The Sun Valley area is known for its famous ski slopes and celebrity sightings, but it’s also a prime shopping destination. Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to catch Katy Perry strolling the sidewalks, you can most certainly find places to help you dress like her. And it’s less than a three-hour drive from the Treasure Valley.
Both the historic town of Ketchum and its ritzy neighbor Sun Valley are packed with restaurants, art galleries, furniture and gift shops, and boutiques. And trust me, the fashion alone is worth the drive. I recently headed up to the Wood River Valley with a group of girlfriends for an overnight shopping trip.
It’s easy to get around Ketchum, and many shops are within walking distance of each other. And parking spots abound (with no meters — yay!). Up the road, nearly everything is close by once you get to Sun Valley, too. So pull in, grab a latte and get walking.
Elle Rose is a couture-packed treasure trove, spread out among two sister shops: designer and contemporary. On the designer side, you will find a polished array of luscious luxury items from Valentino, Versace, Chloe, Hermes, Manolo Blahnik and more. On the contemporary side, you can unleash your inner posh-rock-goddess with stunning pieces from Alexander McQueen, Theory, Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone, The Row, etc. This is a couture shop so expect to pay couture prices, but check out the clearance racks in the back of the contemporary store for last-chance deals. 641 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-8871; ellerosesv.com.
The Sheepskin Coat Factory was opened in 1971 by David Norton. He operated a tannery at that time, and manufactured and designed coats and jackets from shearling (sheepskin), selling wholesale to large stores on the East Coast as well as retailing directly in his Ketchum shop and his other regional stores. Although Norton no longer personally produces all the pieces in his store, Sheepskin Coat Factory has stuck to its high-quality values, and it imports inventory only from U.S. and Canadian vendors. The store sells predominantly outerwear and accessories from multiple brands in a range of price points, and it has added several ready-to-wear ladies lines. Our group was particularly impressed by the winter-to-spring transitional travel jackets, like one by Diana Rosh that’s super lightweight and rolls up into a tiny bag. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-3588; sheepskincoat.com.
When I walked into Theodore, for a moment I thought we were in a London boutique. Tall shelves stacked with denim and walls of glass adorned with color-categorized racks of clothing entice the eye and pull you deeper into a shopping heaven. The fashions in Theodore are right on trend. The shoes, the attitude, the vibe ... very urban chic. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-3544.
Déjà Vu is an otherworldly treasure trove. For more than 20 years, owner Suzy Hart has cultivated a collection that must be seen to be believed. From vintage Chanel necklaces to Valentino blouses, fur collars to crystal tiaras, every nook and cranny of Hart’s shop is packed with awe-worthy finds. Déjà vu is not a consignment shop, but an estate and couture boutique. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-1908; dejavuvintagestore.com.
On trend, on budget
Fly fisher and local legend Dick Alfs opened Silver Creek Outfitters in 1963 after years of tying and selling flies that he would hand-deliver to local customers. Decades later, his landmark shop has grown to include men’s and women’s clothing (both functional and fashionable), shoes, accessories, eyewear, luggage, gift and home décor, and everything you’d need for hunting or fishing. Silver Creek Outfitters carries what you need to “take you from a day on the river to an evening on the town.” It carries classic fashion brands like Peter Millar, Scott Barber, 34 Heritage and Patagonia, as well as TRASK shoes. The store also offers outfitted tours and trips. 500 N. Main St., Ketchum; 208-726-5282; www.silver-creek.com.
Sway is a bright and airy shop packed with fashion-forward and accessible styles. With a vibe reminiscent of Malibu or Beverly Hills, this store was one of our group’s favorites. Soft colors, uber-trendy denim, must-have blouses and the latest Instagram-worthy accessories stock every shelf and table. Owner Roxanne Harris has impeccable taste, and brands include MiH, Free People, DL 1961, Rails, Elizabeth and James, Paige, Maison Scotch and Joie. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-928-7884.
Ketchum Flower Company-Girl Friday is your one-stop shop for all things lovely. Michelle Ferris opened her shop 18 years ago to bring “beautiful fresh-cut flowers, tasteful arrangements and eclectic affordable gifts to the valley.” Girl Friday, the clothing side of the shop, is packed with denim, shoes, shirts, scarves and more, from brands like Bed|Stu, Gentle Fawn, Larissa, Free People, Raffi, Sanctuary and Good hYOUman. 440 E. Avenue N., Ketchum; 208-622-7364, ketchumflower.com.
