809 Washington St., nr. Gansevoort St.; 212-524-9770
At first, the clothing at this industrial boutique seems simple. But then you notice the twists. A flared dress by Kaelen ($575) is made of neoprene; Silent by Damir Doma tees have snakeskin prints ($235). No surprise, runway darlings like Acne and 3.1 Phillip Lim fit right in.
- Henry Beguelin
30 Charles St., at Waverly Pl.; 212-647-8415
Buttery leather satchels, fringed ponchos, and other begging-to-be-touched goods define Cristina Nicoletti’s intimate shop. The emphasis is on underground labels like Tokyo’s Share Spirit, whose hand-painted silk jumpsuits start at $1,375.
Upper East Side
18 E. 69th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-288-1338
Channeling French concept shop Colette, this two-floor boutique fuses buzzy designers like Preen and Suno with traditional tailoring and luxurious Loro Piana cashmere. Funky silicon bib necklaces by Ek Thongprasert (from $275) punch up the mix.
- American Two Shot
135 Grand St., nr. Crosby St.; 212-925-3403
This schizophrenic space sells everything from Joan Didion books to freshly brewed Nicaraguan coffee. On the racks, floral midriffs by Shakuhachi (from $185) hang alongside sparkly Novis party dresses ($1,345) and Chromat zip-on harnesses ($175).
- Dagny + Barstow
264 Bowery, nr. Houston St.; 212-675-2346
The selection skews young and strange at this airy shop. Think alien-print blouses from Australian designer Emma Mulholland (from $380) and forest-motif trousers by Mother of Pearl (from $595). Rotating art exhibits drive home the O.C. vibe.