Best Clothing Store AND Best Outdoor Apparel: Bivouac

Grant Hardy/Daily
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By Catherine Sulpizio, Senior Arts Editor
Published April 10, 2015

Walking into Bivouac, the mainstay of State Street since the ’70s, the store appears to have an identity crisis, albeit a highly shoppable one. To the left is a homier version of REI, its thin-planked wooden floors creaking under the Timberlands of Ann Arbor’s rugged outdoorsmen and women. Trotting between racks of Canada Goose vests and BPA-free water bottles is the occasional dog amicably tailing his owner before making a stop at the water bowl.

But to the right is a boutique that wouldn’t be out of place in Los Angeles. Less for the trail and more for Main Street, the impressive second floor denim loft features the requisite skinny in all its washes and brands, but also jeans of the waxed, boyfriend and zippered variety. In the summer, lacy Alice + Olivia blouses and Hudson jorts line the shelves, while during winter the store becomes an enclave of LBDs with chic leather paneling and military-inspired anoraks for the urban-trekking mondaine. A well-curated jewelry selection and a mélange of pastel bralettes — just asking to peek out of the ultra-comfy, slouchy Splendid tanks that the store stocks — ensure it’s hard to leave without a "little something" (even if it comes with a less-than little price tag).