do it

do it: a soho afternoon

SoHo is one of the most frequented neighborhoods in Manhattan for all that it has to offer shoppers and diners alike. Big name designer boutiques, indie local designers, retail chains and outlets, cafes and fine dining offer something for everyone. Walking around aimlessly in any NYC neighborhood, you're bound to discover new fave haunts to shop and eat. Here are some of mine in SoHo:

Start off your day of shopping right at Cafe Cafe. A cozy atmosphere with benches around a low coffee table, bar and loft seating welcome you in. They have a large menu of iced or hot coffee and tea, along with pastries and scones or a more traditional breakfast of eggs and french toast. It was a great place to lay out my plan of attack for the rest of my day.

Once caffeinated, head across the street to Palma. This intimate boutique stocks flirty and feminine dresses, skirts, and tailored pieces. Think sophisticated event or business casual work attire. They also offer great statement jewelry pieces-- long necklaces, chunky bracelets and large earrings. Located at 463 Broome Street, Palma is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11a-7p.

Head down Broome Street to Broadway and stop at Topshop. Any store that boasts a "shoe lounge" warrants a visit, am I right? Three floors of women's fashions, shoes and accessories kept me gushing for a while. Flowy tops and hip hugging skirts dominate the racks, with casual staples interspersed with pieces worthy of a night on the town. Their shoes boast sky-high platforms, glittery finishes, and eye-catching details: chains, rivets, bows, buckles, and ribbons. A great one-stop-shop, you can finish off your outfit with a bag, jewelry and even fill out your cosmetics case.

Inventory is located at Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets. A carefully curated, rotating collection of edgy designs, Inventory is ever-changing and always keeping up on the latest trends and styles. They have a large selection of high-waisted skirts, lacy blouses, motorcycle jackets and underwear meant to be shown off. This is a store that you have to keep coming back to in order to keep up with their selection and offerings. Inventory is open Monday-Saturday, noon-8p; Sunday 11a-7p.

Walk up Lafayette Street to Amarcord Vintage Fashions. They carry upscale vintage in pristine condition-- during my visit they had fabulous pieces from Dior, Gucci, La Perla, and Dolce & Gabbana. Everything from little black dresses and silk nightgowns to leather bags and sunglasses can be scavenged and had for a great price.

Nearby on Lafayette you'll find Label. A modest-sized line designed by Laura Whitcomb, Label offers statement pieces that will make you a standout in any crowd. Dresses and tops that can best be described as having shape and a sense of architecture, Whitcomb's designs are a stunning combination of art and fashion.

Now that you've worked up an appetite, head over to Caffe Falai. Serving lunch daily from noon-4p, Caffe Falai offers a wide variety of salads, soups, pastas and paninis. A beautiful atmosphere with natural light, lots of mirrors and crystal chandeliers, your lunch is sure to be a relaxing finish to your busy day.