Although you can buy just about anything you forgot to pack here in Greece, your favorite hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and author may not be available so keep any special items and medicines close by in hand luggage.
Whether you hope to be mostly laying on the beach or visiting classical sights or a combination of both, I hope the information which follows will give you some ideas and allow you return home with a nice item bought in Greece. Something special that wont fade away like your tan. Below I make some suggestions so that you, somewhat prepared, can consider shopping for some nice timely purchases for yourself or family and maybe even something to wear back at work too in the months following your return. 11,000,000 people live in Greece, of whom half live in Athens and they at least, have a surprisingly wide variety of clothing to choose from.
IMHO Greek made; leather bags, cotton knits, hats, sandals and shoes are of good quality and value if you shop around! These are the type of items you'll encounter most if you follow a typical itinerary such as every bodies favorite: the Athens', Plaka (left) and Monastiraki quarters, and then the islands of Mykonos and Santorini for example. Follow the major sites and you'll see variations of these over and over.
However In Athens, just a few blocks away from your typical Acropolis and Plaka itinerary, in the nearby historic triangle and Kolonaki area exists the opportunity to expand your horizons and shop like a European instead of a tourist, however briefly.
I don't know about you but the homogenized and recycled American Mall can get pretty boring after a while. The same old anchor stores and globalized provender. For certain things you cant beat it but for variety you surely can.
Athens has several new malls and the main one for you to check out with the least amount of effort is just steps from Constitution Square with 250 ritzy shops. The Attica Mall, which carries dozens of brand names, cost 50 million euros to put together and employs about 1,500 people.
Greece is becoming more globalized all the time too as these big malls are big money financed. There will no doubt be negative consequences, such those that small grocery stores suffered when supermarkets became dominant. But if the malls include small firms which manage to show profits, there is no reason why small traders cannot survive and even flourish if they specialize, offering products and services that hypermarkets shun. There are still vestiges of fashion independence to be found if you look. All over Greece there are still many more independent boutiques than you'll see in your typical American city.
Marks & Spencer's on Aeolou St. in downtown Athens above left.