The red carpet season, and fashion weeks have come and gone. These events have made me think about fashion in Princeton. You don’t typically see women strolling around the Princeton Shopping Center wearing Louboutin shoes and Christian Lacroix dresses, nor do you see men GQ’d out in slim cut Simon Spurr three-piece suits sipping espresso at Small World Coffee.
As a matter of fact, some consider Princeton a preppy town where J. McLaughlin, Landau’s, Palm Place, J. Crew, and Talbot’s hold court (see How Preppy is Princeton?). Ralph Lauren is quite preppy as well, but they also have über stylish lines like Black Label, Purple Label and Collection. More about that later. Brooks Brothers, the epitome of preppy style, will actually take over Banana Republic’s previous location on Palmer Square East in the fall to further boost Princeton into prepdom. While Princetonians are generally more traditional, not everyone wears Donegal tweeds and sweater sets with pearls to local events.
There are a number of local fashionistas and dandies in Princeton, who might head to Short Hills, King of Prussia, New York, or Philly for some of their fashion needs. However, they can find some great clothing, jewelry, watches, and accessories right here in town. As a matter of fact, the businesses listed below attract customers from the Greater Princeton area and beyond.
The weekend designer pop-up shop last December at Palmer Square, and the upcoming Fashionaires couture pop-up consignment boutique at Morven in May, is more than evidence of the desire for high fashion here. AND there’s also a seasonal pop-up store in the Princeton Shopping Center (see Ladies below). Princeton is even keeping up with fashion trends in a trendy way!
Check out where you can find bespoke, ready-to-wear, and couture clothing in Princeton to wear to benefits, work, cocktail parties, or just shopping along Nassau Street. This guide is also great for visitors who love to shop, especially in other locations for a bit of variety.
This is for men who love the terminology: working buttonholes, pic stitching, made-to-measure, and ticket pockets. Suit jackets, sports coats and shirts can be tapered at the waist more for a fitted look rather than the boxier American off-the-rack cuts. Also, higher thread count fabrics are used. There’s a little bit of Saville Row right here in Princeton. You’ll have to venture off to New York for custom-made shoes. E. Vogel is one option. Luxury accessories are available in town.
- Au Courant Opticians – They offer sunglasses and frames designed by Gucci, Gold & Wood, Morgenthal Frederics, Mykita, and David Yurman, plus quality lenses from Optima, Varilux, and Zeiss.
- Hamilton Jewelers – A quality timepiece is de riguer for a discerning gentleman. They’re an authorized dealer for Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Breitling, Patek Phillipe, A. Lange & Söhne, et al.
- J. Hilburn Men’s Clothier – Style Advisor Victoria Corrodi can fit you for custom-made suits, jackets, and shirts, and place your orders. FYI, this is not a brick and mortar store, which actually cuts the cost of a middleman AND Ms. Corrodi will come to your home or office to fit you for the utmost in convenience!
- Nick Hilton – A Hometown Princeton shop that opened in 2001, offers made-to-measure shirts, suits, and trousers.
- Ralph Lauren – This designer provides made-to-measure Black and Purple Label suits, shirts, trousers, overcoats and tuxedos.
Clockwise: Hedy Shepard, Urban Grace, Ma Cherie, Botari
There are some boutiques that carry big name department store designers, and then there are specialty shops that sell unique designers for a similarly fabulous look that’s easier on the wallet. Many also have trunk shows for runway and couture fashion. There’s something for everyone.
- Au Courant Opticians – See above.
- Botari – Brand new handbag and accessories shop at Palmer Square featuring names like Orla Keily, Longchamp, Michael Kors, and Tokidoki.
- Greene Street Consignment – Re-invented items from ever changing names like Tory Burch, Prada, Stuart Weitzman, Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Francisco Biasa.
- Hamilton Jewelers – Jewelry by Gucci, Ivanka Trump, John Hardy, Kimberly McDonald, Mikimoto, Marco Bicego, Roberto Coin, Caleo, Paul Morelli, Temple St. Clair, Chantecler, et al.
- Hedy Shepard – Designs from Sylvia Heisel, Barbara Wells, and Aldo Martins, as well as an extensive list of others, mostly catering to women 40+.
- Jane Consignment – Repurposed goodies from labels like Loubotin, Fendi, Tory Burch, David Yurman, Chanel, Tiffany’s, Miu Miu, Pucci, Bottega Veneta, and Prada. Names could change daily.
- Kate Spade – This American brand is known for its quality handbags, wallets, shoes, and accessories.
- Ma Cherie Boutique – Unique to Princeton, it’s the only boutique to carry Brighton and Chamilia charms and Trollbeads that enable you to make custom jewelry.
- Merricks Too – This boutique relocated and opened as Princeton’s only seasonal clothing pop-up store. They sell designs from Paul Cormack, Carter Smith, Aysha, Carmen Marc Valvo, and local designers offering sizes 0 – 22.
- Ralph Lauren – The elegant Black Label is available here for women. Unfortunately, there’s no Collection line in the Princeton store.
- Rosana – This Palmer Square alum has relocated to Pennington. One of a kind, custom dresses can be made for you courtesy of L.A. costume designer/wardrobe stylist Rosana Clawson. (Teens love the dress for prom, cotillion, etc.)
- Rouge – They carry J. Brand, Melissa, Joie, Epice and more, and there’s a personal shopper on hand.
- Thurin Atelier – This is another Princeton boutique that (just) relocated. Jean Ralph Thurin provides custom couture gowns for brides, debutantes, proms, etc. Unfortunately, he’s now in Somerville.
- Urban Grace – Labels include Nanette Lepore, Milly, Tracy Reese, Trina Turk, Shoshanna, AG, and Tory Burch.
- Zoë – Get your DVF, YSL, Halston, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone, Donna Karan, Helmut Lang, Cacharel, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, and Miu Miu here.