While Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren colonize Bleecker north of Seventh, smaller stores like recently opened Claudine (19 Christopher St., nr. Waverly Pl.; 212-414-4234) maintain the West Village’s quainter traditions. Owner Kyung Lee (also proprietor of Albertine on Christopher Street) stocks her closetlike space with a well-edited selection of offbeat handmade women’s clothes, home accessories, and other decorative knickknacks from designers like Christina Hattler, Lincoln Mayne, and Show Pony. Prices are so reasonable ($45 to $300), you might not need your credit card.
The meatpacking district rolls on: On January 13, B8 Couture (27 Little W. 12th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 866-623-5545) opens the doors on 1,500 square feet of European men’s and women’s clothes and footwear. The funky purple-and-black boutique will carry J. Lindeberg, Julien MacDonald, Stella Cadente, and other insider-worthy designers ($200 to $2,000).
And there’s another downtown location for uptown frocks: Rebecca Romero’s Maverick, which just opened in Nolita (262 Mott St., nr. Prince St.; 212-965-1150). The vibrant, feminine separates are perfect for jobs that require post-work entertaining: Flamenco-inspired knee-length skirts ($241), striped Empire waist dresses ($295), and floral-printed pencil skirts ($217) won’t look stuffy at Frederick’s.