Passport to Peru
If there's one thing we've learned from stumbling around Lakewood and Ohio City at 2 a.m. it's that practical warm-weather footwear is the key to long and happy summer nights. That's why every summer we hit up Coventry Village's Passport to Peru to browse their selection of Birkenstocks, Noats, and other cork 'n' leather essentials that feel so good, they'll make you squeal. The prices are usually in the triple digits, but take it from us: These bad boys are worth it.
While Appalachian Outfitters may not technically be in Cleveland, their selection of durable bags, satchels and knapsacks makes the trek down to Peninsula 100-percent worth it. (Plus, they have a rock wall — and who doesn't love a good rock wall?) Not only do their bags last forever (seriously, we've had some since we were kids), but recently Appalachian Outfitters began a partnership with the ladies of Harvest Home in Akron and now feature a line of Carry Me Bags, with all profits filtering back into the organization. Check 'em out online at appalachianoutfitters.com, or at 60 Kendall Park Rd., Peninsula.
Make your way to Avalon Exchange in Lakewood or Coventry and there you'll find eyewear aplenty: We've spotted everything from classic aviator shades to Ray Bans and Jackie O's, all for prices that'll make you swoon. Bring in last year's collection and the folks behind the counter will hook you up with cold, hard cash or store credit. Visit them online at avalonexchange.com or in-store at 15006 Detroit Rd., Lakewood and 1798 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights.
If you're inclined to food trucks and fashion, hop aboard the Wandering Wardrobe, northeast Ohio's first and only mobile boutique. Owned and operated by native Clevelander Caroline Dengel, this store on wheels sports a healthy selection of gently used and new name brand and designer dresses — from flirty and fun to sophisticated and chic (sometimes at prices that rival those of a taco truck). Bring in one of last year's maxis or that dated sheath that's been living in your closet, and receive a 20-percent discount on any new purchase. Visit wanderingcle.com for the latest styles and to see where Dengel is setting up shop next.
The bow tie
WhatKnot Bow Tie Company
Clevelander Mark Matthews has been making locals look fly for over a year now with an exclusive line of crafty bow ties, available at his online boutique, WhatKnot Bow Tie Company. Offering up dozens of unique looks from black floral to poly plaid and crazy paisley, Matthews boasts styles for every occasion and season (American flag bow tie, anyone?), with prices falling between $30 and $55. Check out his newest styles at thewhatknot.storenvy.com.
Haven Style House
Head out to Haven Style House in Chagrin Falls this season to stock up on your cool summer night essentials and to update your look. Book a private wardrobe styling appointment with the lovely Haven ladies, Anne Rutter and Cori Imbrigiotta, who will help you pick out the perfect tops for your body type and budget. Whether you're seeking out a casual cropped sweater or a classic cardi, every Cleveland fashionista can use a little more Haven in their life. Browse more styles at havenstylehouse.com or at 13 West Orange St., Chagrin Falls.
GV Art + Design
Since 2008, the gents of Lakewood's GV Art + Design have been hooking Clevelanders up with their extensive inventory of snazzy T's and tanks (plus a whole lot more). Where these guys earn points is in their dedication to spreading their hometown pride with their line of "Cleveland That I Love" apparel, featuring iconic images (think everything from Superman to the Muni Lot). We've already stocked up on a handful of their original summer tanks and suggest you do the same. Take a peek at the goods at gvartwork.myshopify.com or browse the racks at 17411 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.
Made By Superior
There have been all sorts of slogans for Cleveland over the years — It's a Plum, the Heart of It All, Cleveland Rocks, Not a Super Terrible Place, etc. — but many of them fail to really capture what we're all about. Our favorite? It's on the front of a tee from Made By Superior: Cleveland, America. Okay, so it's not really a slogan, but we like to believe Cleveland is the best place in the country, and wearing this alleviates us from having to tell people. We wear it instead. Browse the rest of the wares at madebysuperior.bigcartel.com.
Stitched and Wired
We've had our eye on local jewelry designer Shelley Turk for a while now (she's a regular vendor at the Cleveland Flea), but we recently picked up a pair of her gold-toned studs and they've quickly become our go-to accessory, both day and night. Simple yet refined, these $8 earrings give any outfit that extra touch of sophisticated flair. Visit her online at stitchedandwired.com.