New York City is home to an estimated 8.3 million people and is known as the epicenter of shopping elegance. However, along with all the cultural exposure and entertainment, are the not-so-fun experiences such as navigating large crowds and waiting in never-ending queues. Here's your guide to the essentials you would need for a day out shopping in the Big Apple; a dash of patience and your trusty day bag.
Before You Leave
Stylish yet Comfortable Attire
A stylish outfit is a requirement of shopping, a fabulous outfit that will get you feeling like a million bucks and keep you comfortable. Feel good while out in the City of Lights. Although casual clothing is a norm anywhere else in the states, dressing in New York City is relatively formal, thus dressing casually on the streets of NYC will make you stick out. It’s better to blend in when you are in a foreign city.
Carry Necessary Supplies
Plan in advance for your day out, as you might find yourself in need of an extra tote or Jute bag when your shopping haul becomes challenging to carry. Not only is it handy but it also makes a great accessory for your outfit. Keeping a day bag is essential, it'll hold your water bottles which is a must to keep you cool and saves you from spending money on overpriced water bottles throughout your day.
However, hauling around heavy luggage all day long is a ticket to misery. Thus, travel light, do not pack anything heavy such as books or other unnecessary items that might weigh you down. Keeping a portable light power bank can save you a lot of trouble, going back to your hotel or residence just to charge your phone would be not only annoying but costly.
Comfortable Walkable Shoes
In order to enjoy your trip to the fullest, we advise you to pair your outfit with some comfortable flats as when shopping nothing brings down one's spirit like sore feet. There is a ton of walking to do and it won't be any fun if your feet are killing you.
If the weather is terrible on the day of your shopping, try non slip shoes, designed specifically for wet conditions when it's raining.
A Warm Layer
If you're traveling to NYC in the chilly months (Dec-March) it is necessary to sport a warm coat; if you are on the East Coast, it will protect you from unexpected rainfall.
Keep Your Belongings Safe
A neck wallet is a smart choice for NYC in order to outsmart the local pickpockets. Wear your belongings close, and make sure that your wallet and phone are not kept in easily accessible places such as your back pocket or purses.
New York is an expensive city; however budgeted shopping isn't an impossible feat. Make sure to research sample sales where you can find designer items on sales as high as 75%. You would find markdowns on many brands' previous seasons' merchandise; YSL, Alexander Wang, etc.
Another term to learn when shopping is ‘Clearance Sales’, which happen throughout the year at many outlets and during July and January at large department stores such as Bloomingdales (After the holiday season).
If you are on a budget second-hand stores are a lifesaver, and vintage shopping in the city is a norm. Shop at outlets like St. Vincents, Salvation Army, Vintage Thrift Shop, etc. If not, there are many cheap clothing brands:
1. Century 21
Has multiple locations and the NYC outlet spans over 7 floors. You will find sales up to 70% off on designer items ranging from purses to workout clothes.
When sales do take place, they are to die for and are usually around major US holidays such as Christmas and Black Friday. Don't forget to go search in the clearance section.
3. INA NYC
It has many locations and is known for accepting only high-quality merchandise and selling it at low prices from brands such as Chanel, Balli, etc.
Sells upcycled, vintage clothing and also has a range of affordable accessories available.
5. Bloomingdales (Upper West side outlet)
Usually not what you would think when the word budget comes to mind however this outlet is known for its low prices.
Every shoe shopper's heaven, after a long day, walking the streets of New York city your feet deserve some new comfortable shoes and it only helps if they're cheap. Rows and Rows and Rows of shoes at discounted prices.
Fashion trendy clothes at insanely cheap prices.
Areas of Interest
If you are in search of office materials avoid shopping in the Lower Manhattan region, it is close to Wallstreet.
When upscale shopping search no further than Soho and Tribecca where you will find Celine, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Prada, Rag & Bone, etc. Chain stores such as H&M and Toys ‘R’ Us are found along Midtown West and on the East are high-end boutiques.
Fifth Avenue is the center of shopping in New York City, it resembles a couture runway due to the extravagant display windows. Stores that decorate the streets of Fifth Avenue are Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Valentino, Versace, and Bergdorf Goodman. Fifth Avenue provides great jewelry options as well. The oldest jeweler is Tiffany & Co. Cartier which has been on the block since 1917 where prices begin at $2500 and range into millions. Bulgari provides from its famed collection Serpenti trinkets in gold, diamond, and emerald. To further add are Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston.
China town although not upscale New York is the perfect place to buy fruits and vegetables, and try out authentic Chinese cuisine or Chinese herbs that heal an infinite number of ailments. Canal Street in China Town is known for its fragrances and knock-off Louis Vuitton and Chanel items.
Williamsburg, also known as ‘The Berg’ is famed for its culture and shopping. Looking for vintage? This is the place for you. There you have Williamsburg Outlet Mall, a pet-friendly mall where you can shop at premium brands however many brands may not allow pets to enter. Colony Square Shopping Centre is where you can find a variety of homeware items such as dressers and tables at cheap prices.
Most of all don't forget to enjoy and explore the many museums, Broadway shows, and fine dining experiences the Big Apple has to provide.