It just so happens that STEPS is a few steps away from the tens at Bryant Park.  I checked in there last year, and though their stuff was cute and affordable, I didn’t feel like it much differed from what was sold at places like Jeans Warehouse or Forever21.  This year – HUGE difference.

New buyer, new brands – and just stocked with some great stuff.  Bright atmosphere – and ton of clothes to look through and squeal over.  (Though I can’t say the staff is the most friendly or helpful; my one caveat.)

I almost bought this double-layered tank, but it only came in brown – apparently the gray had sold out.  Super-cute for summer!

I could literally buy the whole front half of the store.  Piece after piece: tops, dresses, jackets for Spring, had incredible details, unique (albeit a little flimsy) construction – and it was stuff I had seen nowhere else.  And so affordable!  Tops and jackets ranged from $39.99 (sale) to at the highest $69.99; with dresses and pants somewhere in the middle.  Accessories clocked in from $9 – $40.  drooooool
Here are a few fabulous pieces I found:

Loved the embellishment hanging off of this – and ended up buying it for $19.99.

White leather zipper skirt – $59.99.

Ombre-dyed crochet-back tank-and-cardigan combo.

Pleated dress for $59.99.

 Velvet lavender Western-style shirt with studded pocket flaps.

Studded tank dress under sheer pocket vest/dress.

I bought this coat too – a lovely waffle-knit convertible front cropped jacket.  So warm – and the front flaps can be buttoned down in various ways!  (Only $39.99 on sale!)

I also managed to swing by AlphabetsNYC [their website has been COMING SOON for a year now] on the Lower East Side, one of the few boutiques I had visited last year, where I bought my Ryu double-hood tunic top for a steal (that I’m wearing here in the photo with Yigal Azrouel).  AlphabtsNYC is divided – one store is a music/CD store, the other, a knicknacks/gifts/clothing boutique.  Both store sides are crowded and crammed with items – kind of kitschy; a little vintage-looking and tongue-in-cheek…but the clothes are a whole ‘nother story!

This is what the left-hand part of the store looks like if you’ve never been there.

You head to the lefthand storefront and way into the back, and there are racks for both women’s and men’s clothing and accessories.  (The sales staff is pretty indifferent, so I just leave them alone.)  My male friend oohed and aahed over a cracquel-grain leather briefcase with flap pockets for $150, and turned over hat after hat rendered in tweeds and dandy-ish pinstripes.  I concerned myself with the women’s clothing racks on the right – in the far back; both top and bottom racks are a whopping 70% off [unmarked, so you have to ask and make sure!] and I could barely contain myself at the fabulosity – AND the prices.

Sweet little owl-print tank.

Ark & Co chiffon blouse with trim detailing for $39.99.  What a great use of trim around the neckline! 

A gorgeous windowpane lasercut A-line silk dress for only $25.50???? (Marked down from $86.)  

I ended up with the sweetest little sheath constructed of wide ribbon fringes in graduating colors, for only $25!  Truly a chic steal!

A close-up of the fabulous square-cut fringe piecing on the front of the dress.

If you are ever in the area you MUST check these boutiques out:

STEPS 1040 6th Ave map it

AlphabetsNYC 115 Avenue A (12 pm – 8 pm daily) map it

Have any of you ever been to these boutiques?


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