Lifestyle and shopping

Best accessories: Handbags in the City

Handbags in the City owner George Sakellaris decided this year to get rid of clothing and focus exclusively on his bread and butter: handbags and accessories. The result has been terrific. The longtime Harbor East boutique has a renewed focus. Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and MCM bags are top sellers....

  • Best activewear: Devon Maryn

    Best activewear: Devon Maryn

    Devon Maryn has quickly built a following in the athletic wear industry by using preppy, colorful prints and figure-flattering cuts. Owner Devon Mish launched the company in October 2014 and now sells her wares in boutiques around the country. She has recently added a process called “print on demand,”...

  • Best antiques: Paradiso

    Best antiques: Paradiso

    Sharona Gamliel and Ric Martinkus, co-owners of Paradiso, offer one of the most eclectic assortments of decor, furniture and gifts. But the unexpected array of antiques also makes the Hampden store a must-visit. There are so many antiques, centered on mid-century furniture, jewelry and lighting,...

  • Best bath and beauty: Oyin Handmade

    Best bath and beauty: Oyin Handmade

    The wife and husband team of Jamyla and Pierre Bennu tried out and perfected hair and skin products on their family and friends for more than a decade. The result has been products that are tried and true — sold out of their Mount Vernon storefront or at Target, where they are distributed nationally....

  • Best bookstore: The Ivy Bookshop

    Best bookstore: The Ivy Bookshop

    In a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores are becoming a rarity, The Ivy Bookshop champions the cause of independent bookstores. Maybe its strength lies in its robust offerings of local authors — such as Wes Moore and former Sun reporters Laura Lippman and Rashod Ollison — or in its attentive...

  • Best decor and home accessories: Nouveau Home and Interior Design

    Best decor and home accessories: Nouveau Home and Interior Design

    Moving into the heart of the city from its former space in Belvedere Square has done wonders for Nouveau Home and Interior Design. “Being beside a thriving restaurant [City Cafe] and a neighborhood with energy helps,” said Lee Whitehead, co-owner. “People pop in and grab gifts. We feed off each...

  • Best ethnic grocer: Lotte Plaza Market

    Best ethnic grocer: Lotte Plaza Market

    Whether it’s the abundance of fresh produce, the extensive fish and meats or the specialty Asian groceries and goods, the Catonsville location of Lotte Plaza Market is a destination for international foods and goods. And while the nearby Ellicott City location boasts one of the region’s largest...

  • Best eyewear: Paris West Optical

    Best eyewear: Paris West Optical

    Who needs boring frames when you can get your hands on every color and shape available? With selections by Oliver Peoples, Miu Miu, Prada, Stella McCartney and more, the list of designer frames is endless at this full-service optical boutique. Their end-of-season clearance sales are also worth...

  • Best jewelry store: Bijoux

    Best jewelry store: Bijoux

    After 11 years in Green Spring Station, owner Renee Wilson decided to opt for new digs in Mount Washington. She opened in April 2016 and hasn’t skipped a beat, offering the same robust array of contemporary, vintage and estate jewelry that has distinguished her among the other jewelers in the region....

  • Best men's boutique: Gian Marco Menswear

    Best men's boutique: Gian Marco Menswear

    Nobody dresses Baltimore’s men quite like Gian Marco. Maybe it’s because the Mount Vernon boutique features merchandise designed by its owners, John Massey and Marc Sklar, in collaboration with a number of European fashion houses. The two fly to Europe twice a year and work with the top design...

  • Best men's grooming spot: The QG

    Best men's grooming spot: The QG

    Talk about an oasis for a man. With its spa treatments, clothing selection and food and drink options, it’s no wonder that QG’s concept is expanding throughout the region. A second location opened in Hunt Valley. And there are more sites being considered in Howard County and beyond. But the original...

  • Best occasion dresses: Francesca's Atelier

    Best occasion dresses: Francesca's Atelier

    When the storied Vasarri closed in Pikesville seven years ago, the Baltimore area was left with a void for special-occasion and evening dresses. Francesca’s Atelier has filled that with designers like Monique Lhuillier, Carmen Marc Valvo, Theia and Carol Peretz. And with the closing of Saks Jandel...

  • Best spa: About Faces Day Spa & Salon

    Best spa: About Faces Day Spa & Salon

    About Faces has six locations, but one particularly stands out: The location at The Shops at Kenilworth has anchored the center for decades. And for good reason. With more than a dozen body therapies, including pregnancy massages and acupuncture, the spa will address almost any body ache and pain....

  • Best thrift store: Killer Trash

    Best thrift store: Killer Trash

    Don't let the name scare you. There are plenty of finds in this Fells Point hot spot: Owner Elaine Ferrare stocks her store with clothes she finds at estate sales from coast to coast, so the stock spans items from the ’30s to today. “We get a nice selection,” she said. The store has been operating...

  • Best toys: aMuse

    Best toys: aMuse

    The toy store is more than just fun and games. It offers pediatric CPR courses and scheduled play dates for customers. Plus the array of cerebral toys from across the world is unique and worth the visits to the Fells Point and Quarry Lake locations. 1623 Thames St., Fells Point, 410-342-5000; 2580...

  • Best upscale shopping/designer clothes: Ruth Shaw Inc.

    Best upscale shopping/designer clothes: Ruth Shaw Inc.

    When you think of high-end fashion, look no further than Ruth Shaw Inc. The boutique caters to women with New York Fifth Avenue tastes living in Baltimore. The Cross Keys destination features the top designers you see in top glossy fashion magazines. Etro, Alexander Wang and The Row. They’re all...

  • Best window displays: Matava Shoes

    Best window displays: Matava Shoes

    Owner Kathy Matava looked to New York City-based window dresser Natalie Lewis in September to transform the display of her Green Spring Station shoe boutique. The new design coincided with Green Spring Station’s overall renovation. “It was the perfect opportunity to make a change that would benefit...

  • Best women's boutique: Katwalk Boutique

    Best women's boutique: Katwalk Boutique

    Toni James has been able to mix avant-garde, ready-to-wear and urban contemporary chic into her Fells Point women’s wear boutique. The combination makes for the most diverse array of fashionable finds between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Don’t believe it? The boutique has caught the eye of...

  • Best women's shoes: Poppy & Stella

    Best women's shoes: Poppy & Stella

    Poppy & Stella tries — and succeeds — to provide an array of shoes for every type of woman. Whether a sexy stiletto heel from French Connection, a chunky boot by Frye, or a tassel-adorned loafer by Jeffrey Campbell, the Fells Point shoe boutique has it all. And the associates are knowledgeable...

  • Best yoga studio: YogaWorks

    Best yoga studio: YogaWorks

    From favorable online reviews to the respect of people in the fitness industry — a number of competitors told us off the record that they’d take classes there — YogaWorks was an easy choice for best yoga classes. The chain also has a number of locations throughout the region and usually offers...

  • Best of Baltimore readers' choice winners: Lifestyle and shopping

    Best of Baltimore readers' choice winners: Lifestyle and shopping

    We asked; you voted. Here are the winners of the Best of Baltimore readers' choice awards in the lifestyle and shopping category. For staff picks, click here. (For the other categories: People and media | Dining and nightlife | Arts and activities | Services)

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