The West Village stretch of Bleecker Street may have morphed into a mini Madison Avenue, but nonchain stores still survive in the neighborhood, including venerable apothecary C.O. Bigelow Chemists. Our guide to the best shops in the West Village points you to our local favorites for fashion as well as one-offs selling everything from rubber stamps to all things Lomography. When shopping fatigue sets in, retire to one of the many bars or grab a bite.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to West Village
You’ll be transported to Paris once you step inside this opulent bath-and-body shop. Rich burgundy carpets, gilded wallpaper, a gloriously huge chandelier and a mahogany desk that serves as the checkout area set the stage for the luxurious fragrances ($50–$300), candles ($20–$400), lotions, and soaps from brands like Diptyque and Annick Goutal. Curiosity cabinets house many of the store’s exclusives—the West Village outpost is the only location in the country to sell several items, including candles by Les Secrets Ladurée Paris.Read more
Thanks to a ceramic birdbath in the window and pink Louis XIV–style chairs and birdcages adorning the shop, Albertine is a fitting setting for a tea party—and carries what you could wear to one. Owner Kyung Lee designs the house line, Delphine, which covers both bespoke and off-the-rack clothing. Shoes and dresses by Rachel Comey, Bodkin, Apiece Apart and CFDA nominee Gary Graham also fill the slim shop. Right next door is sister store Abertine General, the jewelry outpost that carries a mix of new and antique baubles, including items from Iosselliani, Kathryn Bentley and custom charm bracelets by Madame Fortuna. A generous fireplace, gilded frames displaying necklaces and a glass cabinet housing a typewriter and stuffed bird lend the store an antique feel.Read more
The jewelry designer who started out selling his designs from a humble Soho street stall now has three shops to show off his art-object, sculptural designs, including his trademark Lucite cuffs and oversize crystal-encrusted earrings. All are handcrafted in his Brooklyn atelier.Read more
Boutique owner Kerrilynn Pamer sleuths out such breakout stars as Macedonian-born Risto Bimbiloski, the Louis Vuitton knitwear designer who launched his own womenswear label, and Caron Callahan, formerly of Derek Lam, whose beautifully simple line, Standard Finery, is made in New York’s Garment District. Unusual accessories are a constant feature—look for exquisitely hand-crafted Reece Hudson lambskin bags by recent Parsons graduate Reece Solomon, and delicate gold-and-gem jewelry from Katie Finn’s Elizabeth Street. Expect new, smart separates from the stylish downtown crowd’s favorite clothing labels, including Acne, Vena Cava, Tucker, Risto and Richard Chai Love. Cosmetics by Lipstick Queen and RGB nail polish provide the finishing touches.
Established in 1838, Bigelow is the oldest apothecary in America. Its simply packaged, appealingly old-school line of toiletries includes such tried-and-true favorites as Mentha Lip Shine, Barber Cologne Elixir Red No. 1584 and Lemon Body Cream. The spacious, chandelier-lit store is packed with natural remedies, organic skin-care products and drug-store essentials—and they still fill prescriptions.Read more
Gift-giving is a whole lot easier with this cozy West Village boutique, whose selection of pretty, tasteful items—ranging from handmade jewelry ($30–$150) to artisanal home goods ($15–$50)—offers something for every hostess, birthday girl and bride-to-be in your life. Reclaimed-wood shelving showcases Julie Nolan’s brass-disc pendants featuring astrological constellations ($45) and Coatt’s Morse-code necklaces that spell out love, peace and friend in gold-filled dots and dashes ($36). Considerosity also specializes in items that are practical (S’well colorful stainless-steel water bottles, $35), thoughtful (West Third Brand daily affirmation wish candles, $16) and just plain delicious (Macaron Café macaron gift boxes, $14–$49).Read more
It makes perfect sense that owner Ann Emonts Sherma is a former theater costume designer; you can see her flair for the dramatic in the vintage clothing she stocks, as well as the design of the space. Fresh flowers displayed throughout match the sunny disposition of the staff. Tables and chairs bordered by ivy-covered walls make for the perfect rest stop for shopping buddies (even four-legged ones) when the backyard garden isn’t being used for vintage sales in the summer. Dresses range from $98 to $398 and tops cost $50 to $225, with the average vintage necklace ringing in at $58.Read more
Perhaps Manhattan’s only store dedicated to rubber stamps, this oddball nook—founded by a retired NYC high-school teacher—offers thousands of themed and artsy designs for adorning papers and cards. To further embellish your stationery, check out their range of punches, stencils, embossing powder, glitter and tassels as well as publications like Brit magazine Craft Stamper.Read more
What started with two Austrian students discovering a small Russian camera in the 1990s resulted in a company, community and movement based on experimental, color-saturated snapshots taken with Lomo cameras. This one-stop analog shop attracts everyone from amateur photogs to School of Visual Art professors with its diverse array of color-splash, instant and fish-eye point-and-shoots; instructive and historical photo books; and easy-to-use Diana, Action and 35mm cams. While the “Lomowall” covered in prints lends the store a distinct gallery vibe, the shop also offers weekly workshops, negative processing for $7–$20 and monthly DJ parties.Read more
While Erin Crandall, Shopbop’s former head buyer for ten years, was out perusing stores with her fiancé, it struck her how few couple-friendly boutiques existed in NYC. In her new West Village boutique, she hopes to fill the void of equal-opportunity shopping. Though the racks may be brimming with designer labels, such as Vince leather jackets with cowl-necks ($995), the shop feels cozy and lacks pretension. If we could splurge, we’d take home Inhabit cashmere sweaters ($285) and L’Agence cotton tees ($134). Keep a look out for her growing vintage collection, which now includes silk bow ties ($140) and a YSL turban from the ’70s ($340).Read more