Whether you’re looking for cheap fashion and practical basics or avant-garde indie labels, shopping in NYC never disappoints—if you know where to go. We hit the streets and found the city’s go-to spots to score designer discounts, accessories, vintage fashion and anything else you might need to satisfy your consumerist lust. From posh boutiques in Soho to thrift stores in Williamsburg to record stores in Greenpoint, we’re sure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for... and more! Looking for stores in the area? Try our guides to shopping in NYC by neighborhood.
Best shopping in NYC
We know: Brooklynites have been bemoaning the arrival of big-brand chain stores for the past few years. But guess what? The borough has been home to an awesome minichain for quite some time. Bird, the fashion-forward women’s boutique where prices run the gamut, has been in business for 15 years and shows no sign of stopping. Three locations exist; fingers crossed that a fourth isn’t too far behind.
Every four to six weeks, this Chelsea gem shuts down and reopens with a totally new theme. Mirroring the editorial style of a magazine, the store collaborates with guest curators and architects for each cycle. The current motif (until August 17), “Cool Story,” spotlights the Aros (a new air conditioner from Quirky), beach bags and more. Past themes have included “Love Story” and “Good Story.” Our predictions for future iterations: “My Story” (featuring products for the #selfie generation), “Go Story” (boasting the best items for jet setters) and “Time Out Story” (because duh).
This online plant purveyor has filled its first brick-and-mortar with various seedlings in stylish, locally made pots. The store focuses on greenery that’s easy to care for, so no green thumbs required here. Stand-alone plants start at $4; pre-potted ones go for $38 and up. Experts say keeping a houseplant in your home can improve your health and help purify the air. Sign us up!
Chic and youthful cofounders Camilla Gale and Rand Niederhoffer have created a Brooklyn boutique with the same characteristics. A collection of feminine and well-tailored dresses and ensemble pieces from a handful of up-and-coming designers complement the equally tasteful assemblage of jewelry and accessories.
You guys love Artists & Fleas (it’s one of the most searched-for stores on our website)—and it’s easy to see why: Every weekend, a rotating selection of around 60 vendors, including local craftspeople, designers and artists, sets up shop in a Williamsburg warehouse. The browsable mix includes everything from original T-shirts and handmade jewelry to home-decor items and even pet accessories. Earlier this year, a second location opened in Chelsea Market, which means we now have double the opportunity to scoop up one-of-a-kind finds.
Sure, Brooklyn’s decor scene is a bit of a cliché: Most shops are strewn with Edison bulbs and mason jars filled with wildflowers. But this recently revamped ’Burg joint, with its bold colors and cheeky posters—is "Constantly fucking challenge yourself" motivational enough for you?—feels like a breath of fresh air. We’re most psyched about the Bronsen Project Safari ceramic hippos ($95 each) and the Seletti x Diesel Living candle holders ($90–$133).
If you love vintage-style duds and wish your entire apartment was an extension of your closet, think of this as your one-stop shop for retro and repurposed furniture. It recently expanded to a new location, dubbed the Backroom, where you can expect to find barnwood frames ($20–$95), metal-locker baskets ($20) and recycled rugs ($40–$65).
This lifestyle shop in Williamsburg sells high-quality goods during the day, but will host occasional trunk show gone turnt at night. The 1,300-square-foot boutique carries menswear, womenswear and home goods from emerging brands and well-known designers such as Samantha Pleet and more. Shop eclectic and stylish wares from quilted bomber jackets by Hentsch Man ($400) to shearling stowaway bags by KARA ($360). But bargain lovers will be happy for more affordable merch like Mazama glass mugs ($38) and printed tees by Deer Dana ($60).
Okay, we’ll admit the prices at this London import aren’t exactly budget-friendly ($600 for a Gosha Rubchinskiy linen shirt? Yikes.), but that doesn’t stop us from visiting this Murray Hill mecca of high fashion. Dover Street Market features seven small floors of cutting-edge wares by big-time designers and a few up-and-comers. Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons carefully culls the merch, which includes loads of exclusives, including a few (sort of) reasonably priced graphic tees for under $100. Shopping here is like visiting a contemporary gallery, and we don’t just mean the sleek clothing: The walls sport cool art, such as the 60-foot-long sleeve of yarn by street knitter Magda Sayeg that winds through most of the space.