There’s nothing more universally revered than the standard t-shirt, so make that your starting point and check out some interesting alternatives. Locally designed graphic shirts are stocked from floor to ceiling at Tees.ca. The shop carries a wide variety of designs from well-known brands and emerging artists. New shirts feature jackalopes, polar bears and gramophones, but there’s always something unexpected right around the corner. They’re good about posting pics of arriving stock on their FB page, so take a few minutes to sit down and scan through their latest inspirations or, if you’re a little artsy yourself, consider applying to have your own work appear on a shirt.
Looking for something that’s one of a kind? Angel Vancouver specializes in custom, hand-painted t-shirts and can create a design that’s as individual as the person you’re shopping for. Are they a sucker for monkeys? Would they be jazzed about a trail of leopard spots running down a sleeve? It’s totally up to you.
For those who consider themselves a blank canvas, consider setting them up for some new ink at the Gastown Tattoo Parlour. The in-house artists are always ready to collaborate on something spectacular. If you don’t think they’re ready to wear it, both GTP and New World Designs stock unique works as art prints just looking for a piece of real estate on a wall to call their own.
If art isn’t their thing, there’s always something unusual at Salmagundi West. Filled to the rafters with antiques and collectibles that bring a smile to even the most eccentric visitor, it offers two floors (we hear all the really good stuff is downstairs) of musical instruments, old dolls, taxidermy and other trinkets. Next door at Uniques, you’ll find more interesting and unusual items combed from garage sales and estate auctions, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse.
Got a style maker on your list? You could go with something that’s truly eye opening. How about a new pair of sunnies for their winter vacation or fun frames to pair with that sweater from your Aunt Peg? Either way, they’ll love the variety of seasonal and budget-conscious eyewear at new kid on the block, Bailey Nelson. Check out their Instagram account at @baileynelson_ca for a who’s who of wearers, from a Lake Louise squirrel to the word stylist from Gastown-based, Gold Lemon Creative.
And finally, if you’ve got a crafty person on your list, they’re always right at home in Button Button. The shop, at the corner of Homer & Cordova, stocks thousands of buttons, perfect for a creative project or to add new interest to a favourite shirt. With about 9,000 styles from all over the world, there’s something for every taste. Pick out a bag full that will have them planning their next project or bring them by for a bit of a spree.