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In the Stretch

The urban working girl gets a room of her own.


Heel Thyself: The only stand-alone Theory store is on the Upper West Side.  

The genius of Theory clothing, I have long believed, lies in its great understanding of the flattering powers and subtleties of stretch. The label’s ability to craft the perfect, just-Lycra-enough working-girl suit (under $600 for tab-front trousers, jacket lightly shrunken, with a sleek little camisole underneath) has earned a following so devoted and so dogged it’s hard to believe Theory didn’t have its own freestanding store until this year. On an unlikely stretch of Columbus Avenue (230 Columbus Avenue, near 70th Street; 212-362-3676), the shop, which is the only place to buy Theory shoes and boots ($275–$475) and handbags ($295–$525), has the same no-frills, no-frip approach as the clothes: sleek lines and neutral colors.

It’s a smaller store than you’d expect for such a popular brand, but they’ve got everything you need in order to go straight from work to dinner, to a party, or on a very important date. Whether it’s a velvet tux, a cleanly proportioned cashmere sweater ($195–$270), or the occasional indulgence, like a sheared rabbit coat ($695), this is one-stop shopping for the sleek.


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