The Best Indie Shops in Charleston

By Kate Donnelly |

Courtesy of Billy Reid

Whether you’re a Charlestonian looking for a new outfit or a visitor in need of a hip souvenir, these independent sellers of everything from bow ties to oyster knives will have what you’re looking for.

1. Mac & Murphy

There’s no shortage of paper at this tiny storefront with goods like letterpress, sweet cards and notebooks from handpicked labels like Elum and Kate Spade, as well as local outfits like Ink Meets Paper Press, Proud Mary and Vivant.

2. Blue Bicycle Books

Long live the independent bookstore! Owned by a writer since 2007, this indispensible source is the go-to for new, used, local and out-of-print books. It also presents a nice array of titles, readings and visiting authors.

3. Indigo and Cotton

This cool, smartly curated menswear shop rocks a collection of rugged, hip American goods like those well-traversed Filson bags; Makr Carry Goods and Gitman Brothers; denim from Raleigh Goods; and, for the Southern gent, General Knot & Co. produces classic bow ties.

4. Bob Ellis Shoes

For over 60 years, this local institution of footwear has stocked those fancy, city-dwelling staple labels like Manolo Blahnik, YSL and Christian Louboutin. And, for the gents, classic leather loafers courtesy of Cole Haan and Fratelli Rossetti.

5. Worthwhile

On King Street, this venerable boutique matches a fun, girly side with avant-garde flare thanks to edgy labels like Isabel Marant and A Detacher. Don’t leave without checking the unique, well-edited line of accessories, scents and tabletop goodies.

6. Billy Reid

Alabama-based designer Billy Reid’s namesake boutique on King Street runs the gamut from mod workwear to classic apparel. Upstairs, antique furniture is mixed with a traditional and more playful array of jackets, pants and sweaters. 

7. Mixson Market

In North Charleston, there’s an assortment of local cheese, meats, plates and goods, including Herschel backpacks, Divine Twine, Rewined candles and Rhodia notebooks. Nab a Tiffin snack carrier, perfect to take your fresh provisions, and craft beer, out for a picnic.

8. Grady and Ervin

For the sophisticated southern gentleman, this clothing boutique conjures that effortless Charleston look, with preppy clothing, bow ties, hunting field coats and belts by Coast Apparel, and, of course, handmade oyster knives for serious shucking. 

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