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Boutiques! They're in, New York mag tells us this week. Generally found in such areas as the West Village, Cobble Hill, and Williamsburg, these usually woman-owned mini-stores cater to a particular population of twenty and thirtysomething women. Not quite hipsters, not quite preps, not quite socialites (or wannabes), these women—who toil in such industries as publishing (book and magazine, of course), advertising, and PR, with the odd teacher or non-profit employee thrown in (and maybe a lawyer looking for some weekend outfits)—will spend hundreds on the perfect pair of boots, or on a handbag. They own premium denim, but not anything immediately recognizable from the back pockets. They wear skirts and dresses, but avoid looking overly "girly." It's because the prevailing aesthetic among this demographic has become dictated almost entirely by Lucky magazine.

The six boutiques highlighted by New York are all lovely, to be sure. They're also all favorites of Lucky—at least, they're mentioned in this month's list of the top 100 boutiques in New York (and name-checked more than often by editor Kim France, this look's poster woman, who may or may not have a big butt). You've probably been to all of them!

We certainly have. We've glanced through the racks, at the shirts by Corey Lynn Calter and the pants by Vanessa Bruno, the stylishly unstylish APC dresses, the Twinkle by Wenlan skirts. We've caressed the soft leather totes and tried on the Devotte peep-toe sandals. And sometimes, yes, we buy, knowing that doing so will just help perpetuate the pseudo-indie, Lucky-enabled fashion hegemony in this city. So if you see us wandering the streets in a Santa-appliquéd gem sweater and acid-washed jeans, it's not some sort of ironic West Bushwickian statement. It's that we're tired, and we've finally decided that Kim France is just evil Anna Wintour dressed down in clothes from Dear Fieldbinder.

The New Style Merchants [NYM]