Our favorite local clothing shops
Whether you love or hate to shop for clothing, chances are you find yourself going to the same shops because when you find a place that services your style, it's usually a keeper.
Although some of us buy clothing at chain stores like Target or Banana Republic, the editorial staff of OnMilwaukee.com focuses on its favorite local independent clothing stores / boutiques.
Add your own faves via the Talkback feature.
Molly Snyder Edler
I pretty much exclusively buy used clothing for myself and my family. I like the prices, the recycling aspect and I enjoy the hunt for cool crap. Few things make me happier than finding the perfect sweater or pair of jeans for a fraction of the original cost. That said, I am a big fan of Yellow Jacket, 1237 E. Brady St., ReThreads, 2943 N. Humboldt Blvd., Goodwill, 3903 N. Richards St., and Value Village, 324 W. North Ave. However, Closet Classics, 1000 E. North Ave., is probably my all-time fave. I have shopped there since I was a teenager, and I particularly appreciate that it serves coffee. Also, I love the mix of used and new clothing and items, including the wigs, knee highs, funky shoes and Hello Kitty merch.
I don't like to play favorites with Milwaukee's wealth of independent stores because, even if I don't necessarily shop at all of them, I'm glad they exist and are adding to the fabric of our unique city. That being said, I've been awfully smitten with Hot Pop, 213 N. Broadway, ever since interviewing owner Margaret Martin just before she opened in January 2008. I love that it's unlike anything else in Milwaukee. I love the sheer adorableness of it all; those urban vinyl toys are awesome. I love that she hosts gallery openings for talented artists, both local and non-local. Most of all, I love that the community supports her and has done its part to keep the store open during a tough time that saw the demise of far too many local businesses.
Ma Jolie Foot Gear
This was a tough call but Ma Jolie has been one of my Milwaukee favorites since I was in high school. Far more than just a shoe retailer, Ma Jolie stocks dozens of specialty and hard to find brands for a collection of clothing and shoes unlike anywhere else in town. But more than clothes or shoes, take a gaze into Ma Jolie's jewelry case for uncommon finds. They have great earrings, necklaces, and bracelets with great deals; you can find sale steals every time you stop in. Find Ma Jolie Foot Gear on the East Side at 2583 N. Downer Ave. or in Bayshore Mall at 5800 N. Bayshore Dr.
While I also love Detour, 1300 E. Brady St., and Moda3, 320 E. Buffalo St., Aala Reed, 1320 E. Brady St., brings a great blend of casual and dressier styles while also offering niche brands and styles that you don't find elsewhere. The friendly staff and an inviting environment make this Brady Street shop a fun experience, too. I bought my wedding suit and tie here, and love all the shirts from this shop that hang in my closet. A major point of difference at Aala Reed is the store's commitment to community. They give back, hold events and Aala Reed employees sit on local boards. Connected and creative. I like that.
I love Chartreuse. Nice 'green' options, fun accessories, sweet owner. And it smells nice in there too!
If you're looking for the ABSOLUTE BEST in vintage clothing/jewlery and pre-owned designer fashion, look no further than E-Collectique Runway Boutique (234 E. Dekora Street, Saukville, WI). They maintain a massive inventory that's constantly changing, and the owner will bend over backwards to personally find specific items that suit your desires. I can't believe Molly Snyder missed this one. Perhaps it's because it's not in Milwaukee, but it's definitely worth the drive.
I like Molly's tastes but Yellow Jacket irritates me with their "No Pictures" sign on the door...What? Are there state secrets in that overpriced hippie tunic? I refuse to go places that tell me what I can and cannot take a picture of. I liked Closet Classics when it was back on Farwell...the woman that runs it bugs me for some reason. I guess I was more tolerant when I was in high school. And now I am done bitching.
I can't believe no one mentioned Vieux et Nouveau! They have the hottest clothes in town! This is where you get the unusual, hip stuff. Not run of the mill! Love it! Not to mention their great selection of handmade one of a kind jewelry! Yup, best clothing store in town, hands down!!!
Three cheers for Aala Reed! Their selection is unlike any other men's clothier in Milwaukee, the staff is helpful and not at all pushy, and as Jeff mentioned, Laura is a great example of someone who gives back to Milwaukee every single day.
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