Bag Big Name Brands
Plow through the Bway, the aptly named, crowded main-floor arcade that feels like Times Square on Saturday, and hit the second floor for trendy, well-priced American brands. Bloomingdale's also carries all the requisite big-name designer labels and houses an extensive selection of lingerie. The Soho location caters to a younger, hipper crowd.
1000 Third Ave., at 59th St.; 212-705-2000. 504 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 212-729-5900; bloomingdales.com.
Because You Can Afford to Look Fabulous
Barneys New York
Anyone worth her Manolos will tell you that Barneys’s Madison Avenue flagship is the final word in edgy designer fashion. The lower floors house sophisticated, expensive items like Prada suits; in the upstairs Co-op department, you’ll find rag & bone jeans, Alexander Wang dresses, and oversize Helmut Lang tees.
660 Madison Ave., nr. 61st St.; 212-826-8900; barneys.com.
The home of department-store designer leftovers that are at least—and often far more than—40 percent off. You’ll find everything from Hanes to Helmut Lang for men and women. The linen-department deals are even more incredible.
22 Cortlandt St., nr. Broadway; 212-227-9092; c21stores.com,
Shop for the Home
Restoration Hardware Outlet
Buy luxury home furnishings without going broke at this massive discount warehouse. The 20,700-square-foot space at Sky View Center features the brand’s timeless furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, and outdoor and garden wares, all at significantly reduced prices.
131-07 40th Rd., nr. College Point Blvd., Suite C-305, Queens; 718-353-4303; restorationhardware.com.
Make a Playdate
American Girl Place
The 43,000-square-foot behemoth is home to a full line of eighteen-inch historical dolls (dressed in period clothes), a café, a bookstore, and a photo studio that brings the dolls’ characters to life.
609 Fifth Ave., nr. 49th St.; 877-247-5223; americangirl.com.
For the Tech-Savvy
The two-story space boasts a showstopping glass staircase and a translucent walkway that glimmers in the sunshine flooding in from skylights. Test-drive everything in sight (iPads, MacBooks, software), play stump-the-tech-experts at the Genius Bar upstairs, or sit in on the free daily instructional seminars.
103 Prince St., nr. Greene St.; 212-226-3126.
Explore the Downtown Crowd-Pleaser
This onetime artists' mecca has since morphed into the city's poshest outdoor mall. Cobblestoned streets and loftlike spaces make the neighborhood a prettier spot for shopping than the average galleria, but do expect seemingly impenetrable throngs on your way from Vince to Barney's Co-op.
W. Houston St. to Canal St.; Broadway to Sixth Ave.
Return of a Classic
In 1862, German immigrant Frederick August Otto Schwarz began supplying New York society with Europe’s finest toys. Today you’ll find a smattering of ultra-high-end goods and an array of stuffed animals, dolls, train sets, blocks, board games, and even candy.
767 Fifth Ave.; nr. 58th St.; 212-644-9400; fao.com.
While You Wait
Grand Central Terminal
Looking for authentic New York cheesecake? You don't need to trek out to Brooklyn. This spectacularly restored landmark boasts a Junior's outpost—along with classy lounge the Campbell Apartment, the famous Oyster Bar & Restaurant, and a slew of shops, including Apple, Jo Malone, L'Occitane, Banana Republic, Papyrus, and many more.
42nd St., at Park Ave.; grandcentralterminal.com.
Take a Fresh-Food Break
The Greenmarket at Union Square
Farmers from as far away as Vermont arrive at this outdoor market four times weekly, toting the freshest produce and an ample selection of flowers. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Plan B: If it rains, roam the long corridor at Chelsea Market, stopping for lunch, pastries, produce, or unusual blooms at their wholesale flower market.
Union Square Greenmarket, 17th St., at Broadway; 212-788-7476; cenyc.org. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 15th St.; 212-243-6005; chelseamarket.com.
Score a Little Blue Box
Tiffany & Co.
The most democratic of the big jewelry houses, Tiffany’s welcomes shoppers who come by town cars, taxis, and tour buses. Snap up key rings, money clips, and cuff links, or invest in beautifully made men's watches, kitchenware, or their classic six-prong diamond engagement ring.
727 Fifth Ave., nr. 57th St.; 212-755-8000; tiffany.com.
The throngs of bargain hunters, thumping music, and huge fitting-room lines could fray even a Zen master’s nerves, but you can’t beat this Swedish chain’s ridiculously low prices on must-haves of the moment.