Farmer’s Daughter, founded by self-proclaimed “treasure-hunters, nostalgia keepers, memory creators and magic makers,” is a sweet store with more home décor and less fashion, but the fashions the store does carry are indeed magic — from vintage flannels to repurposed Louis Vuitton handbags draped with fringe, feathers and riveted belt shoulder straps. If you’re on the hunt for unique, check out Farmer’s Daughter. 331 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-6433; thefarmersdaughtersunvalley.com.
Ketchum is home to a couple of fun and fabulous consignment/second-hand shops:
Worth Repeating, downstairs from Atkinson’s Market grocery store, is packed with fabulous designer wear, funky décor items, art and jewelry, as well as vintage and resale furniture. Owner Merilee Hansen moved here 51 years ago after she visited from California and fell in love with the area. About 15 years ago, Hansen decided to follow her passion for collecting cool and eclectic things and opened Worth Repeating. In Giacobbi Square at 451 4th St. E., Ketchum; 208-726-9440.
When you shop at the Gold Mine Thrift Store, you are supporting Ketchum’s Community Library. How cool is that? Also cool: sifting through racks of $3-15 clothing and finding a pair of glittery black Diane Von Furstenberg pants for only $10. When I took them up to the register to pay, the cashier was so excited to see the pants go to an appreciative home that she proceeded to regale me with tales of similar finds, like the Burberry coat scored here for under $30 a couple of years back. If you are looking for an “Are you kidding me?” fashion discovery moment, this is the place to shop. It’s also a great place to find skis and slope gear, jeans, coats and even children’s wear for when you’re in town with the whole family, and you have that one kid who always forgets their swimsuit. For designer treasures, head to the thrift store’s Gold Mine Consign on the very next block. Our crew found previously loved Prada pants, Betsey Johnson fur coats, Gucci bags and more at deeply discounted prices. The Gold Mine Thrift Store is at 331 Walnut Ave. and the Consignment Shop is at 591 4th St. E., Ketchum; comlib.org/goldmine, 208-726-5544.
While we didn’t visit on this trip, the Barkin’ Basement Thrift Store in nearby Hailey is packed with fun finds, and proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. From fabulous dresses for all occasions to shoes and boots, there’s a bargain waiting here for you. 111 S. Main St., Hailey; animalshelterwrv.org/activity/ barkinbasement.
Shoes and more
Susan and Mark Nieves opened Independent Goods in late 2016 after leaving Seattle in search of adventure and community. They specialize in handmade gifts and collectibles ranging from copper flasks to restored vintage axes. They also have jewelry, T-shirts, household goods and handbags, all made in the United States, including a selection from Idaho. Independent Goods is also set up like the coolest campground you’ve ever visited. Wooden chairs line the walls as display shelves, and a massive canvas tent divides the register area from the clothing part of the store. There is a massive mural inscribed with John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” 330 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-720-9004; independentgoods.com.
Ozzie’s Shoes owner Steve Carlson stocks brands that are fashionable and yet immensely functional for mountain winters. During snow season, stop in for a cozy pair of Uggs, rugged waterproof Sorels or chic Freebird by Steven boots. For year-round footwear, Ozzie’s also carries brands such as Superga, Franco Sarto, Dansko, Born and Birkenstock for men, women and children. 406 Leadville Ave. N., Ketchum; 208-726-3604.
Huck & Paddle owner Brandy Herold first ventured into retail when she began creating candles for a friend’s boutique in Washington state. She opened her gift and accessories shop in 2014. Along with her signature homemade candles, Huck & Paddle is stocked with scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry and home décor. Huck & Paddle’s vibe is kitschy/posh, ranging from fur blankets to laser-stenciled suede bracelets, and a wide variety of things you never knew you had to have — until now. 400 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 101, Ketchum; 208-928-6550; HuckandPaddle.com.
If you’re looking for a place to touch and feel all the soft, cozy things your heart craves, step into Madeline & Oliver and run your fingers through a rack of bathrobes. This shop is all about texture. From pajamas to lotions, candles to comforters, they have everything you need to indulge yourself — both “Above and Below the Sheets!” 460 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 103, Ketchum; 208-726-7779, madelineandoliver.com.
