Best Vintage Clothing
Jerome Poulalier

The word vintage has become synonymous with expensive, but at Vagabond on Riverfront Boulevard, you can still get a great deal on nostalgia. This store carries everything from accessories to dresses, T-shirts and winter coats — and it doesn't price the merchandise very carefully because the emphasis is on moving a huge quantity of goods. Everything costs $5 to $15, so if you're willing to spend an hour or two sifting, you're guaranteed to walk away with some finds that would cost quadruple the price elsewhere. You'll be left in peace to do it, too, since even on a Saturday morning the store is usually empty, save for a single employee and the occasional college student who goes in looking for a costume for that evening's party. On a recent trip, we came away with seven '60s sundresses for less than $100.

Readers' Pick: Dolly Python

Best Thrift Store
Sarah Schumacher

From the moment you step into the wide world of florescent-lit knick-knacks, electronics, clothing, kitchenware and other whatnots, you'll know Garland Road Thrift is the best place to spend an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon. This East Dallas thrift haven is equal parts dingy and charming with less-than-cheap additions to any movie, Hawaiian T-shirt or tacky holiday glassware collection available. Perhaps the store's best quality, though, is its selection of former grandma pantsuits that explore every color of the rainbow and can be easily transformed into chic, Instagram-worthy blazers for mere pennies on the dollar compared with retailers. But if neon-coated shoulder pads aren't your thing, keep looking. That perfect hat, pair of shoes, children's toy or couch is just around the corner.

Oil and Cotton

Whether you want to expand your creative horizons with multimedia workshops or need a specialty pair of scissors to slice through the outline of your paper art, Oil and Cotton has you covered. This adorable collective offers supplies you didn't know you needed. From its collection of stationery almost too cute to write on to kaleidoscopic bullet journals to super fancy pens and pencils, this Oak Cliff favorite is sure to exceed your expectations. Get involved in any number of artistic adventures with workshops such as how to take the perfect Polaroid, watercoloring, printmaking and calligraphy. Kids' classes are available, too, with plenty of caffeine and booze for you only a minute's walk away.

Best Last-Minute Gift Shop
Hannah Ridings

From apparel to home decor to endless other novelties, Jade and Clover offers local, handmade and eco-friendly products perfect for when you forget about that birthday party in a couple of hours. Jade and Clover is in the heart of Deep Ellum, and its whimsical and eccentric aesthetic matches its shelves of scented candles, succulents, flamingo-shaped neon lights, unicorn-themed anything, jewelry and many other universally loved commodities. Don't know the gift's recipient that well? Don't worry — the shop offers gift cards that are also redeemable for any of its various art workshops.

Best Used Book Store
Caroline North

Lucky Dog Books offers vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, old Playboy magazines and more. But we think its collection of rare and unique used books, such as zines, comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, cookbooks, biographies, novels and nonfiction long-form stories are what make this place special. Even more special is its running selection of free books and other various media. Get dust on your fingers with the shop's wall-to-wall shelves of secondhand books and find classics from Jack Kerouac and Robert E. Howard to self-help books to get you through that life crisis. Lucky Dog gets away with prices higher than usual for secondhand because of its tremendous stock of hard-to-find books. Considering the immense collection, it's adisable to ask the clerk if you can't find a specific title. Chances are it's tucked away somewhere.

Best Apartment Community
Paige Skinner

A good apartment complex in a good neighborhood with an affordable price can be hard to come by. Luckily, Avana West Lemmon, near Uptown and Highland Park, fits all the categories. Not only is it a fairly large apartment complex with a swimming pool and gym, but it offers a community for its residents with regular get-togethers, events, and an online portal for residents to communicate with neighbors, sell items or offer advice on things to do. It sits on top of Highland Park Emergency Room and is a few blocks from the Ivy Tavern, making it a great place to be if you need a quick doctor's visit or a drink.

Readers' Pick: The Village

Nordstrom at NorthPark

There are few stores that offer a better shopping experience than Nordstrom. Whether you're in NorthPark, the Galleria, Stonebriar or any other location, you will be treated like royalty at Nordstrom. Not only are the employees quick to offer advice on what clothes or shoes to buy, but returning something couldn't be easier. It doesn't matter if you bought it online, in store or months ago, Nordstrom takes back anything. And with its new curbside service, you can order something online during work, stop by your favorite Nordstrom and text the service bar that you would like your order at your car, and then you're off. You never have to step foot in a store and deal with other shoppers looking at the same shirt as you. Yes, shopping just got lazier — and thus better.

NorthPark Center

NorthPark feels like two malls in one. One half, the original part, is full of high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany. The other side has a food court with fast-food restaurants and more affordable stores, including Macy's, H&M, and Zara. NorthPark has always been a staple in Dallas shopping, and with the extension that happened a few years ago, it has become one of the best places to shop in the area. The best part of NorthPark — and something that will always separate it from other malls — is the lack of vendors selling cellphone cases in the middle of the walkways.

This jewelry shop in Snider Plaza has plenty of options for the fashionable person in your life. Whether you are looking for earrings or a customized necklace with your initials, Gemma Collection is the perfect place to buy gold-plated or sterling silver jewelry. Stroll through during the holiday shopping season and you'll see dozens of Highland Park moms buying earrings for every female in their lives. Go during the school year and you'll run into SMU sorority sisters buying necklaces with their letters on them. And take a look during the summertime and you'll be amazed at how many men are looking for a simple bracelet to show their wives they still care.

Best Off-Season
Mike Mezeul

After failing to make the playoffs in the 2016-17 season, the Stars reloaded in earnest. Dallas' hockey club brought back coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the team to its only Stanley Cup championship in 1999, traded for goaltender Ben Bishop and signed him to long-term extension, and signed Russian play-making forward Alexander Radulov to a five-year contract. Mix in the acquisition of defender Marc Methot, who should help shore up the team's balky back line, and the Stars have the look of a team that could be among the best in the Western Conference, as it was in 2015-16. The future looks bright, too. Because they missed the playoffs, the Stars landed the third pick in the 2017 NHL draft, picking Finnish defenseman Miro Heiskanen. Heiskanen is expected to play in Europe for at least one more season, but he is the kind of smooth-skating, puck-handling defenseman teams dream about.

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