Best Boutiques – East Village

Once upon a time, the East Village was for the punks, the n’er-do-wells, and a whole heap of grit. These days, alt-lifestyle rubs up against fashionable chic in one of the great New York City culture clashes. The Lower East Side has transformed itself into a much nicer place to live now; just look at the bountiful luxury Lower East Side apartment rentals.

Many of the clothing stores in the neighborhood reflect the change vividly. Here are our favorite boutiques in the East Village:

Odin
330 E. 11th St
It’s impossible to purchase something at Odin and not leave feeling just a little bit cooler than you did before you went in. This place has just the right balance between sleek attire and casual cool for men. There are locations in SoHo and the West Village as well, but the East Village boutique is our favorite – especially when they let guest designers have special guest spots in-store, like Odin did last December, when Brooklyn’s Ghost took over. This place knows what’s up – keep an eye on it if you want to stay up-to-date and in-the-know.

Pas De Deux
328 E. 11h St
This one’s for all the ladies who were jealous of their men shopping at Odin and having nowhere quite as hip to go for their own clothes. Pas De Deux is owned by the same guys that started Odin – Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi – and, as such, the clothing and accessories at this small but perfectly formed East Village women’s store (right next door to Odin) are as exciting as one would anticipate. Notable featured designers include Rag & Bone, Karen Walker, Vena Cava and Repetto, among many others. Yum.

By Robert James
74 Orchard St
Ohio native Robert James is technically a designer, yes, but we prefer to think of him as a wizard, since we don’t quite know how he comes up with his always creative, old-fashioned yet still fashion-forward menswear. James creates the type of suits that have so much flair, personality and innate charisma that this has become the go-to place for dapper rock ‘n’ rollers to shop. If Jack White isn’t already shopping in here, he should be.

Pixie Market
100 Stanton St
The thing we adore most about this women’s wear boutique (aside from the adorable name) is the fact that the clothes here are usually modern and hip, but still versatile enough to brighten up professional attire and wear to the office. We’re particularly in awe of the shoes here as well – spiked sandals, striped wedges, lusty loafers (because Pixie Market is the kind of place that can make even loafers feel lusty). Once you’re sprinkled with some of the magic dust here, it will be one of your favorite places to shop on the Lower East Side.

Gargyle
16A Orchard St
When a store has a name that’s a cross between Argyle and Gargoyle, you know in advance that you’re in for a treat. This unisex boutique has a much stronger online presence, but we always appreciate having the opportunity to try before we buy, so this small showroom is a handy addition to the Lower East Side. You have to get buzzed in first, but it’s worthwhile, since the store features an enormous range of designers and it’s almost impossible not to leave here with something new and fabulous.

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