We live in the fashion capital of the world, but much like everything else in New York, shopping can be expensive. Although the city’s best sample sales help us save a few bucks on trendy designer threads, the long lines and no-mercy shoppers can be overwhelming. Your wardrobe is probably well stocked with basics from chain stores and throwbacks from thrift shops, but if you’re itching to add some brand-new sartorial flair to your look, check out the most affordable women’s boutiques for stylish pieces that won’t max out your credit card.
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The best affordable women’s boutiques
Brick walls, pop music and decorative wood branches set the vibe at this Clinton Hill boutique, where standouts include BP Collection flared stonewashed skirts ($59) and Five Crown tank tops ($29) emblazoned with the word “Crush." Freeway’s Southwestern-inspired poncho tops ($69) and large-frame orange shades by AJ Morgan ($18) are other enviable gets.
The 17-year-old Italian cotton-clothing brand adored by laid-back L.A. trendsetters loosens up NYC with its East Coast store. The shop boasts an antique, rustic vibe with exposed-brick walls, blond-hardwood flooring, and wooden cabinets and tables showcasing layer-friendly, flowing tanks ($11–$20), off-the shoulder sweaters ($40–$50) and fitted high-waisted stretchy skirts ($15–$22). Opt for nonchalant-chic styles such as draped, knitted wide-neck sweaters ($53), rough-edged razorback tanks with silk-screened feathers ($24) and billowing summer tunics ($39).
Tracie Howarth’s story is a Brooklyn-crafting fairy tale come true. After becoming a Top 20 Seller on Etsy and helming a sought-after booth at Williamsburg’s Artists & Fleas market, she opened this brick-and-mortar shop, where DIY types can choose from a plethora of gems displayed on a giant wood table, including vintage brass lockets ($7) and Swarovski rhinestone charms ($3). Howarth also offers jewelry-making classes like assemblage basics and wire wrapping.
There's no shortage of flirty apparel at this whimsical boutique, which opened in Greenpoint three years ago. A second shop landed in Williamsburg, giving fashion-forward women two places to pick up Ryu lace overlay dresses ($59) and Flying Tomato embroidered miniskirts ($35). Exposed brick walls and antique furnishings provide a chic backdrop to try on Ark & Co. colorblock dresses ($59) and slim-fit Nine Planet tie-dyed pants ($39).
We were bummed to see local fave Pixie Market (trendy clothes! übercheap prices!) close. But before we could settle into a deep depression, the owners reemerged with Frankie. Think of it as the mature and ultra chic version of Pixie Market—also with great prices. The shop caters to the career-minded woman, so instead of cocktail dresses or crop tops, you’ll find more sophisticated items like cocoon tops ($66) and more from international indie labels.
Dresses, handbags and accessories pack this lovely Brooklyn storefront on Fifth Avenue, where feminine pieces shine. Umgee cap-sleeve dresses with chain belts ($46); Red Engine skinny-leg cropped jeans ($158) and an array of beaded bib necklaces ($28) radiate effortless style. Bold-hued Siss Siss sleeveless blouses with exposed zippers on the back ($52) and Shiraleah colorblock cross-body bags ($28) will brighten up an ensemble. And don’t overlook the bevy of solid and patterned scarves for every season ($20). Goldy + Mac also has a location in Park Slope on Seventh Avenue and another in Cobble Hill.
Though a touch more high-end than its sister brand, Zara, Massimo Dutti still manages to be kind to your wallet. The sprawling Fifth Avenue shop boasts three levels of sophisticated separates and accessories, with an emphasis on neutral tones and basic pieces, prime for mixing and matching. Striped T-shirts are lightweight and square-cut ($46), while dresses are cinched at the waist and accented with leather straps ($90). Everyday staples like ballerina flats ($90) come in an assortment of dyed-leather combos, as do bracelets with buckle details ($35). Jacquard palazzo pants ($99) are one in-house highlight; the extremely affable staff is another.
Bartender Xenia Viray aimed to open a store that boasted styles similar to those you’d find on the racks at Anthropologie, but for a fraction of the price. Distressed mirrors and succulents planted in vintage beer cans lend a homey vibe to this off-kilter joint, where you can score items like sweaters and skirts by English Factory ($57 each), high-waist jeans ($60) and handmade jewelry by Pigeon Dynamite ($30–$98). And Viray’s signature aesthetic—think collectible shopping bags inspired by vintage airline messengers and a kitschy “bunnies eating pizza” greeting card collection by Jessamy Dipper—only adds to this shop’s indie charm.
Ladies on a budget have an ally in Yael Levertov, who fills her fetching boutique with on-trend yet modest-priced finds. Beneath a pair of chandeliers are THML tribal-print shorts ($39) and Alternative Apparel bra tops ($38) awaiting a sheer shirt to pair up with. A burgundy plush-velvet couch provides a cozy place to slip on Seychelles open-toe wedges ($100), though you may be drawn back to your feet by Love the Classics studded cropped tanks ($39), complete with the slogan “Above and Beyond.” Before exiting with your new threads, consider adding one of Shlomit Ofir’s gold geometric-pendant necklaces ($89) to your purchase—they look great with almost anything.
With two uptown Manhattan locations and another pair in Brooklyn (Cobble Hill, Park Slope), Teddy entices fashion enthusiasts from all corners of the city via an expertly curated selection of affordable frocks, separates and accessories. Olivaceous short leather dresses ($128) are among the edgiest offerings, while Jack cap-sleeve tops ($52) are colorful and casual. Striped Ya maxi skirts ($58) provide ample allure with thigh-high slits, and See You Monday tribal-print bandeau tops ($26) scream summertime. Zipper-adorned Street Level clutches ($68) are a great companion for basic wrap dresses ($78) from the boutique’s eponymous line.