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Wearable Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico

To describe Santa Fe as a shopping mecca is truly an understatement. Often overwhelming for the first-time and even seasoned visitor, the downtown and historic arts district of Canyon Road offers distinctive clothing as well as the traditional objects of art for which it is well-known. Shopping is a Santa Fe experience. Unlike many American cities where blue jeans and tee shirts prevail, you will notice that locals are well-dressed, complete with western boots, hats, and the latest in wearable art.

A few favorite local clothing stores will get you started on a shopping experience to remember. Skip the chain stores. You can find them at home. Instead, venture into the smaller boutiques that are unique to Santa Fe and frequented by the best-dressed women in town.

Whether or not you would actually wear Western boots, Back at the Ranch, 209 East Marcy St., is the quintessential store for cowboy boots! Make a visit there and allow the boots, buckles, and accessories to tickle your soul. Everything is a one-of-a-kind work of art. You will leave inspired to become a well-dressed Santa Fean!

Origins, near the Plaza at 135 W. San Francisco St., is a must-stop on your search for wearable art. The store is small but filled to the brim with unique, handmade clothing from fabric artists around the world. The backroom has sale merchandize and you can find clothes to meet your every style need from casual to mother-of-the-bride. Don’t be surprised to bump into local celebs here, like Ali MacGraw.

Handmade silk woven clothing abounds in Santa Fe like no other place in the U.S. Purple Sage, 110 Don Gaspar, and the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, 124 Galisteo, are two local favorites for those who dare to be different and fashionable. These shops showcase small designers from the U.S., Japan, England and wherever their travels take them. Go in, touch the fabrics, and try them on. Feel invigorated. Also visit Hand-Woven Originals a tiny shop in the Hotel Loretto for hand-painted silk clothing and unique accessories.

As you visit these very special stores, don’t hesitate to ask the shop keepers for other recommended gems. Folks in Santa Fe are very friendly and helpful. Enjoy the adventure.

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