Various locations; hm.com.
Shop the Miracle on 34th Street
If you're looking for cutting-edge fashion, head elsewhere. This is the spot for essentials from all the big brands—everyone from Guess and Esprit to Ralph, Donna, and Calvin, and at all prices in between.
151 W. 34th St., nr. Broadway; 212-695-4400; macys.com.
Why God Made Window-Shopping
This haute strip boasts fifteen blocks of celebrity designer shops (Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Kate Spade) and flagship fashion-house boutiques (Prada, Hermès, Chanel). Kick things off at Mulberry on 57th Street, and be sure to leave some time for the grand finale at Ralph Lauren on 72nd Street.
Madison Ave., 57th St. to 72nd St.
Shop a Classic
Saks Fifth Avenue
This top-end department store is filled with major American designers and plenty of Europeans, plus a complete collection of diffusion lines. The ninth-floor swimwear department swells seasonally to accommodate classics and styles with a little more va-va-voom.
611 Fifth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-753-4000; saksfifthavenue.com.
Not Your Average Drugstore
No one needs 80 kinds of hair brushes, but they look cool all lined up on the shelves. Ditto for wigs in shades of neon and hair bands in every shape. Makeup artists hoard the tiny plastic pots and bottles; club kids come for extensions and body glitter.
Various locations; rickys-nyc.com.
Score a Suit
Ladies who lunch still come here for endless variations on the daytime suit; younger customers flock to the fifth floor for Vince, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Diane von Furstenberg dresses. The second-floor shoe salon is dazzling enough to get any woman in trouble, and the massive bag collection is equally dangerous.
754 Fifth Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-753-7300; bergdorfgoodman.com.
Meet the Mod Squad
In the disco era, Henri Bendel was the epicenter of modish New York. These days, the shop stays cool with favorites like Earl Jeans and Shoshanna dresses, as well as styles from designers like Sophia Kokosalaki. Visit the Tiffany’s Closet boutique for vintage handbags and jewelry.
712 Fifth Ave., nr. 56th St.; 212-247-1100; henribendel.com.
One-Stop Shop for Athletic Apparel
This nationwide sportswear chain was first started as a yoga apparel shop but now carries a variety of athletic clothing and accessories for men and women. The spandex pants and sweat-proof tops come in flattering shapes and colors, and there are socks, tees, shorts, and jackets designed to wick moisture as well.
408 W. 14th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-255-2978; lululemon.com.
Browse Sixteen Miles of Books
Strand Book Store
Established in 1927, the dusty, flea-market-esque Strand is the largest, cheapest secondhand-book store in town. It carries everything from current fiction to old cookbooks, art tomes, and rare reads.
828 Broadway, at 12th St.; 212-473-1452; strandbooks.com.
Make a Spectacle
The e-tailer extraordinaire of $95 retro-collegiate eyeglasses (prescription lenses included) unveiled its first storefront in 2013. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are packed with 250-plus pairs of handcrafted acetate frames for men and women. A green-screen photo booth helps shoppers determine which pairs best suit their face, and eye exams are $50 flat and offered seven days a week.
121 Greene St., nr. Prince St.; 646-568-3720; warbyparker.com.
Hitch a Ride Inside
Toys 'R' Us
Why spend your city time in this suburban staple? Smack in the middle of their midtown store sits a giant Ferris wheel. Go for a loop, then make a beeline for the exit. You can always stock up on the chain's discounted name-brand toys and games later.
1514 Broadway, nr. 44th St.; 646-366-8800; toysrus.com.
Fast Fashion, Spanish-Style
Although today’s trend turnover continues at a blistering pace, Spanish retailer Massimo Dutti offers a back-to-classics approach. Its three-story, 13,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by its sister company, Zara, focuses on built-to-last staples that take cues from European tailoring and classic silhouettes. Prices for men’s and women’s clothing and accessories are on the higher side for fast fashion, but it’s worth it.
689 Fifth Ave., nr. 54th St.; 212-371-2555; massimodutti.com.
Way Beyond Sneakers
Adidas Originals Store
With an inspired collection, the triple-stripe sportswear company has moved out of the gym and into retro fashion. Young jocks and wannabe D.J.’s come here for anything from key chains, track suits, and tees to limited-edition shoes.
136 Wooster St., nr. Prince St.; 212-673-0398; adidas.com.
More Shopping Recommendations
Best of New York Shopping
View the slideshow to see the best shops for designer deadstock, vintage everything, housewares, hoodies, and more.