Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Style & Shopping

Our editors' FRESH TAKES on our favorite Pittsburgh things, including the best spot for wedding doodads and where early birds go to spruce up the nest.

Best Mix of Local Goods

Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer

Vintage is back in vogue. Stock up on all of your essentials in one place: Since 2011, the biannual Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer has provided ’Burghers with an excuse to shop till they drop. The most recent event, held in May at the Sen. John Heinz History Center, brought together assorted vendors from the region offering wares ranging from photo prints to vinyl to jewelry. Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer’s organizers also have held occasional pop-ups in an effort to bridge the gap between the festivities. Keep your eye on the Facebook page for up-to-date details, particularly about the next event, which will take place on Nov. 7. —KM;; photo by Quelcy Kogel


Best e-Catalog of Local Style

Keep Pittsburgh Dope
Chancelor Humphrey knows fresh fashion when he sees it. The founder of KeepPittsburghDope, Humphrey since April 2014 has been cataloguing the ’Burgh’s looks on his street-style blog and popular Instagram page, which at press time boasts more than 6,000 followers. Taken outside for the most part, Humphrey’s photographs of the city’s eclectic denizens make it clear that when it comes to what makes Pittsburgh dope, there’s no one category to fit all. The old, young, tattooed, bearded, pierced and preppy all make appearances on the pages. Pittsburgh famously was once named one of the “worst-dressed cities in America,” but those who live here know better. Keep on keeping it dope, Pittsburgh. —JS,; photo courtesy Keep Pittsburgh Dope


Best Way to Experience Bloomfield

Merante Gifts
The storefront says it all: “Maria Merante — the shop with an Italian accent.” Not only can you browse the gift shop abundant with imported housewares and edibles from the old country, but you also can stop in at the bakery counter for homemade pizzelles and other traditional sweets. From fall through spring, sign up for such irresistible cooking classes as “Dinner at Nonna’s” and “Two Lasagnas and a Chicken.” Or register for the small group tour Maria Merante leads annually to her hometown in Calabria. New this summer: Merante Gifts added a green market featuring classic Italian produce, plus items the shop considers “off the beaten path,” such as arugula, for those extra-special recipes.

4723 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield; 412/682-3370,; photo by Chuck Beard


Best Spot for Wedding Doodads

Clarissa Boutique
When it comes to wedding planning, the venerable Clarissa Boutique can be a bride’s best friend. Located on Pittsburgh’s South Side, the boutique, which was founded in 1950, offers an overwhelming array of bridal accessories for discerning brides to consider, including headpieces, veils, jewelry, buttons, belts, sashes and much more. The boutique also can create custom jewelry to accommodate a bride’s vision of her style on the big day. “We strive to offer a large selection, no matter what the bride’s taste is,” says Penny Smith, one of the boutique owners. “Whether that’s traditional or fashion-forward or earthy or elaborate.” —JS

1700 East Carson St.; 412/432-3299,; photo courtesy the boutique


Best Place for Early Birds to Spruce up the Nest

Construction Junction
The fun of shopping at Construction Junction is the thrill of the chase. Will you be the one to find the bookshelf in perfect condition that will fit your space exactly? Or the flawless kitchen table you’ve been hunting for? Your best bet at nabbing the best-of-the-best items, which go quickly, is to shop on a Thursday or Friday, says Derek Stoltz, general store manager. The e-newsletter detailing the hottest items goes out on Friday afternoon, so stop by and check out what’s for sale before the rush. —LD

214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze; 412/243-5025,; photo by John Altdorfer


Categories: Best of the ‘Burgh