Best of Baltimore 2018: Lifestyle and shopping

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From best consignment store to best activewear, Baltimore Sun staffers make their top picks in the lifestyle category.


Rachel Mulherin


Her designs have been shown at a New York Fashion Week show. Then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wore her bling to gavel at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And the designer's jewelry has recently been featured in ELLE Canada, People Style and Washington Bride & Groom, which could account for her growing social media presence (her Instagram account has than 50,000 followers.) Find Mulherin's jewelry on her website and at Raina Dawn boutique in Quarry Lake.

Charm City Run


Charm City Run


From an extensive fitting process that ensures you'll be ready for your next run to its schedule of regional marathons and road races, Charm City Run will prepare you for the runner's lifestyle. And with a slew of heavy hitters in the world of active wear — Adidas, New Balance, Under Armour, and Asics — you'll be among the leaders of the pack with the latest trendy creations. Various locations,

Bath and beauty store

The Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore

Aside from being located in a plush 11,000-square-foot space inside the tony Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, the spa has some of the best bath and beauty products in the region. With luxury brands such as Clarisonic, Makeup Factory, Farmhouse Fresh and Tara Aromatherapy combined with their superior treatments, this is a must for those in need of good pampering. 200 International Drive, Harbor East, 410-576-5800,


Washington Street Books & Music

It's the extras that really elevate this store. Think authentic costumes from movies such as "The Hunger Games" and an extensive collection of action figures and other toys associated with comic books and films — it's pop culture paradise. And of course, owner John Klisavage has a full stock of comics — new and vintage — all in impeccable condition. 131 N. Washington St., Havre De Grace; 410-939-6215, washingtonstreetbooksand,

Love Me Two Times


Love Me Two Times

Nestled in the heart of Roland Park lies Andrea Kaplan's designer consignment jewel Love Me Two Times. The boutique has all the luxury brands from Christian Loubotin to Chanel. The collection of shoes is impressive. And there are a number of vintage designer jewelry pieces to complete your look. It's definitely worth a visit. 739 Deepdene Road, Roland Park, 410-323-1070,


Julie Ellyn Designs


Take the trip to Bel Air to discover carefully curated goods by Maryland artisans. From Ellyn's own jewelry — which has been featured on several television shows — to art, bath and body products and home decor, the Main Street shop is rife with unique gift options. 18 S. Main St., Bel Air; 443-686-2570,

Men's grooming

The Beatnik Barbershop

The Mount Vernon barbershop known for its artsy, hipster following has been a mainstay in Baltimore for the past 10 years. With its no-appointment policy and promise of fast service, customers leave looking good in little time. And at $18 a cut, it's hard to beat the price. 241 W. Read St., Mount Vernon, 410-669-3033,

Doubledutch Boutique


Doubledutch Boutique

Owner Lesley Jennings' Hampden boutique has been known for its fashionable threads. But her recent influx of goods made by Maryland artisans makes it a destination spot for handmade creations. Whether you're looking for home decor, accessories or art, the store has you covered. And during the holidays, Doubledutch hosts a pop-up dedicated to local creatives, making it a magnet for everything Maryland. 1021 W. 36th St., Hampden, 410-554-0055,

Hidden gem

Saks 5th Avenue Distribution Center


You'll see stylists, eBay sellers and the fashionably frugal all flocking to Aberdeen to grab designer deals — from Carolina Hererra to Proenza Schuler — at the Saks 5th Avenue Distribution Center. Although the rows and rows of racks of clothes might seem daunting, a skilled fashionista will usually be able to spot deeply discounted garments. 500 Hickory Drive, Aberdeen, 410-297-5200,


Polina's Prive

Owner Polina Malykh Hansen has amassed a roster of top lingerie lines such as La Perla, Heidi Klum Intimates and L'Agent by Agent Provocateur right in the heart of Fells Point. The selection is perfect for any woman looking to elevate her collection of intimates. And Hansen and her employees are helpful in ensuring you get the perfect fit. 724 S. Broadway, Fells Point, 410-276-0205,

Most missed boutique

Handbags in the City

From the impeccably sourced brands of handbags — MCM, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch — to its sunglasses — Gucci, Tom Ford and Prada — and even its clothes — Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, Ellie Tahari — Baltimore and Harbor East will never be the same without owner George Sakellaris and his helpful, friendly staff.

