis Faas. They’re also known for having great natural products from RMS Beauty and Ilia as well as handmade soy candles from Vancouver Candle Co (I love the Gastown scent). With locations in Olympic Village and North Vancouver, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon browsing and stocking up on your favourite beauty must-haves.

As someone who lives and breathes fashion, I have to be careful how much money I spend. So when I need failsafe stores that won’t completely break the bank, I head over to these places. Plus, most of them are located on Robson Street if you want to do a one-stop shop!
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