Begin on Main Street, the historical pocket of downtown just south of Bellevue Square, which harks back to the area’s days as a sleepy Seattle suburb, where an independent spirit lives on along a pleasant promenade of unique boutiques and restaurants.
Begin at (1) Jarbo, the source of Sharon Roth’s exquisite clothing line, which she sold to some 200 boutiques around the country for a decade before opening her first retail shop in Bellevue two years ago. Beautifully constructed cashmere and Pima cotton pieces (shown above) inject a luxe feel into everyday wear; don’t leave without checking out her beautiful assortment of roomy Cayman bags ($895–$3,000).
Turn onto 103rd Avenue NE and hit one of the local anchors for shopping in high style, (2) La Ree. In addition to finding clothing by Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang, you can shop for harder-to-find designers such as Joseph, Repetto Shoes and the boho-chic looks of Isabel Marant. Equally lust-inducing are the purses and handbags made by Marant’s husband, Jerome Dreyfuss ($900–$2,500): ingeniously constructed satchels that can be configured in myriad ways.
Crossing Bellevue Way, you’ll find (3) Snowboard Connection, the place in Bellevue to suit up for the upcoming season on the slopes. Keep your eyes peeled for its blowout sales on last year’s gear for scoring the best deals, and be sure to peruse its small but stylish collection of street wear.
In the Bellevue Plaza complex, one block east of Bellevue Square, the don’t-miss stops are (4) Between Friends Consignment, where a recent visit uncovered finds like a Michael Kors maxi dress for $42 and an ultraslick black Robert Rodriguez rain jacket (tags still on!) for $124; and (5) Lamb’s Ears Children’s Boutique,
a cute overload of everything from party dresses to playwear and shoes to match from top-designer names in European children’s clothing.
Continue on along 106th, and tucked away near Barnes & Noble is (6) Blue Luna, Bellevue’s hottest hidden gem. Owner and Armenian native Ivetta Arzumanov opened her Euro-focused shop a year ago to bring the runway looks of Paris, Milan and Barcelona closer to home, and already she’s been voted Bellevue’s Best Boutique for 2012 by the Bellevue Downtown Association. She orders fashion-forward yet fantastically affordable lines such as Desigual, Isabel de Pedro and Save the Queen in small quantities, so that each of her customers feels unique. Spend $250 there this month and you’ll get a free Swarovski necklace or earrings, plus $50 off on your next purchase.
Park and go
Take advantage of the two-hour free parking on Main Street and begin your stroll around 102nd Avenue SE, or steer toward the abundant dreamland of free parking in the Bellevue Collection garages.
Umm, the shopping meccas! Downtown Bellevue is the only place in a multistate vicinity where you can find entire stores full of Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Hermes, all in one area, at (7) The Bravern, and the brand-name shopaholic heaven that is the (8) Bellevue Collection, which also houses rare finds, such as locally based Report Footwear and beauty haven Harnn; stay tuned this fall for new Bellevue Square additions, such as children’s boutique Peek...Aren’t You Curious and Pandora jewelry.