Few neighborhoods in America host a collection of shops catering to exquisite/expensive layette and baby/toddler clothing and gifts. New York’s Upper East Side is one of them. Paris or Milan hold no advantage for selecting the “right” (and expensive) newborn gift. The UES has a mile stretch of children’s boutiques for doting grown-ups to swathe the young’uns in Euro – or Euro-inspired – splendor.
Here’s a list but spoiler alert: millennial parents may not favor outfits that require dry cleaning. That said, it’s fun to look. And the neighborhood is replete with lots of places to lunch. I wouldn’t let you go hungry.
- Ralph Lauren Baby – 872 Madison Avenue (at 71st Street)
- You know the drill here – what Ralph does for grownups he translates into charming children’s wear and delightful baby gifts. Tasteful, traditional and in the mold of the best of ‘classic’ American design.
- Spring Flowers – 907 Madison Avenue (73rd Street)
- Euro-luxury for little ones and their older siblings. Elegance rules, with an emphasis on offerings suitable for family get-togethers where black-tie is in order. Italian shoes and boots, too. Beautiful clothing that would not be advantaged by a dribble of fudge sauce.
- Bonne Nuit – 1193 Lexington Avenue (at 81st Street)
- Deeply rooted in traditional styling and with a strong style a la française, Bonne Nuit extends into women’s wear (lingerie), so there’s double reason to stop by. Known for delicious, (read = expensive ) layette, here is where one finds the flowing christening gown to start (or continue) your own family tradition.
- Hoofbeats – 305 E. 84th Street (at 2nd Avenue)
- If it can be monogrammed, Hoofbeats has it. A charming small family-run business, Hoofbeats runs the gamut of baby (or any) gifts – bibs, shirts, onesies, bags, you name it. They gladly offer their monogramming services on items purchased elsewhere. Their pricing will have you beating your hooves to their door
- Jacadi – 1242 Madison Avenue (at 89th Street); 1260 Third Avenue (at 72nd Street)
- The renowned upscale French chain with outposts across the U.S., two of which are on the Upper East Side (which tells you something). Their own branded stuff is lovely and instantly communicates “you’re worth it” to the lucky (or parent) recipient.
There you have it – now go shop.