By Ella Riley-Adams
When it comes to fashion, New York is a city of plenty. Wherever you are, you can reach a Gap or H&M in 15 minutes. But even if you’re making a last-minute purchase, do you really want to walk out with an item you’ll soon see on 10 other women? Those chain stores are mass market, and we know you want to do better.
The choices can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a short list of lovable boutiques. These are places you can go to flip through four racks of hangers, not forty. You’ll talk with one cheery manager instead of an ornery high schooler on her phone. When you’re scrambling to look chic for your next MeetMoi rendezvous, these small shops will save your sartorial life:
Grand Central Station: Tia’s Place Given all the luxe Connecticut commuters, Grand Central has become an upscale fashion and beauty hub. Thankfully though, Tia’s Place offers reasonably priced wardrobe pick-me-ups. Heading downtown to a dark bar like Death & Company? Pick up a gold, hinged bracelet to shine in the candlelight.
Beauty boost: Get your makeup touched up for free at the neighboring MAC store or pick up a flirty bra just down the corridor at Pink Slip.
Midtown: Opening Ceremony at the Ace Hotel On West 29th just off of Fifth Ave, this miniature version of the ultimate New York boutique will have the perfect accessories to transform your outfit. It’s small, but filled to the brim with carefully curated items. If you’re lucky enough to catch a sale, you might find a T by Alexander Wang skirt for 50.00 or a Thomsen bustier for 130.00.
Beauty boost: If you’re lagging from a long workweek, pick up a cold brew from the adjacent Stumptown coffee bar. It comes in an adorable bottle that you can use for flowers later.
East Village: Pinkyotto Be warned, this store doesn’t carry multiple sizes of each item. Instead, they’ve got a variety of dress silhouettes (so you’ll likely find one that works for you) and unique accessories. Find a belt to give sexy shape to your conservative work attire, or grab a floaty top to layer under your blazer.
Beauty boost: In addition to their 9th Street location, Pinkyotto is also on Bleecker, Prince, and Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. If you see something you love but don’t have time or money to spring on it in the moment, it shouldn’t be hard to stop by later.
West Village: Zachary’s Smile Stop by Zachary’s for a vintage romper or new high-waisted shorts. Their selection is affordable, diverse, and colorful. Whether the pants you’re currently wearing are too warm for the salsa dancing you’re about to do, or you’re just sick of the blouse you wore to work, Zachary’s will have a cute alternative. They’ve also got some solid basics that will match whatever else you’re wearing, if you don’t want to deal with a full switch-up.
Beauty boost: For a shot of cuteness-induced endorphins, take a right on Christopher Street and stop at Le Petit Puppy. There, you’ll find frolicking baby Labradors and terriers looking at you with their adorable chocolatey eyes.
SoHo: Wink A refreshing break from SoHo’s luxury brand outposts, Wink is a gem comprised of colorful bags, fun shoes, and little dresses. Brands range from BB Dakota to Erin Fetherston, meaning prices vary. If you’re not sure what to do in the face of all this fashion, stuff your flats in your bag and slip on a pair of crazy wedges to show off your legs tonight.
Beauty boost: If you don’t want to go into your date too hungry, check out Ground Support, on West Broadway and Spring, They’ve got Intelligentsia coffee, but we’re more excited about their chewy ginger cookies.
Williamsburg: Artists & Fleas Meeting your date for a beer flight at Brooklyn Brewery or mussels at Allswell? On the weekend, pick up a vintage scarf or a long gold chain to give your outfit some Brooklyn panache. You’re supporting local business and getting a statement piece you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Beauty boost: If you’ve got extra time before your reservation, wander to The Future Perfect with your date. Marvel at the crumpled porcelain cups and bizarre stuffed animals. This shop contains infinite conversation starters, and you may find the perfect addition to your NY apartment.