Desert Companion

Best of the City: Shops + Services


Sparkle Cleaners and Laundry
Photo by Brent Holmes

Sparkle Cleaners & Laundry

Best Clothing Store

Club Monaco

A first-to-market opening late last year at the Forum Shops, Club Monaco is the international retail brand known for its signature clean, modern style, and as the company that recently rebranded to embrace a dual-gender concept. While pieces aren’t technically unisex (they’re designed to fit either men or women), they are designed with a unified vision and intended to be styled genderlessly. It’s a concept that perfectly fits today’s social climate of inclusivity and respecting diverse points of view.
Forum Shops at Caesars, (CM)


Best Suit Store


From the supper club to the dance club, from boardrooms to the Boulevard, nearly every time we ask a dandy where he acquired his ensemble, he says Stitched. Offering everything from made-to-measure magnificence, to prêt-à-porter from top names like Ted Baker, Tom Ford, and more, Stitched procures personal stylists and talented tailors to transform your look. Living your best life doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it. The Cosmopolitan, stitched (JPR)

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Best Outlet Store

John Varvatos Company Store

John VarvatosJohn Varvatos remains my favorite local outlet store not just for the stress-free retail therapy it offers, but its perfect marriage of low prices and upscale, boutique-style setting — think gorgeous wood floors, rock memorabilia, and an attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable staff. All that pampering might make you forget you’re paying a third of the retail price. Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, (CM)


Best Beauty Stores

Bluemercury and Nordstrom

Known for expert advice, unparalleled technical knowledge, and friendly service, uber-chic beauty retailer Bluemercury recently opened its first location in Las Vegas. Aside from Bluemercury’s proprietary brands, makeup label Lune+Aster and skincare line M-61, the store also carries a slew of high-end beauty mainstays such as Tom Ford, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, and La Mer. Bewildered? Bluemercury’s experts are there to advise on the how, when, and why of every product.

Meanwhile, Nordstrom just revamped its beauty department into a magical makeup wonderland boasting 28 new brands, including Fresh, Sisley, Space NK, Le Labo, and (my favorite) Charlotte Tilbury. The department now also offers services such as custom foundation-mixing, a brow bar, and a beauty concierge. Bluemercury: 1065 S. Rampart Blvd.,; Nordstrom: Fashion Show Mall, (CM)


Best Vintage Store


Vintage means many things. It’s the $3 Polaroid at Savers, the $60 Motley Crue T-shirt at Buffalo Exchange, the $500 brass-and-black fireplace tool set at Retro Vegas. It’s sifting through dozens of dusty booths at the Charleston Antique Mall, or browsing vinyl at 11th Street Records. At Patina, shopping vintage is a series of oohs and ahhs — the stately brass schooner, the classic cocktail glasses, the case of handbags and sunglasses, the 1970s component stereo. Patina doesn’t fixate on one decade or stylistic genre; rather, they obsess over emerging trends and curating quality pieces. Well worth many visits. 1300 S. Main St. #140, (JPR)


Best Antiques

South Main Street

South Main StreetLong before the City of Las Vegas saw Main Street as its one-way ticket to urban revitalization, offbeat retailers, cultural scions, and moms and pops were setting up shop along the old two-lane thoroughfare. With the new wider (and sparklier) walking path, it’s the perfect place to take an afternoon stroll and score a one-of-a-kind antique. Start at Sin City Pickers on Wyoming, then on to Repeats, Main Street Peddlers, It’s About Time Antiques, Patina, Modern Mantiques, Main Street Mercantile, Oddities, Antique Alley Mall, Vintage Vegas, Retro Vegas, ReBar, Martin’s Mart, Inside Style, and, lastly, Daft Junk north of Charleston, just before things get going in both directions again. (JH)


Best Thrift Store


Corporate interloper alert! Okay, but hear us out. Of course, it’s preferable to shop local when reducing your carbon footprint, but don’t overlook this resale powerhouse just because it’s incorporated. The goods you get at Savers are largely the result of neighborhood donations, and the company makes hefty and regular contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada. Free Savers Club membership equals email alerts for  weekly 50-percent off sales, so you can find that they-don’t-make-them-like-this-anymore ’80s-era big-business, big-shoulder-pads blazer at single digit prices. Multiple locations, (JH)


Best Creepy Store

Las Vegas Oddities

Warning: This place is not for the faint-hearted. It can give you nausea. But get past the vertigo and you’ll discover something … Oh, who are we kidding? This place is so bizarre that you simply have to see it. Human bone jewelry, ancient medical devices, animal specimens preserved in jars, found images, butterfly earrings made of … butterflies. And a case of serial killer memorabilia that will leave you chilled to the bone. You have been warned. Or invited. Say hi to the chameleon. 1228 S. Main St., (JPR)


Best Workout


ClassPass is a monthly membership that offers drop-in access to fitness studios throughout the city. It’s a perfect resource for those people who suffer from workout ADD or don’t know what kinds of workouts they like or just want to try every crazy new exercise fad. You can experience everything from yoga to CrossFit, cycling, and even open gym time. Plus, it’s a worldwide membership that trim-minded travelers can use in tons of cities. (CB)


