1118 Hollins St., (443) 226-8621, city-of-gods-shop.com
City of Gods, across from the Hollins Market, is the kind of locally and minority-owned independent boutique that Baltimore needs more of. It helps that the in-house designers are off the hook. The T-shirts, sweats, pants, and jackets—all really affordable for designer gear—are visually diverse, often inspired by words and images of the Five Percent Nation (in which men are Gods and women are Earths), Rastafarianism, politics, and pop culture. Among this year’s top designs were a T-shirt on which neon fluorescent lights spelled out the words “Gods Never Die,” another in which toy soldiers carried stylized versions of U.S. and U.K. flags, and a hoodie with a sorta-cubist rendering of a lion’s head. If that wasn’t enough to make us fans, City of Gods also throw regular free parties, open to the public, providing a stylish platform for up-and-coming artists.