Guest blog by Megan Wilson of Sweet Sauce Blog
The Richmond region is home to thousands of locally owned businesses. You can really find anything you dream of having in your home or your closet. After more than 15 years, I’ve visited many of them. They all deserve a visit and some of your time to explore what magic they have inside.
In honor of all this local love, I’ve put together some of my favorites to guide you through shopping local here in Richmond.
If there’s one thing Richmond has, it’s style. I’ve traveled the world and I still find myself recommending Richmond area boutiques for friends to discover the latest trends and also find some unexpected flavor for your next outfit. I styled and wrote this delicious fall fashion edit in 2019 and it is one of the dozens of times I’ve written about our fashion scene in Richmond in magazines and blogs. We’ve got what you need (or didn’t know you wanted) here, my friends! Here are a few of my favorite places to shop style in Richmond:
Bittersweet: I first discovered Bittersweet at their first store in Charlottesville when I was in college. I’d always visited when I went to visit my best friend at UVA. It’s a curated yet creative collection of on-trend essentials and quality flirty finds for the ladies. A have many cute pieces in my closet and a lot of my cousins have gifts I found for them here. I am so glad to see the brand open a shop in Carytown.
Erma Jean: If you’d like a personal touch to your style journey, I’d recommend visiting the ladies at Erma Jean in Short Pump. They create collections of clothing that all go together, so you don’t have to think too hard about what to style with what. As a personal and branding stylist, this is such a huge help to those who are taking steps to elevate their wardrobes. You’ll find everyday classics and special occasion pieces.
KLA: I discovered this boutique online first. It’s full of flirty yet wearable dresses, pants, tops, shoes, and jewelry. The Libbie-area boutique has dreamy decor and an even more whimsical style. Come here for a unique dress or everyday staples you’ve been missing in your closet.
Mod & Soul: I couldn’t create this list without Mod & Soul. There’s not a girl in Richmond who doesn’t know the brand. Owned by a dear friend with impeccable taste, the independent fashion boutique features regular new arrivals that are easy to wear to work, to a party, or to your living room.
Rosewood: I have a few pieces from this Richmond-based boutique. You can shop for unique outfits, jewelry, and skincare from hand-picked brands. The vintage collection is always fresh. In this article, owner Ashley Carruthers said, “There’s a wide demographic of people and friends looking for uniform stuff and those really special pieces.” She really knows how to pick items people will love. I know, because I love mine.
Sweetest Stitch: Another Richmond staple for ladies of all ages is Sweetest Stitch, which is loved by my friends near and far. You can find adorable sweaters, skirts, dresses, shoes, and jewelry for any day. The team also curates a really lovely and evolving selection of perfume, candles, and more–ready for giving or taking home.
Traveling Chic Boutique: This Carytown mainstay has been on my recommended shopping list for as long as I can remember. With a helpful staff and high-quality collection of staple and statement pieces, it’s a solid standby no matter what you’re shopping for–a wedding, your work wardrobe, or a cute loungewear set.
Wild Heart: I wrote about the Wild heart in this blog post. Owner Lauren McCrocklin has put together a very high-quality boho collection of daily wardrobe staples and elevated home goods like candles, notebooks, and crystals. She also carries her sister’s Blue Begonia Jewelry line in addition to other new and vintage jewelry. If you have little ones in your life, the playful children’s collection will certainly lead you to a magical find to give to a niece or your own.
Get more small business fashion inspiration here.
I’m not sure why Macklemore didn’t come to Richmond to film “Thrift Shop.” Our second-hand shopping scene is one of the best I’ve experienced. I’ve shopped at thrift shops in Haight-Ashbury, Portland, Brooklyn, and beyond. I am confident that anyone from these cities would explore and be impressed. For me, secondhand shopping is all about sharing moments. Every time you buy a dress, a jacket, a purse, or a hat that was once owned by someone else, you help continue the piece’s story. Someone loved it once in a particular season of life and now it’s your season of life to love it. Everything has a purpose in this world, sometimes we have to give it purpose.
Ashby: Ashby carries accessories and clothing from local brands in addition to its upscale resale collection. Ashby is the “younger sister” of Clementine, so you’ll find a similar trend-forward collection, but with a more youthful tilt. It’s also a great place to sell your clothes and walk out with cash or earn a credit to shop.
