143 E. 62nd St.
Upper East Side
Although it’s named for a 1914 culinary essay by Gertrude Stein, this Upper East Side button boutique has little to do with that original; save for the fact that the store’s inventory, like Stein’s elongated prose, seems to go on and on and on. Even if you aren’t particularly attached to the little knobs that hold your clothing together, visit this museum-like shop to check out antique pieces that are more statement accessories than simple adornments, or for special buttons to fasten a baby’s hand-knit welcome-home sweater or your ‘new’ vintage coat. In addition to some 400 styles of blazer buttons alone, the vast stock impresses with popular military style clasps and serious gawker pieces in kaleidoscope glass and fossilized ivory; some even resemble 18th-century mini paintings. Those with fashion courage can buy single buttons to mismatch by design.