Whether you stitch up your own creations or simply prefer to keep up with the latest trends on the catwalk, there’s a New York City neighborhood that a fashion fiend like you should have on your bucket list: The Garment District.

Right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, this nexus of American fashion occupies a square mile between 34th and 42nd Streets from Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue. Filled with historic designer houses, public art, cocktail bars, and fabric shops, it’s one of the finest parts of the city to roam…especially if buttons, lace, and beads make your heart flutter. This neighborhood might “wear” you out, but in a good way.

So if you love fashion, strap on your walking shoes, preferably of the chic (yet still comfortable) variety, and take a tour of the Garment District while you’re in New York.

Shift Through Needles in Haystacks at Trim and Fabric Stores
fabric store

The Garment District is home to countless trim and fabric stores. Most of the trimming stores, those selling buttons and laces, cover 37th to 39th Streets from Seventh to Eight Avenues. Most fashion lovers make a stop at the famous Mood Fabrics. As seen on the show Project Runway, Mood boasts 25,000 square feet of fabrics, laces, and trim. Located on 225 W. 37th Street on the third floor, Mood plays host to 1,200 customers a day. Even if you aren’t looking for fabrics for your latest creations, the spot can be fun for tourists to roam due to its extensive selection.

Stroll the Fashion Walk of Fame

walk of fame

Flickr Creative Commons – Kai Chan Vong

After you have thoroughly satisfied your inner sewer’s appetite for buttons, beads, and fabrics with visits to the Garment District’s fabric shops, you can learn a little bit about American fashion greats along the Fashion Walk of Fame. On the east side of 7th Avenue from 35th to 41st Streets, you can stroll along several dozen plaques detailing various famous fashion designers, from Betsey Johnson to Ralph Lauren to Geoffrey Beene and Marc Jacobs. The plaques contain a little information about each designer and their contributions to the fashion industry.

Head Back to Class at the Museum at FIT

Flickr - Robert Sheie

Flickr Creative Commons – Robert Sheie

The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) claims to hold one of the best collections in the world of garments, accessories, and textiles. With the mission of advancing the knowledge of fashion through exhibits, travelers can peruse a permanent collection that includes 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present, including works from designers like Chanel and Dior. The museum contains three galleries, one for special exhibitions, one covering 250 years of fashion history, and a final gallery dedicated to student and faculty exhibitions.

Grab a Cocktail on a Rooftop Bar

rooftop bar

The Garment District isn’t just known for its place in the fashion world. It’s also home to several appealing rooftop bars. These spaces provide stunning views of the city and cool cocktails to imbibe after a long day of touring the district. the neighborhood’s The Skylark is one of those rooftop perches, measuring 30 stories above the heart of the Garment District. Cocktails and small bites are served throughout the multilevel lounge. The Refinery Rooftop, a popular spot on top of the Refinery Hotel, provides 3,500 square feet to sip on signature cocktails entrenched in biochemistry. View enthusiasts can also park at the Sky Room NYC, 34 stories above the district and provider of 360-degree views of Manhattan.

Have you visited New York’s Garment District? Share your favorite places to go in the neighborhood in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.