I came. I saw. I shopped.
I didn’t drop.
Well, I did but not till I the end of the day.
Shopping in New York was something else.
There was no time for any stand-offishness. No siree.
New York is not a city where you casually browse all day, think longingly about a pair of jeans, go back the next day, think again, mentally go through your wardrobe while in the change room and then maybe, must maybe, whip out your credit card.
Stop right there.
Shopping in New York is about seizing the shopping moment.
It requires a no holds barred, take no prisoners approach.
Anything less and you will go home empty handed. And that my friends would be a travesty because our little Aussie dollar is strong and prices – even at full retail – are SO good.
If you see something and you love it (and there’s still room on your credit card) then buy it. JUST BUY IT.
You are unlikely to to re-ride that subway or re-walk those streets because tomorrow you’ll be somewhere else. There will be new shops to explore and new bargains to be had.
Oh, and that wishlist I made back before I got on the plane?
I can highly recommend you doing the same.
Consider it a Google map to your shopping adventure.
Where to shop?
This is by no means a definitive list. If there’s one thing I learned from my time in New York City that there is never enough time*.
This is a bit of a guide to the districts where we shopped and what to expect. You’ll find a lot of the same stores in each of the areas but the shopping experience will be different.
Times Square: you need your head in the right mental space to tackle the shops around Times Square. It’s beyond crazy busy. The stores are huge. I picked up a couple of pieces for my daughter at Forever 21.
Fifth Avenue/Rockfefeller Centre: this part of town is still busy but a bit more refined. Loved the Anthropologie store in the Rockefeller Plaza.
Columbus Circle: we visited for Wholefoods but you’ll also find Sephora, Coach, Stuart Weitzman and more.
Midtown Central: Macy’s holds court here and the pace is definitely crazy but not at the levels of Times Square. The store is under renovation so is not looking its best but the service is good and there are bargains to be had. Mr SY picked up two Calvin Klein suits for about $180 each.
Soho: Most of the shops found midtown are in Soho too. I loved walking the streets here, soaking it all in, stopping for lunch somewhere fun.
Century 21: You need your bargain smarts about you here. This is the only place we found the service wanting but we were on a mission. A shoe mission. Mr SY sold shoes at Rebel Sports while at uni so he is very handy in working through a warehouse-like display of runners and finding the exact type that you need. Oh, and I loved how you got a docket showing how much you had “saved”.
My favourite shops
These three really floated my boat. It was the combination of merchandising, service and product for sale that had me frothing and wanting more.
What I bought
A stack of new bras and undies from Victoria’s Secret. I’m throwing out all from my smalls drawer when I get home. Bras were $45 each and are of quality of $90 bras in Australia.
Michael Kors wallet. It’s orange and lovely and was my first US purchase.
Michael Kors handbag (reduced from $448 to $268). It’s orange and lovely and “spoke” to me on our last night in NYC.
Prada sunnies. I wanted a summery pair of sunnies and found these the minute I stepped into Macy’s. Expect to see me wearing them a lot.
Anthropologie mug. I had to have one of these but didn’t like the colour of the “n” one so went for “p” for Parko.
Anthorpologie necklace. I die. Photo to come. Scrap that. Just checked my suitcase and the necklace is broken. Insert very sad face here.
Kate Spade iPhone case. Good for selfies when I want to get a point across 😉
NYDJ shorts. Two pairs – white and dark denim. As comfy as the jeans, perfect for summer and half the price of retail in Australia.
Stuart Weitzman platforms. As you already know, I bought these online for my arrival.
Pour la Victoire flats. I walked into Bloomingdales at Soho and saw that their reduced summer shoes were marked down a further 40%. Made a beeline for these. Unfortunately they carved up my feet on their first outing so will have to wait to re-try.
Michael Kors hot pink kitten heels from Century 21 (below left). I see these being worn with cropped jeans, a white tee and my new Sussan jacket.
Nike runners from Century 21 (middle top). My old runners are very old. And by old I mean 10 years old. I may go out walking more now.
- The price you see marked on an item will not be the price that shows up at the cashier. Unlike here where GST has been pre-added and included in the marked price, that’s not the case in New York. Expect to pay up to 10% more.
- This sales tax varies from state to state and city to city. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, don’t charge tax on clothes.
- Ask in store for upcoming sale days or special discounts for visitors (Macy’s and Bloomingdales offer 10% which pretty much negates the sales tax).
- Check online nymag.com for notices of upcoming sales and shopping events.
- Research online first for store location and what’s available before you step into a cab or down a subway.
- Consider whether the store you’re shopping in ships to Australia. Anthropologie does for a flat $25, a thing to remember if you see LOTS of things you love and “need”.
- Everyone told me to wear sensible shoes. I ignored them – of course – and have carved up feet as reward for my ignorance.
- Service is REALLY good in retails stores. Like really good. There are staff everywhere and very willing to help you out. Ask them for help. It will cut down your time in the store and help you buy things you’ll actually wear.
On that note, I’ll leave you with a little story of that service.
In Bloomingdales, the lovely Faina in the NYDJ section, kindly informed me that “you’ll undress only once”, which was a lovely way of saying that with her help, I would not have to be in and out of the change room.
Bang. Right there she had me. I bought two, not one pairs of shorts and left with a very big New York shopping smile on my face.
I’d love to hear from you. We plan to go back to New York. What essential shopping did I miss?
*We had our shopping time in NYC condensed because our son was really sick (with croup it turns out). He couldn’t walk more than half a block and also was needing to sleep two-three hours during the day. He’s on the mend now thanks to a Friday evening visit to a walk-in medical clinic and some drugs that kicked in pretty swiftly.