American Apparel, 51 Broadway, 203-624-0120, americanapparel.net. Plain T’s, tube dresses, spandex pants, sparkly duffle bags, scrunchies, body suits and more, in almost every color. The T-shirts are some of the softest around.
April Rose Designs, 69 Boston St., Guilford, 203-453-1797, aprilrose.com. Bridal gear central for eclectic, elegant tastes — and Miss America (the shop designed the glass slipper for the pageant’s Parade of States). April creates custom jewelry (made of Swarovski crystal and freshwater coin pearls in complex, multistrand woven and organic nonsymmetrical designs), headpieces, shoes, dresses and more. Look for three-to-five-inch bracelets of solid Swarovski crystal.
Archetype Clothing, 265 College St., 203-562-6772, archetypeclothing.com. What it is: Upscale women’s clothing boutique with an eye to New York City. Sophisticated suits and dresses, BCBG shoes and designer jeans and unusual jewelry.
Artifax, 17 River St., Milford, 203-878-2131, artifaxworld.com. Gifts, decor and global accents.
Bijoux Accessories Boutique, 2311 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, 203-453-6500. Fine jewelry, accessories, handbags, scarves, handmade accessories by local designers, Halia charms and bracelets and more.
Campus Customs, 57 Broadway, 203-789-1608, campuscustoms.com. If you’re looking for that special Yale visor, mug, key chain — and virtually anything else you can imagine with Old Blue’s name on it — Campus Customs is the place to go. But Campus Customs is also a full-service custom shop. Need T-shirts for your best friend’s bachelorette? Twenty water bottles for your AIDS Walk team? Campus Customs can make them.
Celtica, 1008 Chapel St., 203-785-8034, gotirish.com. The must-stop shop for all things Irish, Celtica carries Waterford crystal, Celtic clays and Jerpoint glass, plus traditional wool aran sweaters and Alpaca hand-knits.
Channel 1, 220 State St., 888-SHOP-CH1, channel1online.com. Channel 1 is a gallery skate shop that also sells shoes (“kicks for skating, walking, rocking & pimping”), apparel (a trucker’s cap adorned with an oversized #1, for example: “Sit back & relax while the strippers jock this Channel 1 classic”), media (DVDs, BetaMax, cassette tapes, 8-Track, 78s and reel to reel), plus urban vinyl dolls.
Ciao Bella, 36 Wall St., Madison, 203-245-1819. Fun, fabulous fashions and accessories for hip chicks. Don’t confuse it with the line of gelato.
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, 20-A Killingworth Tpke., Clinton, 860-664-0700, premiumoutlets.com. Believe us, we love independently owned boutiques, but if you just need to have that Banana Republic suit, why pay retail? Clinton Crossing features a bunch of name-brand outlets, from Bose to Nike to Kate Spade. Check online for a complete list.
Coco’s on the Green, 235 Montowese St., Branford, 203-481-5300, cocosonthegreen.com. High-end designer styles and accessories at prices you’ll love. Shop shoes, handbags, jewelry and fashions for women, from evening to everyday.
Consignment Originals, 959 S. Main St., Cheshire, 203-271-0475; 320 Boston Post Rd., Orange, 203-799-8075, consignit.com. Current fashions in perfect or near-perfect condition, along with like-new and gently used housewares, appliances, jewelry, furniture, art and more. Selection varies by store.
Dancers’ Boutique & Down Under Tanning Salon, 224 Main St., East Haven, 203-469-6637, thedancersboutique.com. Exercise clothes for dancers, swimmers, skaters, gymnasts, cyclists and yogis, in sizes ranging from Tot to Plus. Dancer’s Boutique has been around since the Flashdance days of the mid-’80s. Swimsuits and the tan to go with it available year-round. The shop’s owner, Jean MacDonald-Carpio, runs Down Under Tanning Salon in the lower level.
Dava, 2100 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, 203-230-0039, shopdava.com. An easy-to-get-lost-in shop of eclectic clothing (with an emphasis on natural fibers), jewelry, body products, incense and handmade candles, things with fairies on them and other creative miscellany, with a focus on fair trade and local artisans.
Denali, 13 Broadway, 203-495-9355, denalinewhaven.com. Specialists in North Face apparel and equipment and Merrell footwear, with all the advantages of a small, local shop: i.e., the staff is attentive and knowledgeable, and experienced in the great outdoors.
Derek Simpson Goldsmith, 1094 Chapel St., 203-787-2498. Derek Simpson is not just a jeweler: He’s a wizard with all things auric. A wide inventory of jewelry and golden accoutrements fills his store, though he does a big clip of custom business. Basically he’s like Goldfinger, but not evil.
Dharma Jewel Tibet Himalayan Handicraft, 1608 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, 860-399-6082. Lobsang Dolma, a Tibetan transplant, sells the wares of her home country. Gift items include silver and beaded jewelry, books on meditation, pashminas, Buddhist prayer flags, “singing bowls,” 100 percent sheep’s wool rugs, sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves and Buddhist statues and antiques.
Enclave, 23 Broadway, 203-865-3470, enclavenewhaven.com. From the operators of outdoor outfitters Trailblazer and Denali comes this skate and snow emporium, packed with equipment and outerwear from all the leading brands, and then some.
English Building Markets, 839 Chapel St., 203-772-1728, englishbuildingmarkets.com. Vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind home furnishings, clothing and jewelry, with new selections arriving weekly.