I drive a lot of my friends crazy with my shopping habits: it’s shopping, not buying! I often like to take a day of going around to all the stores and try stuff on, but will only buy those few items that really stand out. One of my favorite places to shop is around the SoHo neighborhood in downtown Manhattan. Aside from my usual haunts, I suggest you snake through the grid of SoHo and go into any story that strikes you. It never hurts to look!
Essential Brick and Mortars:
421 W Broadway
A great boutique to find one-of-a-kind pieces with lots of embellishments. Mens and womens clothing in two different store fronts. Can find great sales in limited sizing, but totally worth full price for a piece that mix/matches into your wardrobe. Occasionally you will find some great sale pieces and always worth a trip in.
This flagship is a must. I know not everyone can afford Prada, but the architecture of this building is a longtime favorite. Entering at street level, you walk to the edge of a large verve: shop downstairs. Of course any self-respecting fashionista is aware of Prada's aesthetic and knows that Miu's creations are nothing but quirky and fabulous.
Note the area code marks this store as part of a new generation of NYC. Uniqlo is the Japanese equivalent of Swedish H&M. It is a great place to stock up on versatile pieces in a variety of great colors. Don’t forget to talk to the robot: it talks back!
This little-known diffusion label is part of the Diesel empire. The price points are more affordable, but still incorporate a lot of unique design elements. The aesthetic is less fashion-forward and a lot more street/skater/punk. It’s great for casual wear.
French Connection (FCUK)
435 W Broadway
Don’t let the name fool you; this label is an English brand with a smart design sensibility (F rench C onnection U nited K ingdom). It is great for very trendy garments at a reasonable price. They have separate entrances for mens and womens, but connected inside the store. This is another store that you can find great sales and bountiful product selection.
Corner Shop Café
Great bistro/café type food mixed with a full bar and a great atmosphere. The chairs and décor is a bit of a hodge-podge, but it gives it an authentic character and charm. I have always had excellent wait staff and bartenders here. Menus are posted online.
If star-sighting is more of your taste, the Star is a great place to rub elbows with the locals. They have a great variety of gourmet foods that venture into higher price points for the portions, but it’s hard to go wrong with a diner-type atmosphere and selection.
-avoid Canal Street knockoffs at all costs
-several art galleries tucked-in
-Dean & Deluca cart for refreshment, as well as other more budget friendly food vendors
-artisan street vendors set-up on tables selling art, accessories, etc.
Enjoy your shopping day in SoHo!!!