In Portland, our dollar is high, the sales are ongoing, and the merch is to buy for.
TRAVEL ADVISORY | Last week we shared some of our favourite places to sleep and eat in Portland, Oregon. Today we cut straight to the shopping (after a toe dip in Lawrence Halprin’s Keller Fountain Park pictured here, arguably the most beautiful water feature in North America).
Maybe because there’s no sales tax or because Portland’s less than stellar economy means sales are constant, but PDX brings out the shopper in me. What I love about this place is that there are plenty of malls and big box emporiums for those who want them, and lots of indie shopping neighbourhoods for those who don’t.
Here’s where to shop in Portland, Oregon, right now.
Big Box Love
Crossing the border from Washington into Oregon, my first stop is the Target at Jantzen Beach mall. It is a mega store and easily accessible (the others are more out of the way), plus it typically has more pieces of the low-end couture (by high-end designers) items I go there to buy.
Next I check Macy’s for staples like towels, sheets, kitchenware, small appliances and luggage because their sale prices on these everyday things are always infinitely better than in Vancouver.
And of course I hit the downtown Nordstrom Rack (CLICK HERE for our recent story), known for its selection of denim and high-end handbags—including numbers by Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Lanvin and Alexander McQueen.
If Portland weren’t already nicknamed Rip City, I’d christen it Recycle Town. Portlanders recycle everything from clothing to building materials as a matter of course. It is, after all, home to Powell’s Books, a pioneer in selling new and used items side by side.
Like Powell’s, Rejuvenation displays both new and used house parts and furniture together in its huge showroom, definitely worth visiting if retro décor is your thing. For vintage fashions, visit Buffalo Exchange if you’re a teen or 20s hipster, and Seams To Fit if you belong to Vuitton/Prada crowd.
Shoppin’ The Hoods
The Buffalo Exchange is located in the Hawthorne District, and Seams to Fit is situated in tonier Northwest Portland. Both shopping neighbour- hoods are absolutely worth checking out after you’ve been to The Pearl District, Portland’s version of SoHo, and visited the quirky Alberta Arts District (like Vancouver’s Main Street area but a little more intimate and arty), which is the hippest place to shop, eat and hang out in the city right now. Among its interesting shops are Pistils (urban farmer alert), Popina (original, retro swimwear manufactured in Portland), Grasshopper Store (a sweet shop for kids toys) and Garnish (for tailor-made clothing). — C. Rule
Photos, top to Bottom: Halprin fountain via Patty Hume; courtesy Macy’s, Powell’s and Pistils