Charlotte is not known for its fashion scene—and for good reason. For a long time, shopping in the Queen City meant driving to the mall and sifting through the racks of a big-name national retailer; there were too few options for finding unique pieces at local boutiques.
Fortunately, as with most things in Charlotte, the shopping scene has improved dramatically in recent years. There are more independent retailers than ever and new shops keep popping up in neighborhoods throughout the city. Today, there is no shortage of small boutiques, indie music shops, art galleries, thrift stores, and specialty retailers—but the city still has its fair share of megachains, too.
Charlotte will never compare to New York or L.A. when it comes to the range of shopping options, but the smaller number of boutiques makes shopping in the Queen City a little more manageable. Plus, it’s easier to choose a few favorites where you’ll get personalized attention and first dibs on new shipments.
In addition to the major shopping districts, including South End, Dilworth, NoDa, and South Park, there are small enclaves in neighborhoods like University City, Ballantyne, Birkdale Village, and Cotswold, where unique little shops are tucked in amongst residential developments.
Even though the shopping districts are more robust than ever, Charlotte still hasn’t completely shed its devotion to strip malls, megamalls, and chain stores. Chances are good that you’ll find yourself wandering through a mall or scouring the aisles at the neighborhood Target at some point during a shopping excursion.
Although weekends are the busiest times to engage in retail therapy, boutiques often have limited evening hours during the week, and most are closed on Sunday, so your best bet for finding a little black dress or the perfect pair of cufflinks just might be on a Saturday afternoon.
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- Best Accessories: HandPicked
- Best Deals on the Hottest Fashion Trends: Ivy & Leo
- Best Outdoor Gear: Great Outdoor Provision Co.
- Best Gift Shop: Paper Skyscraper
- Most Unique Home Store: Luxe Home Couture
- Best Place to Take a Break: Folicle Salon and Day Spa
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition