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Ted Baker: Upping MePa's Dandy Quotient Since Tuesday

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One thing the Meatpacking District's ever-expanding litany of designer shops is lacking: Some truly dandy-ish menswear. Boys have their pick of anonymous High Street-style European exports, candy-colored streetwear, hip, slouchy, asymmetrical sportswear, and crazy high-end designer ranging from minimalist Japanese to maximalist baroque—but none of those quite say "dandy." That all changed on Tuesday with the opening of Ted Baker's surprisingly spacious storefront on Little West 12th. It's filled with the London label's pleasantly garish shirting and whimsically-lined suiting—and bonus, the prices are delightfully not bank-breaking (another neighborhood rarity).

We stopped in over the holiday shopping weekend and were rewarded justly. Black Friday specials abounded and guests were treated to mulled wine and mini-mincemeat pies—a perfect edible accessory to the quirky, antiques-filled space. All hardwood and subway tile, the store is filled with a series of uber-British vignettes: Mismatched side chairs in bold damasks flanked by odd bits of furniture and hyper-layered mannequins; a wall mounted with sets of Royal Doulton china (the Great Wall of China!) as a backdrop for party dresses and embellished sweaters; not-quite-haphazard stacks of old books book-ending accessories and suiting; a mishmash of taxidermy and apothecary jars and cricket gear and gardening tools and, well—the list just goes on.

It sounds like a mess but it's lovely. Cozy and thoughtful and oh-so-British—a lot like the clothes. Those include manor-ready knits (under $150) and leather-soled shoes (around $300); trim suiting with contrast collars or piping and bold, silky linings (starting around $600); woolly rainbow-colored scarves striped lengthwise ($65); sumptuous, jewel-toned sweaters and cardigans ($125 and up); and a symphony of boldly-patterned and/or richly-hued dress shirts and blouses, some offering faux-French cuffs and contrast trims (around $145).

Less in-your-face dandy: We liked a series of holiday-appropriate little cocktail dresses with bits of beading and lace (under $330) sharing a rack with similarly embellished finely-knit sweaters (around $165). Seriously spiked pumps are icy and majorly on-trend ($340), but demure them down with bow-trimmed leather gloves ($85). While we're there, all the accessories are delightful. Check silk scarves photo-printed variously in textbook-style butterflies ($90) and slim silk ties photo-screened with assorted roses ($85).

And, hello, have you noticed these prices? They're almost stunningly reasonable when compared to the shop's immediate neighbors. Jeans are $145. A bomber in jersey is $145; its waxed canvas cousin is $300. A variety of giftables from pocket umbrellas to briefs clock in well under $50. And the store tops out at $1500—for a three-piece tuxedo. We're sold—color us refreshed.
· Ted Baker Joins Stampede of Retailers into the Meatpacking District [Racked NY]
· Ted Baker [Official Site]