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Dutch Treat

On Fifth Avenue, European megastores square off.

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I had heard about the Dutch brand Mexx for years from European friends who love it for many of the same reasons New Yorkers love H&M—accessible prices, amazingly quick trend-spotting. It’s no surprise, therefore, that its first New York outlet is just a block away from H&M, in the old Liz Claiborne store (650 Fifth Avenue, at 52nd Street; 212-956-6505). But the two are less alike than they might seem. For one thing, at Mexx, the prices are definitely a step higher. Women’s sporty pants are in the $70 range; suits are $149 for a blazer, $69 for a skirt, and $89 for pants. The company’s strength seems to be outerwear—there’s a gorgeous full-length suede coat for $259, and a “Look! I went to Santa Fe” belted sweater coat for $89.

A sport section lives upstairs (neoprene and nylon zip-up jackets are $79), as does the men’s department—the best in the place, despite its small size. I liked the ties ($34), suede blazers ($199), sweaters with nylon zip pockets on the sleeves ($59), and even leather pants ($169). Price points aside, Mexx and H&M do share one quality: Shopping at both can be overwhelming. That may be why Mexx has a chic seating area upstairs, where you can rest bags and well-shod feet.


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