The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is one of the meccas for fashion students from all around the world. It also has its own museum, and it is a very good museum. Curated by real fashion scholars such as Valerie Steele, its exhibitions are serious and terrific. It might not have the collection of the Costume Institute at the MET but the Museum at FIT makes wonderful fashion statements. A very enjoyable place hidden in the middle of Midtown.
I couldn't agree more. AND it's free!! As a former student at FIT, I can attest to the importance of this collection and the wonderful variety of costumes shown in the exhibits. Some of the most famous names in fashion have been known to do their research in the museum's archives. Take a look at some items from the dazzling collection online here in the eMuseum: http://fashionmuseum.fitnyc.edu/code/emuseum.asp
For upcoming exhibits: http://fitnyc.edu/3662.asp
Check it out on the corner of 27th Street and 7th Avenue.