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Need Shirts? Try Out These Stores in the Boston Area

By Ji Qi

Now that you have had a chance to settle down and purchase the essentials (although some might consider clothes, shoes, and accessories absolute necessities), it’s time to scope out the prime shopping locations.

Luckily, Boston and Cambridge boast a large variety of shops to keep you and your credit card busy for quite some time. From the traditional brands and retailers you love to one-of-a-kind boutiques, you can find just about everything your heart desires or never knew it did. Here are a few prime and easily accessible locations to get started:

Downtown Crossing

Take the red line subway to the Downtown Crossing stop.

Downtown Crossing is truly a treat for all the senses. As soon as you emerge from the subway steps, you are hit with the mouth-watering aroma of roasted nuts and the melodious chime of bells echoing overhead. Visually, Downtown Crossing is a scene from 1930s Boston, complete with horse carriages, modern day shops and restaurants.

Here, you’ll find the famous Filene’s Basement (which you can enter directly from the T), a great selection of both fine and fun jewelry, a ton of restaurants, and a variety of reasonably-priced clothing and accessory stores. While you’re browsing from store to store, you can pick up a Boston t-shirt or a hemp necklace from a street vendor, and you might even catch the guy who play drum solos on buckets with kitchen utensils.

Newbury Street/Boylston Street

Take the No. 1 bus or walk across the Harvard Bridge and about five minutes down Mass. Ave. Urban Outfitters and Virgin Records are on Newbury Street, and Boylston Street is one block farther.

Parallel streets Newbury and Boylston make for comfortable walks on sunny days. Chains like The Gap can be found alongside one-of-a-kind boutiques. A short walk east from Mass. Ave. are the Boston Common and Public Garden.

Day and night, the streets of Newbury and Boylston are lined with people dining in caf s and restaurants that open to the sidewalks. The attractive window displays of the numerous upscale boutiques, sometimes two or three stories high, make you want to enter every one. Alongside your favorite chains you will find entire shops dedicated to hats, posters, candy, and much more. While you can shop during the day, it’s also fun to stroll along and window-shop at night.

Harvard Square

Take the No. 1 bus, outbound T, or walk about 35 minutes north on Mass. Ave.

Harvard students definitely have it easier than MIT students—at least when it comes to shopping. Shops, restaurants, and caf s line the streets outside the gates of Harvard Yard. This is another great destination if you’re looking for novelty shops. Harvard Square is also home to some of my favorite restaurants, including Penang (Malaysian), Border Caf (Tex-Mex and Cajun), and Fire + Ice (improvisational grill buffet).

CambridgeSide Galleria

100 CambridgeSide Place

Cambridge, MA 02141

There’s a free shuttle to the Galleria that runs from Kendall Square every twenty minutes seven days a week. The most recent bus schedule is usually posted inside the shuttle. Currently, the last pickup from Kendall is at 6:40 p.m. on weekdays.

Although the Galleria may not look like your normal mall from the outside, you will find everything you’re used to inside: department stores such as Sears, Filenes, and Macy’s as well as The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Express, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, and many more. The Galleria conveniently houses Best Buy, Radio Shack, and CVS as well, so you can pick up more than just clothes.

Prudential Center

Walk about 12 minutes east on Boylston Street from Mass. Ave.

If you’re looking for a more upscale mall, the Prudential Center is the perfect destination. The shops, located at the base of the majestic Pru, are always worth visiting if you’re already in the area strolling along Newbury or Boylston. Inside, you’ll find shops like Sephora, Lacoste, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor.

Copley Place

100 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02116

In the Prudential Center, turn left at Alpha Omega Fine Jewelry. Exit the Prudential Center by the Copley Bridge, a breezeway that connects the Prudential Center to Copley Place.

The stores at Copley Place are even more lavish than those at the Pru. You may only be able to afford the clothing at one or two stores here, but nothing can stop you from exploring new shops and fashions. Plus, it’s fun to watch the extremely well-mannered and snobbish shop clerks striving to be polite to you in all your college-student jeans-and-sandals finery. You’ve got to go here at least once.

Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market

Take the green line subway to the Government Center stop.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great historical landmark as well as a shopping center. The strip mall wraps around and includes stores such as The Gap, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, and Victoria’s Secret. In its center, Quincy Market boasts over 40 unique eateries. Stick around to be wowed by the street performances, which range from magic shows to break dance shows.

The Garment District and Dollar-A-Pound

200 Broadway

Cambridge, MA 02139

Within walking distance from anywhere on campus.

A vintage clothing and costume lover’s haven, this self-proclaimed “alternative department store” is home to the infamous “dollar-a-pound” sale, and we’re not talking about produce. This is the only place I know where you can literally buy (used) clothes by the pound, but you must have patience and a sharp eye, as the clothes are strewn in piles on the floor. If you’re not interested in digging, the clothes are actually hung and organized on the second floor. There’s also a large section dedicated to costumes, costume makeup, and hair dyes in all the colors of the rainbow.

Marie Y. Thibault contributed to the reporting of this article.