Neiman Marcus (Dallas): Established in 1907, Neiman Marcus is intimately identified with Big D and its shopaholics. The luxury purveyor's annual holiday catalog, with his-and-her fantasies for the rich, has become an institution. The downtown store is classy and retro-cool, the best place in North Texas to drape yourself in Prada and Chanel.
NorthPark Center (Dallas): Dallas loves to shop, and while there are more malls than most people (except Dallasites) know what to do with, NorthPark is the most traditional and elegant (even with a recent expansion that doubled its size). The graceful layout outclasses its more garish competitors. Rotating pieces from owner Ray Nasher's spectacular collection of modern sculpture are on display throughout.
Stockyards National Historic District (Fort Worth): In Cowtown, looking the part is important. Pick up Western duds -- suits and shirts with elegant piping and embroidered yokes that would have made you a star in the Old West, plus cowboy boots and other Western paraphernalia -- just steps away from the old Stockyards livestock pens. On the main drag is Maverick, which has upscale Western wear and a bar serving up Lone Star longnecks. M. L. Leddy's is a family-owned shop with a big boot sign out front and top-quality hats, hand-tooled belts, and custom-made boots. And just down the street, plunk down the cash for exquisite custom cowboy boots at Ponder Boot Company.
Uptown (Houston): In this relatively small district, you can find Houston's Galleria (with over 300 retailers, including Saks, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany's, and Versace) and four other malls fronting Post Oak (with such retailers as Cartier and FAO Schwarz).
Paris Hatters (San Antonio): Pope John Paul II, Prince Charles, Jimmy Smits, and Dwight Yoakam have all had Western headgear made for them by Paris Hatters, in business since 1917 and still owned by the same family. About half of the sales are special order, but the shelves are stocked with high-quality ready-to-wear hats, too.
Capitol Saddlery (Austin): The custom-made boots of this classic three-level Western store near the capitol, run by the same family for 7 decades, were immortalized in a song by Jerry Jeff Walker. Come here for hand-tooled saddles, belts, tack, and altogether unyuppified cowboy gear.
Fredericksburg (Texas Hill Country): It's hard to say how a town founded by German idealists ended up being a magnet for Texas materialists, but Fredericksburg's main street is chockablock with boutiques. This is the place to come for everything from natural chocolate mint-scented room deodorizer to handmade dulcimers.
El Paso Chile Company (El Paso): We love this shop for its tongue-searing delicacies, with fiery names such as "Hellfire & Damnation," and all things spicy.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.