The best shops in Murray Hill
Move over, sports bars—this part of town actually has shopping potential
Wed Aug 13 2014
You can always grab cheap eats and throw back a summer beer with the bros in Murray Hill. But, this part of town actually has shopping potential—and we're not just talking chain stores—too. Think unique seasonal wares, men's boutiques (fit for the Ivy League) and the most cutting-edge fashions from big-name designers all within walking distance. We visited the best shops in the area, and whether you’re still shopping for those last-minute summer fashion trends or transitioning to fall favorites—it’s worth a trip.
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At its original location in the East Village, Amé Amé was a candy store that sold rain gear. But since relocating to a bigger space on the outskirts of Murray Hill, the eclectic gift shop now offers Rudsak leather jackets, silky lingerie by Frances Smiley ($65) and a “man cave” stocked with stylish ties ($89) and Nau trench coats ($280). But don’t worry—there’s still a giant wall of candy-filled jars, as well as a beautiful display of European- and Canadian-made rain boots. FYI: Amé offers a special (10 percent off your purchase) when you stop in the shop on a rainy day.
- 17 W 29th St , (between Broadway and Fifth Ave )
The ’hood gained some serious shopping cred last year when Dover Street Market opened on Lexington Avenue. Promising a top-to-bottom revamp every six-to-twelve months, this department store recently debuted its first “new beginning,” and it doesn’t disappoint. Expect to find beautiful chaos inside its new, dreamy interior featuring an artsy, cave-like staircase by archictects Arakawa and Gins. Moscot eyewear is displayed on mannequin heads shaped like palm trees, and Thom Browne’s modern collection rests inside a glass room. Roam the multifloor store to find splurgey looks by trendy brands Comme des Garçons, Prada and Nike, as well as offerings by Hoods by Air and buzzed-about statement dresses from British designer Phoebe English.
- 160 Lexington Ave, (at 30th St), 10016
- Price band: 4/4
No one knows more about hats than the men at New York’s oldest chapeau shop, where you’ll find classy gents outfitted in berets ($25–$110), fedoras ($50–$625), newsboy caps ($30–$225), rain hats ($50–$125) and porkpies ($50–$200), the flat-brimmed toppers made popular by jazz musicians. Around since 1911, the wood-paneled store feels entirely masculine, like a place Don Draper would frequent, but ladies are welcome and encouraged to try out the unisex offerings, including 100 percent wool berets ($25) and straw panama-style hats with striped bands ($150). Since prices can go as steep as $625 for Italian fur-felt fedoras, the spot-on sales team will teach you how to care for your new headgear (keep it away from heat and brush it counterclockwise), so that it’s sure to last you for years to come.
- 310 Fifth Ave , (at 32nd St )
- Price band: 2/4
This Japanese brand specializing in men’s and women’s sophisticated shirting recently opened on Madison Avenue. The store’s motto is “Ivy League style is in our soul,” so expect to find a variety of preppy dress shirts—no kimonos here—that could give Brooks Brothers a run for its money. Shop linen, cotton and knit styles starting at $79, plus handmade silk ties ($69) and bowties ($49) to mix and match.
- 400 Madison Ave, (between 47th and 48th Sts)
- Price band: 2/4
- Critics choice
You may have seen this lingerie mecca on Bethenny Ever After or Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, and now you can head to the second NYC location (the sister store is on the Upper East Side) to grab all of the underpinnings needed to pull off a body-con dress or fitted pencil skirt. The roomy, salonlike boutique carries shapewear, underwear and swimsuits from lines including Natori, Chantelle and Spanx, plus specialty items such as nursing bras and mastectomy products. Owner Linda Becker and her staff expertly fit each customer since, according to Becker, most women wear the wrong size. Don’t worry that you might not find the right fit—the shop carries more than 250 sizes, with cups ranging from AA to N. Stock your drawers with silky, supportive Panache bras ($52) and matching thongs ($24), as well as flattering Blush push-up bras ($38) and lacy hipsters ($24). Head to Jones Beach in L*Space graphic-print bikini tops ($80) and bottoms ($64), or Swim Systems Verano patterned underwire bikini tops ($76) and bottoms ($69), which fit up to DD cups.
- 552 Third Ave, (between 36th and 37th Sts)
- Price band: 2/4
At first glance, this trinket-filled shop appears to be no different than the dozens of generic costume-jewelry purveyors dotting the Garment District. But this family-run accessories haven offers affordable, trendy finds that are definitely worth a second look. The sixth location of this minichain (the other five storefronts are all in Queens) happens to be the largest, and therefore boasts the broadest selection of jewelry, hats, sunglasses, bags, headbands and women’s shoes from both overseas and New York vendors. Beaded statement necklaces ($25), animal print slip ons ($20), ruched and striped ballet flats ($17–$20) and handmade-in–New York cuffs dotted with large gemstones ($17) are displayed all over the walls and on round tables. Woven bags and printed canvas totes ($25–$27 are standouts, as are gold-plated, color-blocked wraparound bracelets ($9–$17).
- 433 Fifth Ave , (between 38th and 39th Sts )
Designer Rebecca Minkoff has opened up her corporate headquarters for appointment-only shopping. Book by e-mailing email@example.com and get access to the complete line of handbags, jewelry, shoes and exclusive styles from the RM denim collection. And since all Rebecca Minkoff employees are working shifts in the showroom, you just might get the designer herself as your shopgirl.
- 16 W 22nd St, seventh floor, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
- Price band: 3/4
After opening five Manhattan locations, this high-end consignment chain lands in Murray Hill, housing a dream inventory of resale luxury womenswear from posh labels such as Diane von Furstenberg, Valentino and Gucci. Polished wooden floors and glass shelves displaying accessories make for a simple layout, leaving the name-brand finds as the stores’ true centerpieces. We recently spotted Christian Louboutin lace-up espadrilles ($399), a Theory minidress ($59), a Missoni zigzag skirt ($199) and a never-worn Thakoon crochet romper ($299). Book an appointment to sell your in-season designer wares and receive 40 percent of the final selling price.
- 166 E 35th St, (at Third Ave)
Known by its fans as “the neighborhood closet,” this women’s chainlet (it’s one of three in the city) is all about an ever-changing inventory of trendy staple pieces at reasonable prices. Shop fashion faves like printed summer dresses ($98), white skinny jeans ($82) and statement tops ($62). The store also offers free personal-shopping for customers looking for a style mentor.
- 470 Third Ave , (Between 32nd and 33rd Sts )
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