Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shopping in New York City

Everyone comes to NY to shop. And everyone thinks that the huge, most advertised sales, like Black Friday, are the time to get the super bargains. Actually, that is not true at all. The best times to shop in NY are January and August. Period! January is the beginning of the transition from Winter to Spring, August is the transition from Summer to Fall. It never changes.

Here are some shopping secrets. Every great department store has huge discounts, but always hidden in the back racks. Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s all have 70% off racks in the back corners of almost every floor. All you have to do is look. And that is where you can find bargains that are worth the effort. 

Of course, you always have Century 21, IF you can survive the hours and hours of searching through hundreds of racks. And the crowds. And the lack of salespeople. And the rudeness. And the communal dressing rooms with interminable waits. Still, I found a pair of Prada shoes for $20.00 so sometimes the torture is worth the score.

My personal favorite places to shop are the little stores like Meg for original clothes on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Annie’s Blue Ribbon for gifts on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. Yaso has the most fabulous clothes in Soho on Grand Street just east of West Broadway but you have to make an appointment in advance.

And then there are the sample sales and end of year sales at all the outlets. Westbury Commons in Harriman, about and hour and a half north of the city, even has a Frette outlet where you can buy the finest sheets for 90% off. The sample sales happen all over the city and if you are careful, you can find extraordinary discounts for quality clothing. Get yourself on the lists of the brands you love...they will inform you of their sample sales.

If you walk south on Broadway starting at Houston Street, there are shops galore...H&M, a snack at Dean and Deluca or coffee at the Nespresso store, Uniqlo (the Japanese GAP) even Bloomingdales. These few blocks have the most variety, great sales, and are far less intimidating than trying to shop on 5th Avenue. And believe it or not, the styles are quite similar, just one third of the price…sometimes even less.

If you are planning a trip to New York City, simply to shop, airfares are lower in mid January when freezing temperatures keep most tourists away. And remember, there are few true New Yorkers in the city in August. But keep in mind…in the midst of the horrible  January weather, there is also restaurant week where the best restaurants offer three course meals for about $23.00 per person.