Vestite y Andate
My number 1 favorite store: the definition of retro, cool and boutique designer. The owner and employees are really respectful, and will humor your bad Spanish or appreciate your budding Argentine accent. But not everyone will love everything here, but if you have an adventurous style, or at the very least love color, you’ll leave with something from the racks of graphic and oversize t-shirts and patterned skirts. Remember the exchange rate, which makes everything affordable. You won’t see anyone else wearing your finds, no matter what city or country you’re in—it’s just too original. Arenales 1782 at Av. Callao. Official site (in English).
A.Y. Not Dead
My second favorite store. It’s still a little expensive, even with the exchange rate, and the employees think they’re pretty cool, so they don’t pay a lot of attention to you. However, you’ll find really great quality in all of the denim and dresses. Many of the pieces use a lot of color, but this is one place in Buenos Aires where teal isn’t used like a basic color. You’ll find black screen-printed t-shirts and a wall of jeans, as well as a few off-the-shoulder sweaters in leopard print. You can sometimes find cashmere if you look hard enough. Soler 4193 at Julián Álvarez. Official site.
Dios Salve a la Reina
This Palermo boutique would define itself as “rocker chic” if it spoke English. On the larger-than-usual showroom floor, you’ll find jean jumpers, graphic tees and ripped denim among high heels and chunky accessories. It’s cool, funky, kind of ’80s (like all of Buenos Aires), and just fantastic. It’s my number three favorite store in the city, if we’re still counting. Soler 4201 at Julián Álvarez. Official site (in Spanish).
If you like funky retro dresses and are a size 2, this place is for you. If you don’t fit those criteria and don’t like ugly sweaters, you won’t find much here. But inventory changes constantly, so it’s definitely worth a browse. Rodriguez Peña 1381 at Juncal. Sister store Punto de Vista is on Costa Rica 4659 (in Palermo).
Las Pepas is similar to an Abercrombie & Fitch combined with a J.Crew. They have a lot of basics and some great leather bags, shoes and jackets. (When I say basics, remember we’re still in Argentina, where everyone needs a teal shirt or a purple turtleneck.) It’s a little more expensive than most places, but worth taking a look when you remember the exchange rate. They use good quality material, which is hard to find in Buenos Aires. Av. Santa Fe 1631 at Montevideo. Official site (in English and Spanish).
Like an Anthropologie mixed with an Abercrombie & Fitch, you’ll find some more eclectic pieces in mass-produced style. They’re well liked among locals, and most popular is their jean selection and skirts and dresses. It usually takes up quite a bit of space in shopping malls—you can’t miss the mega huge one in Alto Palermo. Official site (with locations).
–Tara for TKGO City Guides