Orange County’s collection of one-off boutiques is impressive, but it’s the two giant luxury centers in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach that cement its reputation as a world-class shopping and fashion destination.
Perched just above Coast Highway with an ocean view, Fashion Island hosts 15 million visitors annually. It has 200 stores, and it offers personal shopping services and hotel-shopping excursions. 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 855-658-8527, shopfashionisland.com
The only Southern California store for this 137-year-old family-owned Western line, Burns 1876 offers handcrafted and custom-made clothing, hats, accessories, and jewelry. Outfitted with custom cowboy furniture, wooden tables, and two walls filled floor-to-ceiling with boots of every color, Burns smells of fresh leather just like the Salina, Utah, saddlery that started it all. 800-453-1281, burnscowboyshop.com
The highlight of this iconic luxury department store is its fantasyland of a shoe department, with designers such as Tom Ford (there’s an actual in-store boutique), Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin, and more. It also boasts a fine top-floor restaurant with full bar, sweeping views, and awesome popovers to refuel you for the next round of shopping. Fashion Island, 949-467-3350 neimanmarcus.com
This is not just another sneaker store. Nike Running stocks women’s apparel exclusively, and has bra-fittings, pants-hemming, and run analysis. It’s also the first Nike store in the U.S. to offer yoga classes and a full workout studio for group and personal training. If you find a shoe you like, you can try it out in a workout before you buy. Fashion Island, 949-720-7020, nike.com
AMERICAN RAG CIE
This store reminds us of those cool boutiques you find in Paris. We love the men’s and women’s apparel by of-the-moment brands such as Closed, Marques Almeida, Iro, Comme des Garçons, along with its unusual accessories and housewares. But what we really like is the vintage section where we found the best cape. Fashion Island, 949-760-1510, americanrag.com