For more than a decade, this gallery/store has been Amsterdam's go-to spot for the latest from emerging product designers. The current vogue for mixing elegant and esoteric is apparent in many offerings here; two standouts are graphic Hella Jongerius earthenware dishes (produced in conjunction with a 400-year-old Dutch ceramics firm), and grandmotherly Job Smeets damask tablecloths subversively festooned with silhouettes of hand grenades and fighter jets.
Creaky wood floors, a wide-open layout, and clothing racks illuminated by hulking steel lamps give this secondhand store the charming atmosphere of a turn-of-the-century factory. In perfect contrast to the industrial space, the robust, well-organized pickings—silk Empire-waist dresses, popcorn-knit cardigans, slinky lace tunics—have a decidedly ladylike feel.
We kept hearing that this was the single best vintage shop in Amsterdam; upon visiting we were pleasantly surprised to learn that there are in fact two Laura Dols outposts across the street from each other. The main store sells '40s, '50s, and '60s dresses; the newer spot has coats, additional clothing, and a not-to-be-missed back section dedicated to (quite reasonably priced) old French floral-print bed linens.
Every few months—and often without much advance notice—this boutique completely reinvents itself. One season it might stock only limited-edition T-shirts (and artfully frame them with masking tape on the walls); the next, it could be dedicated to accessories by small designers. This fall, look for Miauw to bring in an international lineup of labels including Karen Walker, Preen, and Gaspard Yurkievich.
Scattered-about Persian rugs, accessory-filled nooks, and a wall-size collage of vintage fashion photos give this neighborhood favorite the intimate feel of a designer's studio. It's the perfect chilled-out place to browse for laid-back labels like A.P.C. and Arnhem-based Humanoid.
If you're heavily into Belgian designers—or just want to educate yourself—stop by this sleek, surprisingly unpretentious temple to high design. It has more pickings from Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, and Ann Demeulemeester than we've ever seen in one place, plus a broad range of pieces from local heroes Viktor & Rolf.
Mazelike and tree-lined, Amsterdam's most romantic quarter has some seriously good shopping, from charmingly itsy antique spots to theater-size spaces brimming with promising labels.
Blanketed with tapestries and lined with cases displaying exquisite jewelry from Madagascar to Mumbai, Baobab goes beyond your run-of-the-mill importer. Everything has a detail that makes it extra special, whether it's a necklace fringed with bits of snake vertebrae or an ikat scarf dyed in an especially vibrant color combination.
Pint-size Diversi stocks only a handful of lines, but all of them share a trend-immune, less-is-more aesthetic. Standouts include Rützou (known for its flattering, flowy shapes and subtle flourishes, like pintucks and tiny ruffles), and Ellen Truyen (a Dutch designer who makes urbane, flat-as-an-envelope leather bags with interchangeable shoulder straps).
A rack packed with the latest from Paul Smith Women, Cacharel, and other feminine, retro-influenced brands dominates the length of one side of this spare store, with the rest of the natural-light-flooded space left open and uncluttered. Representing the Netherlands are owner Margriet Nannings' own signature Liberty-print cotton blouses and sherbet-hued twinsets, along with necklaces made from assorted strung-together baubles from Gem Kingdom, a local jewelry line.