Some people call your friend a yupster. Others, simply a douchebag. But it's only because they've accomplished what others could not: hold down a white-collar job while still being cool.
Avalon Antiques & Vintage Clothes
410 SW Oak St., 224-7156.
Like most vintage-clothing stores, Avalon has a gorgeous display in the window. Unlike much of the competition, that's not even the best stuff in the shop. Avalon prides itself on its selection of fine formal wear. Jackets and suit pieces from every era available line the walls, as does an ample selection of formal accessories. And once one looks past these, there's an even greater treasure: ladies' rings designed after rings worn in old movies. What better way to show off one's inner cinephile than by donning a bauble from a movie many of your friends have never heard of, let alone seen?
1. Buy this: Various movie rings ($85kknd).
1015 SW Washington St., 223-2292, echohifi.com.
An open space with bare-bones stands laden with audio equipment along its walls, Echo Audio is an exercise in minimalism. It carries all manner of equipment to satisfy the audiophile, running the gamut from top-of-the-line new turntables to well-maintained tape decks. Compact discs and MP3 players may be good enough for some people—for example, those who don't actually care about music. But you do care. That's why the choice here is a turntable with springs to prevent heavy footsteps from interrupting the sound, plus an easily adjustable band for speed. The dual-plinth build prevents the motor from interfering with the record player, as well. An excellent package for the person who is as concerned about how they're listening as they are about whom they're listening to.
2. Buy this: Pro-Ject Essential USB turntable with red finish ($399).
938 NW Everett St., 331-0366, haloshoes.com.
Shoe fashion is a monster unto itself. One instant furred boots are in, and the next all your friends are stumbling around in stiletto-heeled clogs. Halo Shoes has you covered, at least on variety. High-heeled wingtips? They have a few. Suede shoes with bright-colored saddles? You betcha! Beaded flats? It'd be weirder if they didn't have them. This is a selection that truly lets you be the trendsetter, at prices that guarantee other people will be wearing only after they've turned up in vintage stores. You wore them before they were cool.
Buy this: For men: Pantanetti slate blue loafers (on sale for $181); women: Fiorentini kknd Baker Birgy ($448).
Available online and at various stores around town, gadgettrak.com.
Laptops, smart phones, and now even tablets are not just useful little tools, they are becoming a necessity of life. Old people may have gotten by just fine with landlines and desktops. But once you've watched an episode of The Wire on your iPad while periodically checking both your email and the score of the Blazers game, there's no going back to yesterday. But other people also like these things—unsavory people, even. Portland's own GadgetTrak has gained national acclaim for its tracking software. Should your laptop/Droid/iPad/BlackBerry/etc. go missing, this software allows you to track them remotely via GPS and camera photos. I'm not saying you need GadgetTrak to protect your high-tech toys from thieves, but as Billy Dee Williams once said, why take chances?
Buy this: Laptop security ($19.95).
John Helmer Haberdasher
969 SW Broadway, 223-4976, johnhelmer.com.
A good haberdasher can be hard to find, especially one that stockpiles all manner of formal accoutrements both vintage and modern. This small shop on the corner of Salmon Street and Broadway offers a wide range of ties, bowties, canes, robes, jackets and, of course, hats. It also boasts an impressive collection of ascots. From basic geometric patterns to breathtaking paisley prints, these artifacts of sartorial splendor exude an air of chic eccentricity. While the heyday of the ascot tie was almost 100 years ago, it is making a comeback. John Helmer understands this. It is one of the few places where the hip, stylish professional can buy an ascot without some uncouth lout asking if it's for a Thurston Howell III costume.
3. Buy this: Ascot ($95-125).
Pets on Broadway
2762 NE Broadway, 282-5824, petsonbroadway.com.
Lots of people have cats and dogs. These friendly, furry mammals are a wonderful addition to any household. But everyone has one. And you don't want to risk those little feline bastards carving up your furniture. Pets on Broadway has supplies for these more quotidian pets but also carries accoutrements for a wide range of animals. The choice here is your very own shark tank. Relatively low maintenance while adding to the feng shui of your abode, a tank—55 gallons for when they reach full-size—filled with bala and albino rainbow sharks circling around sunken battleships is an excellent gift. At least until you can afford those sharks with frickin' laser beams you always wanted.
Buy this: Bala or albino rainbow sharks ($6) and sunken boat pieces ($20kknd).