Best Men's Clothing 2022 | Nylo Wool | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kathy Tran

Inflation is rampant, grocery and gas prices are high, abortion is no longer legal everywhere, right-wingers are attacking LGBT people and our national politics are a pie-fight. Congratulations, nostalgia fans, that '70s era you longed for is back, so you might as well dress the part. Nylo Wool, a small shop on the east side of Deep Ellum, can get you kitted out. Most of the vintage clothing here for both men and women was made in the '90s or earlier — much earlier in the case of one pair of men's Lee jeans from the '30s, which even today are in better shape than a pair of modern Levi's after a few trips through the wash. Don't confuse Nylo with a thrift or consignment shop. It doesn't have that faint mildew odor for one, and the owner curates the selection, buying American-made clothing from estate sales and other collectors. The quality is high, but the prices aren't, so you could walk out with a vintage wool sports coat, a 30-year-old Brooks Bros. button-down, leather lace-up boots and a sturdy pair of well-worn jeans and still have money left over for a tank of gas. Best of all, those clothes likely were made by union labor. Unlike today's disposable fast fashion, the goods will probably still be servicable a decade from now.

Whitney Marie Photography

"Where did you get that hat, / Where did you get that tile? / Isn't it a nobby one or / Just the proper style?" So go the lyrics from the old American standard tune "Where Did You Get That Hat?" It's all about hat envy — nobby is old slang for "stylish" — which wearers of Dallas native Holli Royall's millinery creations might be familiar with. Sold online or at frequent pop-up events, the basic hats are custom made for Bumble & Brim and then dressed up by Royall with handcrafted beaded bands, feathers and charms to become wearable works of art. Her designs are High Plains meets high fashion and available in men's and women's, though mostly for women, including a collection of white wedding hats for soon-to-be-wed cowgirls. Wearing a hat most places in 2022 is in itself a bold fashion statement, so if you're willing to do your part to keep hat-wearing alive, find Bumble & Brim at their website or on Instagram and Facebook, which also offer information about her next pop-up event. You'll find a lid that will have your friends demanding to know, "Where did you get that hat?" They might be so impressed that they break into song.

This record store is a haven for North Texas nerds. Black Cat Records N Comics, which had its grand opening in June, boasts an impressive selection of vinyl, manga and anime. Located in Big D's Cedars District, the store takes a "deep dive" into certain distinctive genres, including lounge, rockabilly, surf, Japanese pop and more. Plus, Black Cat promises to please with its top-tier selection of comic books from indie and underground publishers. Friendly, down-to-earth staff members help you find anything you need and make killer suggestions. Pay this place a visit on your next date.

America is one of the few industrialized, first-world nations that doesn't have price control measures to prevent pharmaceutical companies from gouging customers in their time of need. Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is using a portion of his billions to disrupt the industry's "pay us or suffer" business strategy with Cost Plus Drugs. It's an online pharmacy that offers deep discounts on drugs with some of the biggest markups in the hopes that will bring the price down by increasing the competition. It's not perfect. It's not available in all the states yet. It forces independent pharmacies to compete in an already unfair system. But at least there's one billionaire in the world who's willing to spend his money on something that helps disrupt an unsustainable system.

So, you've done the right thing and gone to Operation Kindness or the Dallas animal shelter to adopt a dog or cat. Good on you, friend. No true animal lover wants to support puppy and kitten mills, especially when so many animals are looking for homes, and especially now when many pets adopted during the pandemic are now finding themselves in shelters. You've picked the right place to acquire your new best friend, now you need a place to keep Rover or Whiskers happy, healthy and fed. Pet Supplies Plus has several locations around DFW, and we've tried a few. What they share in common is a gigantic selection of foods, toys, crates, cat trees and virtually everything else you'll need to keep your animal healthy. The knowledgeable, friendly staff can offer you guidance for proper nutrition, and the stores offer a wide variety of brands, from Purina to high-end products from Merrick, Mittens, Redford and Blue Buffalo. (You don't really want to stint your adopted orphan on food, do you?) Some stores also offer preventative veterinary care and self-service dog washes.

Courtesy of Elia De Leon

Fast fashion is so last year. Seriously, don't you dare press "add to cart." Especially when Dallas is stacked with designers, stylists and boutiques that will leave you runway-ready. At By Elia De León, you get a one-stop shop. The boutique is well stocked with one-of-a-kind sustainable designs and upcycled vintage pieces. Elevate your wardrobe with a chic Harley Davidson corset, boho halter, classic 1970s maxi or an edgy blazer. If you have a specific concept in mind, commission the designer to bring it to life. The possibilities are endless at By Elia De León.

Best Place to Buy a Musical Instrument

Sam Ash

You may walk in and say "just looking" then walk out with a candy-apple-red five-piece drum kit, or at least a used tumbadora that needs a good home. Sam Ash is a music tinkerer's field day. There's a good variety of new and used equipment, including orchestral instruments, and a low-key but attentive and smart staff to guide you to your new rockstar life. With such a big store, there's always have a lot of inventory in stock. 

It's happened to everyone: You bust the backdoor out of your jeans or get a nasty rip on the sleeve of your jacket. Such is the risk of walking around in the world each day, and if you're anything like us, you probably aren't an ace tailor capable of stitching it back together like new. That's where folks like Harry Papas come in. Located in North Dallas, the aptly named Harry's Tailor Shop has gained a stellar reputation for salvaging the clothes you thought you'd utterly ruined. Papas has been tailoring away for decades, having opened his first shop in 1985. Harry's is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Courtesy of Forever Young

The giant jukebox-shaped arch over the door at Forever Young makes a great photo backdrop, but if you're scouting for a setting with vinyl records as props for your latest TikTok video, go embarrass yourself elsewhere. Forever Young is a destination for true-blue lovers of music, in all mediums and all ages. Filled with troves of CDS, vinyl and cassettes, the massive store has a room dedicated to rare records. There's an unmatched assortment of memorabilia, such as vintage Beatles masks and velvet Elvis paintings, and new posters that are perfectly priced for broke teenagers. If you're looking for a Sir Mix-a-Lot T-shirt (because why wouldn't you be?) and to grow your album collection, this must be the place.

Hannah Ridings

Fake plants have long been on home decorators' don't-even-think-about-it list, though that's changing somewhat as the quality of imitation plants has improved in recent years. How can you tell a good fake plant? If it's called "faux" and costs way more than you expected, then it's probably acceptable, but why take the chance? The good people at the gift and plant shop Jade and Clover in Deep Ellum can help you select and design planters with live house plants and succulents in almost any size at affordable prices. The store's "plant bar" provides the green stuff, containers, colorful sand to dress up your plant's home and plenty of guidance to help those with a black thumb keep their carbon dioxide-devouring little buddies alive. If any of your existing potted plants start looking a little peaked, Jade and Clover can also help you find a new pot and offer guidance on keep things blooming.

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