Photo: Megshops

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Designers Women's Clothing

I feel it's my duty to report that dresses for fall have arrived at Meg, a lovely East Village boutique featuring designs by Meghan Kinney (branches have caught on also in Toronto and L.A.). And these fall dresses look terrific: Clean and versatile designs, in mostly solids of red, black, cream, grey, and lavender. But honestly, I'm nowhere near ready to think about fall or its dresses; so I concentrated my scouting here on the spring/summer stock, which is terrific, is on sale, and, I hope and pray, will be wearable through a warm August and a mild, sunny September (as well as for many warm seasons to come, as the lines and fabrics are classic and will age just fine).

As I chatted with shop assistant Maria about the horrors of apartment hunting in NYC—apparently, even in this difficult economy, the search for a home here has not gotten significantly easier for the non-monied classes—I dove into the warm-weather racks. Spring/summer items not only are on sale but are being offered at an *additional* $25 off for those who are on the mailing list or who mention this article. Real estate in NYC may never be a good deal or even a fair one, but these clothes sure are.

I loved a cotton-organdy dress with elegant layers at the neck and spaghetti straps, in fucsia with pink lining, cornflower blue with grey lining, or cream with black lining—$60 before the additional discount, and machine washable! It's also available in a sleeveless, v-necked version that's a little more office-ready ($80). For summer weddings or other festivities, there are great choices: a spaghetti-strapped party dress with a cinched waist in pink, black, or turquoise ($126); a strapless shift in mauve silk ($90); a white swiss-dotted trapeze dress with tie sleeves ($90); and a metallic-gold cocktail dress ($90). The summer's maxi-dress trend is represented in a white maxi-shift printed with blue birds that I finally decided looked like seagulls (in my effort to figure out the birds, I forgot to record the price, but you can see that the prices here are pretty darn good).

Another current trend, feathers in the hair, is grab-able here via cute feather-decorated hairbands ($20). The accessories are as chic, timeless, and reasonable as the clothes: a great selection of earrings for $25; lovely necklaces (my favorite, also $25, was made of gold square links); a striking assortment of bangles starting at about $25. And for the chic baby, onesies decorated with ties and bows, in black, red, yellow, or blue, are $25 as well.

I couldn't resist checking out the super-sale barrels, with contents priced at $20 or $30. And wow—I found a lavender-cotton strapless dress with pretty layering ($20) that can be worn now on its own, later with leggings, and even as a skirt! There was no question: It had to come home with me.

Speaking of home, may Maria find every bit of luck in finding a place she loves. Meanwhile, those who appreciate great design at terrific prices will find themselves right at home here.   - Pamela Grossman; Aug 2, 2009

312 East 9th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-6329