If you want to find your favorite boutique in a New York minute, the city’s East Village is the place to go—specifically, Ninth Street, where a single stretch between First and Second Avenues boasts more than a dozen stores, offering a quirky retail mix you won’t find anywhere else. There are plenty of others, but if you’re tight on time, check out these four for the sheer variety of available inventory.
Meg is packed end to end with easy-to-wear timeless classics. Designer Meghan Kinney says she wants her clothes to “make you feel fashionable, elegant and chic, but also like you are wearing PJ’s.” They would undoubtedly be the sturdiest, most beautiful pajamas you ever owned.
Next door is Eileen Fisher‘s original location—and it’s owned by the actual Eileen Fisher, not her namesake corporation. You’ll find the styles you know and love, but here, they’re delightfully supplemented by sample pieces, irregulars, one-offs, jewelry, and accessories. The store gets new merchandise every week, but four times a year, with each new line that comes out, the store is transformed into a sample sale showroom. The discounts can be significant. (Note, samples’ “sizes” are meaningless: a small can be a size 12, so if it looks like a possibility, ignore the tag and try it on!)
Right next door is Cobblestones, a vintage shop that’s so old-school it doesn’t have a website—but it does have a 1930s-style rotary phone. The exact opposite of its minimalist neighbor, this East Village boutique is bursting with timeless treasures. Shoes line the walls, from 1940s pumps to 1960s mod styles. You’ll find hats and gloves, sweaters and dresses, brooches and beaded evening bags, even camisoles and negligees. All of it has been thoughtfully selected by Delanee Koppersmith, who fills her store with consignment items from neighborhood regulars. Every item has a story, and if you’re lucky, Koppersmith might be on hand to tell you about some.
Mere steps east is Elliot Mann, the ultimate in boho chic. The word here is color, mixed and matched to joyous perfection. What is fascinating about these styles is how they can be dressed up or down, all while playing up your best features. So whether you pair a sumptuous sweater with a chunky, colorful scarf and a signature bag, or mix with other pieces, you can be sure your look will stand out. Mixed right into the assortment of tops and dresses and skirts and accessories are sale items—so it’s not only fun, but rewarding, to hunt around.
Once you’ve had your fill of Ninth Street wonders, it’s worth the four-minute walk to Veniero’s Pastry, which has been serving up eclectic treats to the East Village since 1894. At this classic pasticceria, you can choose from the most delightful assortment of cannolis, biscotti, and tiramisu that you have ever had the mouth-watering pleasure of encountering. Enjoy a freshly homemade dessert from the “sweet treat boutique” while you and your friends go through every purchase in your bags.