The area’s newest lingerie and sleepwear shop, Undercover, is coincidentally one of its oldest, too. Kim Donald first opened Undercover back in 1978 but moved away after about 10 years. Nearly two years ago, she moved back to Ketchum, and friends and family began asking her to reopen her beloved shop. At the end of 2016, she did just that, taking her original lingerie store concept and expanding it to include sleepwear, loungewear and luxurious body products. Undercover carries lines such as Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, Bedhead, Cosa Bella, Hanro and Spanx. Be sure to sample the scents of the incredible lotions, bubble baths and bath salts by K. Hall. The Lemongrass body lotion was my favorite; you have to smell it to believe it. 320 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-928-7002.
Sun Valley Resort
From downtown Ketchum, take Sun Valley Road up to the world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a village in its own right that hosts skiing championships, music festivals, celebrity events and, of course, the renowned Sun Valley Film Festival. The resort boasts dozens of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing trails, as well as biking and hiking paths, a golf course, a spa, several delicious places to wine and dine, and a plethora of delightful fashion and gift shops. Here are two of our Sun Valley favorites:
Brass Ranch has two locations: one in Sun Valley and another in Ketchum. The huge modern boutiques are packed with large collections of European and American ski and sportswear, plus off-slope fashions, handbags and shoes from designers such as Arc‘teryx, Bogner, Canada Goose, Eider, JetSet, Kjus, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Zadig & Voltaire, Rossignol and Toni Salier. There’s also a great skin care and makeup bar. We enjoyed the store’s cheerful customer service and the wide variety of fashions for every budget. There’s even a men’s section.
Panache fashion boutique opened in 1981 in Sun Valley and now has a second location in Park City, Utah. Stop in for a wide range of fashion-forward brands, including Mother, Helmut Lang, Diane von Furstenberg, Velvet, Juicy, Brunello Cucinelli, Goldsign and more. You’ll get personalized assistance. Be sure to check out the clearance rack in back for off-season finds. 3 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley; 208-622-4228.
Tanya Carnahan is a Treasure Valley-based fashion blogger and stylist. Visit her blog, stylespygirl.com, for more shopping and fashion news.
Tour de Fashion in Downtown Boise
Interested in learning more about the shopping experience in our own backyard? Northwest stylist and fashion blogger Tanya Carnahan (aka Style Spy Girl and the author of this article about shopping in the Sun Valley area) has launched a series of ladies-only, fashion-inspired themed bike tours, designed for women who want to explore the dozens of local boutiques in Downtown Boise, find special deals and make new friends. 2 to 5 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month: May 6, June 3 and July 8, Boise. $25 with your bike; $35 if riding a BoiseGreen Bike. For the lineup of participating shops and to register, visit stylespygirl.com.
Visit the Wood River Valley
▪ Learn more about visiting the area at visitsunvalley.com. The website has information about lodging, restaurants, shopping, dining, events and more. The Sun Valley-Ketchum area in south-central Idaho is about 150 miles from Boise.
▪ The shopping crew stayed at Tamarack Lodge (tamaracksunvalley.com) in Ketchum. Some other lodging options include the Sun Valley Lodge at the Sun Valley Resort (sunvalley.com); Knob Hill Inn (knobhillinn.com); and the Bellemont Hotel (bellemonthotelsunvalley.com). During the summer, you can camp at one of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area sites. For reservation information, visit ReserveAmerica.com.
▪ There are many dining choices. Our shoppers stopped in at the Konditorei Restaurant on the Sun Valley Resort grounds for lunch: “We adored the Austrian-inspired décor and menu and its delicious array of crepes, salads, sandwiches and made-to-order themed mochas. Every bite and sip was scrumptious.”
At the end of a long day of shopping, the crew was ready for a pampered dining experience: “We meandered and explored menus at a few downtown restaurants, eventually settling on the Cornerstone Bar and Grill (Ketchum). We loved the quiet, classy ambiance of this modern eatery and enjoyed tasty dishes served with artistry and panache. Each bite was packed with flavor.”
Other dining favorites include Town Square Tavern, The Kneadery, Cristina’s Restaurant and Bakery, Irving’s Red-Hots (a hot-dog shack in the middle of Ketchum), Globus, Rickshaw, CK’s Real Food in Hailey and more.