If you're anything like us, you like to wear your Cleveland pride on your sleeve (and we mean that literally). Now, with the abundance of locally-focused shops and wares, finding sweet Cleveland swag is easier than ever. Here are some of our favorite spots.
Since 2008, the CLE Clothing Company has been making locals look good with their line of snazzy T's (plus a whole lot more). Where this shop earns points is in its dedication to reproducing inside jokes and references on their apparel that only true Clevelanders can appreciate. Whether it's taking jabs at the ever-inconsistent Northeast Ohio weather, capturing the city's undying love for our sports teams, or reproducing iconic 216 images (the West Side Market, the old Municipal Stadium, and Whiskey Island, to name a few), the CLE Clothing Company has dozens of designs to fit every style and mood. Peruse their vast selection of men's and women's T's online and in-store, downtown on East Fourth Street or at Native Cleveland (another fabulous local hotspot) on Waterloo Road.
When it comes to fine, fashionable, wearable art we simply adore Erika Originals. Erika Hansen, the young Cleveland mastermind behind the line, produces beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations from old scraps and knickknacks such as keys, book pages, metal settings, chains, and other random trinkets, all of which can be easily dressed up or down as needed. Browse her selection of map-work jewelry, too, for stunning pieces that depict the city's downtown and outlying neighborhoods. Visit her online at erikaoriginals.com.
Lakewood's YellowCake boutique is home to a fabulous collection of women's (yellowcake), men's (beefcake) and kid's (minicake) apparel, all hand designed and crafted by Clevelander Valerie Mayen, whom you may remember from Season 8 of Project Runway. Each piece is finished with detailed thread, giving her apparel that unique YellowCake flavor and flair. We particularly love her collection of dresses, wearable on casual Saturday mornings, flashy nights out on the town, or at conservative family functions. Her dresses also boast an off-the-runway look with everyday practicality: Many include pockets—we love that!
You may have to dig a bit and brush off some fuzzies at Unique Thrift on Lorain Avenue, but put in the time and you'll surely walk out with some real gems. On practically a daily basis, this second-hand shop receives boatloads of donations of used and second-hand winter wear, and many a Clevelander can attest to finding great steals on pea coats, rain coats, trench coats, and a plethora of other cold-weather essentials. Did we mention that Mondays are half-off too?