GingyBest Hair Stylist

Gingy Von Meijer at Makeshift Union Cutting & Grooming

A fiery redhead with a feisty free spirit, Gingy Von Meijer has been styling Las Vegans since 2007. An original team member at Makeshift Union, Von Meijer takes a gender-neutral approach to natural colors and cuts that suit the client, not style stereotypes. Curly-haired herself, she’s a master at keeping coils soft and springy in the dry desert. Check out her Instagram (@trippy_gingy) to catch her educational hair films. 1130 Casino Center Blvd. #130, (JH)


Best Barber Shop

Makeshift Union

Owner Larry Reha and the team at Makeshift Union have successfully nailed a trend with their perfectly crafted egalitarian-chic shop in the Arts District. But there’s nothing trendy about their high-craft hair services, which range from braids to blowouts to beard-sculpting. Makeshift Union is simultaneously comfortable and cool, offering dapper do’s, tight lines, and all-around style to boot. 1130 S. Casino Center Blvd. #130,  (CB)


Best Luxury Spa

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Spa

WaldorfPricey but oh so posh, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas’ spa inside City Center is a contemporary high-end resort retreat with an extra splash of old-school luxury. Definitely splurge-worthy is its “four handed massage” at two full hours — that’s a duo of massage therapists working simultaneously for 120 minutes at rejuvenating your muscles and mental state. CityCenter,
702-590-8888 (JH)


Best Budget Spa

A Touch of Las Vegas

Just off the Strip, A Touch of Las Vegas is a low-key local spa with unique amenities for relaxation seekers of all kinds. If skin treatments, massage, and public bathing aren’t really your thing, try the Private Hot Tub Suites. A room of one’s own (or to share with a close friend), each suite is equipped with a jetted hot tub, infrared sauna, steam room, and rain shower complete with a relaxation area that’s all yours to roam sans towel for $60-$120 per hour. 4305 Dean Martin Drive #160, (JH)


Best Dispensaries for Pot Novices

Sahara Wellness and Planet 13

There are two kinds of cannabis rookies: Those who want to be gently led to just the right product and those who want to dive into a dizzying array. For the former, Sahara Wellness is a small, locals-geared shop where well-trained budtenders assist customers in finding just the right tincture for pain or the most fun flower for movie night. For those who want it all, Planet 13 is the world’s largest dispensary, stocking everything from buds and bongs to cartridges and cookies. And if the product doesn’t inspire your Instagram, the interactive graffiti wall or the light-up lotus plants will. Sahara Wellness: 420 E. Sahara Ave.,; Planet 13: 2548 W. Desert Inn Road, (LTR)


Best Dispensary for Pot Pros

Oasis cannabis

Located in the back of a mid-mod office building on Industrial Boulevard, Oasis has been serving the city since you needed a medical card to get through the door. The selection isn’t megastore-supersized, but it is substantial and solidly curated with a large number of brands represented; a good selection of CBD products includes capsules, cartridges and chocolate bars. The staff is rush-to-open-the-door helpful and knows the product, and near-daily brand pop-ups and specials keep customers coming back. The space is minimal, but one of the few design touches is a photo of a sunglassed Snoop Dogg sitting in the Oasis waiting area, hanging in the same area, a nice representation of the store’s down-low, in-the-know vibe. 1800 Industrial Road #180, (LTR)


Best Local Cannabis Product

Body And Mind beef jerky

By definition, all cannabis products are local: The law requires that every joint, edible, and vape pen sold in Nevada be made in Nevada. And while many fine products are available, one of the most fun is Body And Mind cannabis-infused beef jerky. Appreciate the oddity of weed jerky — then appreciate the fact that it’s actually quite delicious. Available in peppercorn, teriyaki, and sriracha flavors. Just don’t get so distracted by the savory-sweet taste that you eat the entire bag. (LTR)


Personal Best

Best Therapeutic Browsing

Charleston Antique Mall

Charleston Antique MallI used to cringe at the term “retail therapy” because it reeks of the heedless leisure of a Stepford mommy-blogger and, yeah no. Rather, I typically shop the way I imagine a Navy SEAL carries out an extrajudicial killing: Get in, liquidate the target, get out. Then, several months ago, I went to the Charleston Antique Mall in search of a certain kind of end table, and it took me three deeply immersive, transportive hours and $85 in knick-knacks to not even come close to finding it. I’ve returned several times purely on browsing missions, roving the booths cluttered with everything from taxidermied reptiles to Tiffany lamps. Even if I don’t buy anything, I always emerge with something priceless: a rarefied meditative state induced by intensive, loosely focused visual grazing. Okay, it’s retail therapy. Fine, I’m a mommy-blogger, so what, kill me. 560 S. Decatur Blvd., (Andrew Kiraly)



Old school

Sparkle Cleaners & Laundry

Offering same-day service a stone’s throw from the Las Vegas Strip, Sparkle Cleaners has been solving Las Vegas’ fashion emergencies since 1981. A rarity in the biz, Sparkle does all its washing and dry cleaning in-house with on-site alterations and pick-up as well as delivery service. That means super quick turnarounds (in two hours if you really need it), perfect pressing with an eagle eye for stain removal, and a friendly face who always remembers locals and visitors alike. 326 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-1361 (JH)

New school

Mint Locker

Mint LockerThis previous winner remains the fave, especially if you live or work near its many drop-off lockers. Create an online account, drop your dirties into a locker, place your order, and wait for the text letting you know your clothes are fresh and fancy (about 36 hours). This low-interaction service was practically invented for the Millennial, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t benefit. Various locker locations, (JPR)


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