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Vex & Co.

Easy as 1-2-3

Shopping is as easy as 1-2-3. That's "123" as in the address 123 2nd Street where a former Financial District copy shop has given way to Vex, a spacious white loft which showcases the latest men's and women's fashions from Europe. Here you'll find simple but edgy pieces with affordable price points.

The owners, Viktoria Martinova and Veni Mendez, hand pick each item. They even try on all the items before they order them because the focus of the lines that they carry is on their details and fit. In essence they really know what they're stocking and how it will suit their patrons' different sizes and styles.

Vex holds no loyalty to a particular designer or line. If a designer produces a strong collection then Vex will buy it. If subsequently the same designer produces a weak collection then Vex will drop it and find another suitable collection. Rest assured, donning the same outfit as your friend is highly unlikely because while the shop offers various styles they are only in limited numbers.

For women, customized leather jackets in white and coffee ($168) and diaphanous striped button down shirts ($78) can all be layered over a staple tank top. There are also colorful tiered skirts and my favorite, a pale pink cotton V-neck dress ($178) that is cut in a shapely silhouette with inventive details. Ribbons cinch the sides to shorten or lengthen the dress, creating a shirred front.

For men, there is a range of dress shirts ($88 - $158) that appeal to nearly all types. A deceptively conservative white dress shirt in the front reveals racing bold blue or red stripes down the sleeves.

Other dress shirts come in strong color combinations such as stripes in purples and beige. There are also embroidered shirts such as black with contrasting red top stitching or a dark brown dress shirt with dark brown embroidery.

Both the men and women's lines carry Vex's customized pieces such as leather jackets which start as low as $98. The store's own designs pay special consideration to collars, pocket placement and notions.

No matter what, every piece that Vex carries has to be a "good deal" says Viktoria. In fact, nearly 100% of their merchandise is sold as new shipments arrive weekly. Exchanges and returns have been less than 1%.

With these statistics, you'll find shopping not so vexing at Vex.