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Where to Shop on the Lower East Side

Six hip stores with the latest in hats, sneakers, jeans, and more.

A few years ago the Lower East Side of Manhattan seemed destined to go the way of every other up-and-coming New York neighborhood. First a micro coffee brewer opens shop, and then Marc Jacobs comes knocking—giving mass-market retailers the green light to pounce with 10,000-square-foot megastores. Fortunately, that never happened. Tenements that housed immigrants at the beginning of the last century still stand, as do bargain outlets along Orchard Street. The hipster sneaker stores are still going strong, but now there's a new crop of sophisticated boutiques geared toward adults (the successful, downtown kind). You may not recognize the labels—many of these stores carry collections found only in Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo—but you'll instantly recognize the style.

2. Still Life
Creative director and owner Frenel Morris produces Still Life's first-class fedoras and downtown wool caps in his own millinery in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. An on-site seamstress guarantees that each handcrafted hat fits your dome perfectly. Throw on a pair of shades from the vintage-eyewear collection and the look will go straight to your head. 77 Orchard St., 212-575-9704; stilllifenyc.com

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