It goes without saying that New York City is at the forefront of the international fashion scene. Diane von Furstenberg, Matt Bernson, and Vera Wang, among countless other established and aspiring designers, do the bulk of their creative work on the crowded island of Manhattan. So when you build your NYC itinerary, be sure to put shopping in Manhattan near the top.
Even though a suit fresh from this season’s catwalk will cost you the arms and legs that wear it, you’re probably already daydreaming about filling up on flagship boutique finds in SoHo and Tribeca. Both of these Lower Manhattan neighborhoods provide more than adequate retail therapy, but if you want to wander off the beaten path and spoil yourself with fashions by some up-and-coming designers, descend upon the stores on Elizabeth Street in NYC’s Nolita district. You’ll find some of the best boutiques in Manhattan on this quiet street between Bleeker and Kenmare, just two blocks east of the Bleeker Street subway station. Free up your afternoon and check out these popular boutiques on Manhattan’s Elizabeth Street.
Alex Mill at 268 Elizabeth St.
Designer Alex Drexler grew up on the apron strings of the ready-to-wear fashion industry. His father, Mickey Drexler, is the CEO of J. Crew®. It makes sense that Alex Mill offers similar classic lines and wear-to-work aesthetics, with added comfort and playfulness. You’ve got your pick of slacks and shirts for work or school, and cozy knits for weekend fun. Stop by this boutique south of Houston Street for menswear and boys wear in soft, bright colors to build a wear-anywhere wardrobe.
Figue at 268 Elizabeth St.
With an adjacent address to Alex Mill, this Elizabeth Street curiosity is as pretty as it is, well, eclectic. Figue, pronounced “fig,” specializes in Gypset style, a romanticized notion of gypsies blended with the international treasures of jet-setting nomads. It might sound strange (because it is), but this boutique offers the more wearable, sophisticated side of boho-chic with bold global prints and soft florals. And if you’re in the market for an embellished military jacket, don’t pass up this Manhattan store.
Clare V. New York at 239 Elizabeth St.
In autumn of 2013, California’s queen of simplistic leather goods—and her famous foldover clutch—made it possible for New Yorkers to wake up in handbag heaven, just like their SoCal counterparts. Don’t think for a second that Clare Vivier’s boutique near Prince Street, Clare V. New York, is a one-trick pony. This savvy designer has partnered with other fabulous brands, like Nasomatto perfumes and Heather Taylor Linens, to make this a one-stop shop for brightening your wardrobe and living space.
Erica Weiner at 173 Elizabeth St.
After you’ve been strolling due south for a few blocks, you might start to wonder, “Where’s the bling?” And by golly, that’s a legitimate concern. As you make your way past Spring Street, be sure to satisfy your jewel quota at Erica Weiner’s Manhattan store (she has another boutique in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, too). You’ll have your pick from a collection of affordable original statement pieces and antique treasures, including wedding and engagement jewelry. By the way, New York has some pretty romantic proposal locations, including Elizabeth Street Garden. Just sayin’.
These are just a few of Elizabeth Street’s unique boutiques, but the line-up is always growing and changing, so don’t be surprised if you get distracted by window shopping at all the stores in between. And if you’re anything like us, shopping might make you hungry. Fear not, dear reader. This street is dotted with local cafés, bistros, and upscale bars for grabbing a cocktail after your big haul.
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