Best gift shops: Upper West Side

Find out where to shop for gifts in this uptown Manhattan neighborhood.

Photograph: Naomi Ellenson
Laytner's Linen & Home

Critics' picks

C. Wonder

Businessman Chris Burch has opened his whimsical brand’s second NYC location (the flagship is in Soho) for classic-with-a-twist women’s threads ($22–$248) and accessories ($24–$198). The 7,740-square-foot shop also carries a noteworthy collection of home goods ($10–$128). Clothing highlights include leopard-print boat-neck sweaters ($78), ikat-patterned stretch jeans ($128) and bird-adorned shirtdresses ($198). Complete your look with suede wedge booties ($128), leather chain-strap handbags ($148) and vibrant enamel bracelets ($38 each). Your pad will get an upgrade with ceramic plates featuring dogs ($38) and embroidered pillows ($34–$58). There’s even a cute selection for pets, such as jeweled dog collars ($20) and vibrant food bowls ($24–$38).

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Upper West Side

Essentials Plus

In a city where a packed Duane Reade or an unstocked CVS can throw the most hardened urbanite into fits of tears, this innocuous drugstore is a godsend. The modest exterior hides a beauty store, salon, basic dry-goods store and second-floor toy store complete with play area. Where else can you pick up a decent $7 umbrella while you’re checking out Bert and Ernie puppets ($15 each) and about 70 billion different kinds of Thomas the Tank Engine pieces (starting at $7)? Anyone who doesn’t live in the area will be jealous of this neighborhood staple.

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Upper West Side

J.Crew

J. Crew is a perennial ruler of the American apparel game, and with good reason. Its trusty, exquisite pieces radiate the relaxed propriety of Stateside elite with just the right amount of trendy tangent. Recent forays into evening and wedding attire have also been brilliantly successful.

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Upper West Side

J.Crew Men’s Shop

Creative director Jenna Lyons made J.Crew a shopping staple for women who crave classic pieces with a high-fashion bent, and now the brand is attempting to take over the male market as well by adding a new men’s shop—the fifth of its kind in the city—to the brand’s expanding empire. Like the clothing inside, this handsome space is classic and clean, featuring reclaimed white oak trim and floors made from large slate slabs. Up front, you’ll find casual basics like heavyweight flannel button-ups ($98) from J.Crew’s recently unveiled high-end line, Wallace & Barnes. As you move inward, peruse the suiting collection, including double slim-fit wool suits ($590). Toward the back, you can sink into vintage chairs while trying on footwear, such as waxed leather wing tips ($485) from J.Crew’s collaboration with old-school New England shoemaker Alden, and check out Mougin & Piquard leather-strap Swiss watches ($425), made in limited quantities exclusively for J.Crew.

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Midtown West

Laytner’s Linen & Home

Critics' pick

Before there were big-box home furnishing chains, value-minded Upper West Siders turned to Laytner’s for their linen and bedding needs. In addition to the affordable organic 300-thread count sheet sets ($40), cotton bamboo towels ($17) and down alternative comforters ($80–$120) the family-owned houseware emporium is known for, the flagship location hawks handsome wood furniture, cozy microfleece bathrobes and a colorful array of shower curtains in both lightweight silk and heavy-duty plastic. Decorative items such as teak wood coasters, dog-bone-shaped picture frames and ceramic sushi sets do well as housewarming gifts or as finishing touches in your own apartment.

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Upper West Side

Thérapie

Critics' pick

Part pharmacy and part beauty-and-gift emporium, this sprawling three-level store has been catering to a well-heeled clientele (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dustin Hoffman are regulars) since 2004. Owner Renee Chow stocks the shelves with everything you need to look polished, from upscale grooming products like Mason Pearson brushes and chichi men’s lines Jack Black and Zirh to racks of Spanx and Hue hosiery. There’s even a Dr. Hauschka natural makeup counter and an entire mezzanine devoted to all things boobie (cutlets, flash tape, decorative bra straps, etc.). Procrastinators should make Thérapie their go-to for last-minute gifts—between the gorgeously packaged Seda candles, witty Knock Knock notepads and a basement bursting with children’s toys, you’re bound to find something for any occasion.

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Upper West Side

Williams-Sonoma

This posh and well respected kitchen supply store marries style with quality and gleaming stock, from gadgets and bakewear to settings and accessories. Foodies and style mavens alike can find reason to browse.

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Upper West Side

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