The Clotheshorse is a difficult creature to shop for because what they want you can seldom, if ever, get right. A gift certificate isn't a gift and clothes have to fit. The solution: accessorize them or their interiors. That way, your gift won't end up in the deepest shadows of their wardrobe.
4007 N Mississippi Ave., 208-6156, worn-path.com
Situated in the old Mississippi Records storefront, this outpost is a lifestyle shop that has nailed its demographic: the beachcombing, outdoors-y, fashion-conscious Pacific Northwesterner. The shop is outfitted with hardback copies of Locals Only, slingshots, Poler camping stuff, namesake totes and Red Clouds Collective bags. There is an undertone of dreamers and free love expressed in the merchandise. But know that somewhere among the trucker hats and moon-phase charts you are bound to come across the perfect pearl for that dedicated board-game player or skater chum of yours whose dream vacation involves throwing back a six-pack around a campfire or floating down the Sandy River.
Buy this: Red camping lantern ($10).
828 SE 34th Ave., 517-0123, palacestore.com.
Just a few steps north of Belmont Street, this boutique of new and consigned pieces is perfect for the fashionista or fashionisto whose sense of style sweeps beyond Multnomah County. The racks are arranged according to hue: male, female and androgynous apparel all dangle together, with the capability to outfit XX, XY or any other variety of chromosomes. The emphasis is on color, fabric and silhouette. Among its mix of sweaters and tees, the shop carries an assortment of Bridge & Burn tops and jackets, a wall of Cheap Monday skinny jeans, Baggu totes and purses, plus Cold Springs Apothecary and baskets of Hansel From Basel crew and knee-high socks. If the individual on your list consistently looks like they stepped out of a sartorial blog feed. It would be a safe bet to pick up their holiday gift here.
Buy this: Hansel From Basel crew socks ($18).
Betsy & Iya
2403 NW Thurman St., 227-5482, betsyandiya.com.
Your friend secretly read Fifty Shades of Grey and confessed it to you over a latte. She just had to get it off her chest and explain it was a guilty pleasure. Yet she never apologizes for watching Gossip Girl or mentioning her vegetable-based diet on Facebook. But it's the holidays and you still enjoy her company, so check out this shop. Pick up a hand-printed cosmetic bag by Appetite, flowing garments by Layers Squared, Xobruno bags, hanging air plant globes or vintage bangles at $5 a pop. The aesthetic is an appropriate mix of modern and organic with no shortage of rings, cuffs and necklaces to choose from.
1. Buy this: Fremont Bridge cuff ($72).
542 E Burnside St., 206-8626, machusonline.com.
For the dandy who has already eaten (at least once) at the new restaurant you just heard about, is already tired of (insert indie band hip record name here), and calls the vermouth as well as the bourbon when ordering a Manhattan. Shop for him (or her) here. With a variety of shirts, jackets, pants and accessories from brands such as APC, Naked & Famous, Alexander Wang and Band of Outsiders, there is bound to be something new in which to swaddle this dedicated follower of fashion. The look is clean, slightly militant, minimalist, but still edgy. And if you are not entirely sure of his size, opt for the Bookman bike light ($30) for his fixed-gear, face products by Ursa Major, or handsome adornments by Miansai.
Buy this: Chambray tie by Apolis ($58).
221 NW 11th Ave., 222-2285, edenportland.com.
Since fashion recycles itself, this boutique is a perfect post to provide historical reference and educate the chic diva on your list. Eden is Portland's solution to buying accessories and wardrobe pieces that reflect the world of 1960s London and its fashion hub, Biba. Pick up vintage kimonos, deco housewares, fashion and art books such as The Day of the Peacock or Lillian Bassman: Lingerie. Basically all the right tools to set the stage for a re-enacted scene from Performance, the 1970 arthouse flick starring Mick Jagger. Illegal substances not included.
2. Buy this: L'Aromarine Violette or any other scent ($28).
7909 SE Stark St., 287-4242, unionrosepdx.com.
Tucked neatly into the increasingly hip Montavilla neighborhood, Union Rose is a retail anchor for the gal who already has the I Heart Oregon bumper sticker on the back of her automobile or the side of her Klean Kanteen. The store is merchandised by locals, infusing it with street cred and soul. But the products speak to a broader female demographic. It is feminine without being girly, making it a must-stop shop on your list for the creative, intellectual lady. Choose from a flattering ensemble by Clair Vintage for the retro beauty, or pick up a soft screen-printed tee by She-She for the sun-saluting goddess. Also of note here are the precious-metal workings of Ruby Girl and Melton Metals Studio, necklaces and earrings that are sweet and sophisticated.
3. Buy this: ScissorStitch knitted collar ($38).