Tasteful souvenirs abound at The Canvas Patch (5 River St., Milford, 203/878-7505, www.downtownmilfordct.com , 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; noon–4 p.m. Sun.), which mixes imports from Germany and Russian nesting dolls with locally made totes, scrimshaw, and garden sculptures.
Colorful works by local painters sit next to intricate blown glass and jewelry (some tame, some outlandish) in the eclectic Gilded Lily Gallery (101 Rover St., Milford, 203/878-7007, www.gildedlilygallery.com , 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.).
If it’s funky, metal, and wearable, you’ll probably find it at Given to Gauche (4 Daniel St., Milford, 203/878-2625, www.giventogauche.com , 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), a cheeky little studio for artist Susan Ashelford. Her expressive and colorful pieces range from wire-wrapped shell necklaces to postmodern pearl-strung bracelets.
As the name suggests, Basic Black (3540 Whitney Ave., Hamden, 203/407-7722, www.basic-blacketc.com , 10:30–5 p.m. Tue.–Sat., open until 6 p.m. Thu.) is a retail ode to the color’s essential place in every woman’s wardrobe. Its racks are full of black pantsuits, black skirts, black button-downs, and—you guessed it—little black dresses.
Vintage fiends find bliss at Dava (2100 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, 203/230-0039, www.shopdava.com , 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Tue. And Fri.–Sat.; 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Wed.–Thu.; noon–5 p.m. Sun), a boutique specializing in women’s shirts and dresses, plus musical instruments, books, and body products like soaps, oils, and aromatherapy candles.