Bygones: Some people come here for an authentic outfit for a 1920s party or a 1950s Halloween costume. You can also discover everyday pieces like sunglasses, hats, and coats. Bygones offers a collection of reproduction pieces and true vintage items from the 1920s through the 1970s. If you want a dress that stands out or a new piece of statement jewelry, you can find something truly special and full of character here.
Clementine: We mentioned this shop above! Clementine always takes the cake for elevated shopping here in Richmond, not just second-hand. It’s long been a staple for me and my best friend and is always a stop when she visits me here. Clementine focuses on classic styles and luxury brands in women’s clothing including Anthropologie, Lilly Pulitzer, Tory Burch, Burberry and so much more.
The Clothes Rack: The Clothes Rack is run by the Junior League of Richmond, which promotes leadership, volunteering, and community outreach. You never know what you’ll find: unique throw pillows, baby clothes, sundresses, or blazers. The real magic is when you shop, your contributions will help make RVA a better place!
It’s A Man’s World: This one is for the guys, but also the girls. The Jackson Ward shop has a wide collection of high-end male fashion items: suits, pants, ties, buttons, shoes, and suit accessories. From casual styles to business attire, It’s A Man’s World provides a variety of handsome outfit ideas. The owner Susan Youngs also weaves in special finds for women. I have a few blazers, bags, and earrings from here. Read my Style Weekly article here.
Rumors Boutique: A Richmond classic! Rumors Boutique is a well-loved Richmond consignment shop with handpicked rare clothing items ranging from retro dresses, jumpsuits, band tees, shoes, and accessories. Rumors’ has one of the largest collections of graphic tees in the area. You’ll usually find a few limited quantity new items curated by the store, as well.
Tunic: It’s a shame I took so long to discover this Richmond consignment store. The West End spot brings in new items coming in every day–I know because I saw sellers coming in one after the other while I was in the store one day. You’ll find brands like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, BCBG, Chicos, Citizens, Coach, Frye, J Crew, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and more.
Read my full RVA Thrift list here.
Vintage home finds
I think we all appreciate this term a little more since the pandemic took hold of our daily routines and lifestyles. Whether you shifted to a work-from-home rhythm or found yourself isolated in other ways, we’ve all looked more closely at our homes than we had before. Creating a space to successfully live, work, and relax is a tall order. If it’s summer, you can brighten your home and if it’s winter, you can make it cozy for you and your guests with items you find in Richmond.
68 Home: I live down the road from the warm and inviting treasure trove. Located in the Arts District, this retro-inspired shop carries all things vintage and boho. I’ve got a wicker side table, potholder, whimsical dress, and a few more items from the store. You’ll be inspired by the vibrant colors and unique signatures of times you discover here.
Class & Trash: I discover all of my bold decor items here. Class &n trash has fun metal signs and large cow skin rugs. I scored the metal “Y’all” sign, a giant painting in my office, and more wall decor. You can also discover couches, rugs, tables, record players, dressers, and more. It’s always an adventure when I walk into the Scott’s Addition warehouse.
Diversity Thrift: So many Diversity Thrift pieces of furniture and decor essentials deck my current apartment now and have filled other homes during the past decade. One of my favorites is a teal chest I use for storing Halloween costumes. Side tables, kitchen chairs, bowls, plates, and more dot my apartment. There’s always something useful or out of the ordinary to discover.
Circle Thrift: This is both a thrift store and an art space. Circle carries original art from various local creators. It’s a real treasure hunt here. I love making regular visits to dig around for the things I’m looking for, which I think is the fun part. From the pretty little ceramic pot for my pencil cactus to original figure drawings, my apartment has fun flares in every nook and cranny.
Boho To Go: You better stay on top of the Boho To Go Instagram or head into the shop regularly to make the most of this Fan District mecca of secondhand home goods and decor. The Boho To Go team curates a collection of well-kept retro furniture, art, decor, and collectibles to add a pop of color or character to any corner in your office, kitchen, or bedroom.
RVA Antiques: My cousin and I stumbled upon this Richmond treasure chest recently. We strolled through 60+ vendors who curate 60 different types of collections of furniture, decor, bedding, antiques, and even fashion. It’s much bigger than you think, so you’re bound to find something to love.
Get more local home decor inspiration here.