Music store

Baby's on Fire


Coffee, food and vinyl records? Talk about one-stop shopping! Find new and used vinyl in almost every genre. And sell your old record collection for store credit or trade at this Mount Vernon hot spot, tucked in a side street. 1010 Morton St., Mount Vernon, 443-885-9892,

Scrub Nail Boutique

Nail care

Scrub Nail Boutique

A fire in June 2016 hasn't deterred owner Jasmine Simms from keeping her organic nail care business alive. After a 10-month closure, her shop is back and better than ever. She added four new plush pedicure stations to the 1,100-square-foot space. Also, be on the lookout for the "unlimited manicure" program where you pay a set price each month for unlimited nail treatments. 722 S. Broadway, Suite 200, Fells Point, 443-869-6470,

New store

Raina Dawn

Raina Filippelli, a native New Yorker who has worked as a fashion and beauty photo editor for publications like Glamour and Cosmo Girl!, has brought her years of industry knowledge to her Quarry Lake boutique. Find contemporary clothing lines such as Saylor and Rebecca Taylor as well as gift items. The Shops at Quarry Lake, 2582 Quarry Lake Drive, 410-602-1200,

Occasion dress



With more than 32 years in the business, owner Sima Blue knows a thing or two about dressing her customers. She's combed the earth to find unique dressmakers such as Spanish designer Isabel De Pedro; Sau Lee, a Hong Kong designer; the Los Angeles-based Black Halo; and New York's Alice & Trixie, making her Green Spring Station boutique a go-to for special occasion attire. 2360 W. Joppa Road # 4, Lutherville, 410-821-9696,

Ruth Shaw Inc.


Ruth Shaw Inc.

The high-end designer boutique hasn't skipped a beat since its move from the Village of Cross Keys to the Shops at Kenilworth in September. The same luxurious brands — The Row, Etro, Veronica Beard and Rag and Bone — worn by the rich and famous are still meticulously merchandised in its chic, contemporary-looking 3,100-square-foot space on the second level of Kenilworth just behind Trader Joe's. 800 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 852, Towson, 410-532-7886,


Wee Chic

While Green Spring Station's Wee Chic is primarily known for its fashion forward children's clothing, it also has a bevy of toys and games perfect for your most temperamental tyke. With exciting brands such as Iscream, Le Toy Van and Zuni the store shows that it is a one-stop show for children. 2360 W. Joppa Rd #115, Lutherville-Timonium, 410-878-7400,

Upscale shopping

L'Apparenza Boutique


The death of owner Nancy Lattman in November 2016 was a great loss to the Baltimore fashion community. But her family has kept the business up and running with the same attention to detail and designer brands — Vince, Diane von Fürstenberg, Shoshanna, Jay Godfrey — that made the boutique long a destination for the stylish-designer set. 6080 Falls Road, Mount Washington, 410-372-0350,

Women’s boutique

Dish Baltimore


Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

The Doll House Boutique

Since opening her shop in 2004, owner Natalie Graham has built a considerable following of "dolls," as she affectionately calls her customers. The Mount Vernon boutique — known for its funky, bold and oftentimes colorful garments — has been a popular spot for the region's sophisticated, mature fashionistas, including judges, politicians, lawyers and other professionals. Graham said her customer base is in the 30-to-50-year-old range. 525 N. Charles St. # 1, Mount Vernon, 443-874-7900,


M Power Yoga

Rooftop yoga and hot yoga set to candlelight are just a couple of examples of the cool yoga options you'll find at M Power, the Brewers Hill-based studio on the first floor of the Natty Boh building. The staff is top-notch. And the facility is clean and welcoming. 3600 O'Donnell St. Suite 100, Brewers Hill, 410-534-9642,

— John-John Williams IV