If you live or have ever visited lower (lower) manhattan i.e. Tribeca, Battery Park and FiDi you would know that its PACKed with children. Thus the need for children clothing. There are a few key places you should know about when visiting the area or you may just live in the area and want to be a super efficient shopper like me. Here is what you need to know to get what you want:
Kohs: This tiny boutique was recently bought by a new owner but its very similar to the past shop by the same name. There are very high end girls fashions here. There are also boys clothing but its very basic and the girls selection definitly outshines the boys section. If you are looking to spend a pretty penny you must visit this shop.
I love going here with my daughter because she always picks the most outrageous of items. Like last years Stella Mccartney kids pink fur coat. Its adorable and over the top! And I know she'll wear again next year since we bought it big enough so I am ok with spending that dollar amount for it.
They also sell very adorable novelty baby clothes. The only clothing I really get here for my baby boy are the kimono wrap onesies by Petite Bateau. The new owner ordered them in my sons size since she didn't have them in stock and they were avail for me the following day! Talk about great service. Again the girls baby section shines. The boys is adorable but is limited especially if you have a larger baby.. I think the sizes only ago up to 9-12 months. So its hard to shop for 12-18 months or 18-24 months (YES I know my baby is only 8 months but he's an adorable chubby little guy!!!)
Polarn: This is a definite go to if you are in Tribeca. The quality is amazing and I normally find SOMETHING that my kids wear as staples. The boys assortment is much better here. They have an entire section for baby/toddler/big boys and the same for the girls. The clothing is very versatile and comfortable and if you happen to be there when they have a sale you should stock up. Can'T beat the prices and sometimes I even buy for the next year if I really like something.
The winter selection couldn't be better. They have rain/snow coats and shells. Thermal socks, insulated gloves, assortment of hats.. only catch is finding all that in the size you need. They do have online shopping and they also have a shop uptown that can ship directly to you.
Bitz Kids: Here you will find FASHION! Its all so adorable and stylish. The boys section here definitely outshines the girls. The boys pants and tee shirts are the best. I dressed my older son in these clothes for years and now I'm already starting to dress my baby boy in them. The quality though is not that great. You get fashion but you don't get quality. That's the toss up. The prices aren't that bad ($24 for baby pants) only catch is that you may have to buy a couple of the pants each season since the knees wear out very easily. At least for active little ones!
Babesta: This location stocks more baby stroller type items and furniture but has the same downtown funky edge. I think I bought 3 out of my 5 strollers here. They always have the newest trends and I luckily stopped by here when I was ab out 8 months pregnant and spotted the DOONA. Its a stroller and car seat in one. A MUST for city moms or any mom who loves convince and ease. (See below in Battery Park- same idea but also located on Warren street.)
Babesta: In Brookfield Place (a new large shopping and eating destination in Battery Park) this adorable and cheeky shop lives on the second level next to every moms favorite DRY BAR. Babesta is a funky shop with edge. The pacifiers come with mini mustaches, the bottles are made to look like Starbucks to go and the shop would not be its cool self with out selling the tiniest pair of baby Doc Martin combat boots (ok, I bought these are they are ridiculous but I couldn't resist). Great for picking up a trendy item or two or for a really cool baby gift. The clothing selection is limited in all aspects but you may get lucky and score an adorable onesie featuring your favorite 80's concert logo on it.
FIDI: The financial district has a totally different feel. The shops are not boutiques and they have tons of crowds.
Zara Kids: If you never heard of Zara you are seriously missing out. It has amazing fashion for a steal. And thats for woman but the kids selection is just downstairs and is pretty darn cute. You can tell that all the styles are just mini knock offs of the adult version but done so in a way that is hip and stylish for kids. The only catch is that some items might look a little trendy and not last past a season or so. Its very well priced and has shoes and accessories as well. The girls section is far better than the boys. At least in this location. There is a limited baby section too..
Gap kids: Gap is still one of my favorite kids clothing shops (I may be biased because I worked there for years before having kids and loved it) but the styles are just wearable and the quality is normally always amazing. The GAP store on Broadway offers adults (woman main level, mens downstairs) and the upstairs is all kids. They have girls, boys and baby. I think each area is well stocked and is standard for a gap kids shop. If you are in the area and want to pick up something you know you will use all the time for your kids then you should stop here and since is a NYC shop you may catch their fun pop up shops featuring things like snoopy and designs by Ellen DeGenerous.
Century 21: This is a huge shopping extravaganza! A must see when downtown. But wear your comfy (yet chic) shoes and get ready to deal with crowds (unless you go first thing in the morning). Here you can get a little of everything. But what it has in size it really lacks in fashion. Its not very trendy but there is really something for everyone of all ages, shapes and sizes. The assortment is abundant but the styles aren't the latest or greatest. They used to have better name brands at a bargain but thats not really the case anymore since the store has been massively renovated which it desperately needed. You may still happen to find baby Petite Bateau at at discount and some other children's name brand but don't expect to see a lot of it.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EDITION FEATURING ALL THE NEW SHOPS IN THE OCULUS!