Roberta Freymann

So I walked up to the counter at Calypso in East Hampton the other day and put a cotton sundress and a pair of earrings on the counter. The saleswoman rang them up. My total was six hundred something dollars. I can't remember exactly. I lost track after the "six hundred" part.

What cost so much? Not the gold earrings, which were $100, but the cotton dress, which was over five hundred dollars. And no, the label didn't say "Chloe."

If you ever get the feeling that "beach chic" may be a synonym for "rip off," head a little further north on Newton Lane in East Hampton or further uptown in NYC to Roberta Freymann. Uptown girls have loved this boutique for years. Here they also source cotton and silk sundresses, wraps, kurtas, and caftans from all over the world, but the prices are much gentler.

Though I am a fan of Calypso's ingeniously designed silk wrap dresses, I wasn't willing to plunk down over $500 for a dress I was planning on wearing over a bikini. Instead I found this dress in an eye-catching African print from Roberta Freymann at their sale in New York. The bad news is the sale's over; the good news is that they have all new merchandise coming in now - and the prices are still gentle.

khanga dress, $135 (sale $67.50)

kurta, $50 (sale $25)

another little beach cover-up, $35 on sale

Roberta Freymann
153 East 70th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues
New York, New York

1019 Lexington Avenue at 73rd Street
New York, New York

66 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, New York