Wednesday 8 August 2012

New York - A Shopper's Guide

Helloooo :) I wasn't too sure about how to organise my NYC photos and how to split them into different posts but I knew I definitely wanted to do a post like this. I'm not in any way saying I'm a New York expert, in fact, I've only ever been there once - but when I was researching the best places to shop and where I could find quirky shops or vintage boutiques I really struggled to discover anything but the obvious, I mean everyone knows there's a Macy's in NYC right? Soo I turned to you guys and I got some really cool responses, I didn't get to visit every single place that was recommended but below are my NYC faves for those who love a good shop...


Brooklyn is an area of New York known for being trendy and it's where a lot of the artsy people moved to when central Manhattan became increasingly expensive, we went to Williamsburg which was really quick and easy to get to from the city. In short, Williamsburg is an awesome place if you want vintage, quirky or secondhand items - every Sunday there's a flea market on the waterfront and although I thought it was kinda expensive, it's cool to hunt around and maybe discover something you fall in love with. From the flea market you can also get an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline across the water, so although I didn't make a purchase it was definitely worth a visit.

After visiting the 'Brooklyn Flea' we decided to have a bit of a wander around the area, on most streets there were people selling their one-off items or creations and the whole vibe was just really cool and inspired. The next store we came across was 'The Artist and the Flea' - it was basically a really quirky inside market, there was everything from vintage stalls to people selling handcrafted jewellery and art pieces: I managed to like the only rare vintage item in there, a t-shirt that cost a mere $175, yep bargain I'll have 3!
The best store we discovered in Brooklyn (in my opinion anyway) was Crossroads Trading - it's huge secondhand shop that buys clothes from people who no longer want them and then resells them at a really affordable price! I stumbled upon a really cool grey flannel shirt in the men's section that only cost me $9.50! I'm still debating over whether or not to cut the shoulders out or to just keep it as a basic, wear with anything shirt. Also in Crossroads I found a dark denim jacket that was so similar to my Topshop one that I didn't buy it, despite it only being $13!! (face palms) I am absolutely kicking myself that I didn't have my creative head on that day, why didn't I just buy it to customise!? It would've looked awesome bleached...ho hum, hindsight is a wonderful thing..


Soho is another Manhattan district known for being ultra fashionable and artsy - here you will find the likes of H&M, Topshop, Urban Outfitters and other well known mega stores. My favourite shop however was one recommended to me in a previous post, Brandy Melville houses a cool range of basic, edgy items for really great prices. I did have some issues with this particular store though, for one, the sales assistants were terrible - using the changing rooms to change into clothes from the store so they could wear them and then put them back for people to buy, whilst there was a queue of about 8 customers waiting to use the fitting rooms (cheeky or what!) and also that's 'one size fits most', the clothing did fit me but I just think this makes the shop less accessible to anyone over a UK size 10 or 12. Having said that, I did love the whole aesthetic of the brand and the way all of their pieces could be incorporated into almost any wardrobe, I liked that it wasn't just your usual Topshop, AA or UO - I wanted to discover something different in NYC and Brandy Melville allowed me to do just that! I purchased a floral print vest for $18 that was really similar to a print I'd seen on Nasty Gal, I was also tempted by a cream and black repeated skull print jumper that was really cute - if you're off to NYC I urge you to check it out :)


I found that the main shopping corridors in central NYC are Fifth Avenue, Broadway and Madison Avenue, although just wandering around the city it's almost inevitable that you will stumble upon an Urban Outfitters or an American Apparel, so don't worry so much about finding big name brands. Times Square is such a surreal area to visit, walking through there you will find a Forever 21, Levis and a ton of venders selling the iconic 'I <3 NY' t-shirts for around $5 - I have to admit I did purchase a grey one that I plan to cut into either a crop top or a sleeveless muscle's a necessity when you visit for the first time right?
On the Sunday that we arrived there was a huge Summer Street Fair on Madison Avenue that spanned over 10 blocks! It was really cool to see the contrast between market tents and the out-of-this-world sky rises that stood immediately behind them, it was also interesting to walk down a New York street without any traffic! My Dad bought me an antiquey looking silver ring with a purple stone from one of the stalls so they're definitely worth checking out for some unusual jewellery; if you're planning a trip to NYC you should definitely find out if there's any street fairs or markets on around where your staying, I think they occur fairly regularly in different areas :)

Tax and Tips

  • New York doesn't make you pay tax on any clothing or footwear item under $110 - accessories however are always taxed and I think it's an additional 4%.
  • If you plan on buying a touristy type t-shirt, for example the 'I <3 NY' ones, don't be pulled in by actual shops or tourist destinations that sell them for around $20-$25: you can buy the from as low as $2 from a street vender (as dodgy as some of them look!)
  • Now I don't want to sound like your mum or anything, but something as simple as crossing the street in NYC can mean taking your life into your own hands - green lights, red lights and the fact that cars are quite capable killing machines seems to mean nothing to people! During my stay I was almost hit by a motorbike twice because the driver just wasn't paying attention to us on a be careful please, I'd like you all alive to read my next post.
  • It may seem really obvious, but British brands are likely to be more expensive! Yes that means Topshop, All Saints, Lush and Jack Wills all raise their prices in their US stores - some more than others, yes Topshop, I'm looking at you. So it's probably best to wait til you're home for those ones.
  • Having said that, take advantage of Forever 21, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and other American type brands - they're likely to be a lot cheaper than in the UK. Disco pants for £52 instead of £70? Uhm, yes please!

I hope this post was vaguely helpful to anyone planning a trip to NYC, I'm clearly not an expert I just wanted to share a few of my favourite places with you from my trip last week!
Thank you to anyone who actually sat and read all of that...I know it was a bit of an essay.

I will have an America Haul coming up, I might do it as a video because taking photos of everything will just take ages - I'm currently awaiting 2 parcels though so fingers crossed they arrive before I leave on Saturday!

Let me know if you'd like shopping guides for any other cities or areas (UK ones preferably!). I'd love to do more, maybe of places I go to often and can properly review, maybe more concisely, NYC is rather large! Shopping destinations I'm thinking of now are Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Derby and let me know!

Love Ellen xx



  1. I love this, I went to New York in April but couldn't do any of the things you were able to do because I went with my school. However next time I go I'm definitely going to try your tips :)

    try birmingham; the bullrings amazing even though its packed! ;) xx

  2. This is a great post, really helpful and in-depth. I really want to visit NY someday in the not too distant future so I'll bear your tips in mind!

  3. Great post hun, I am planning to go to New York this time next year which I am really excited about :) Fab tips!


  4. I am so desperate to go to New York, hopefully i'll get to go after i finish uni!

    Good tips anyway! :)

  5. oooh great post and cool blog :D

    Now following you!

    Please check out my blog if you can, thank you :)


  6. Hi dear :) in love with your blog hun! what do you think of following each other on GFC and bloglovin'? Let me know
    Keep in touch


  7. This post is really great and if i ever go to New York/America (and hopefully soon i will!) i'll definitely be taking not of this!
    Ellie from Her Young Heart.

  8. This is a really good idea! I wish i could visit NYC! It looks so beautiful, i will go there one day!

  9. great & interesting post dear! i love NY! I hope to go there one day :)
    bisous xxx

  10. Wow great post!! I hope I could visit New York someday! It looks beautiful:) Xx

  11. This is such a great post! Dying to go shopping in NYC xxx

  12. NYC looks lovely!! Really hope to go there someday :)

  13. THANK YOU for this post!amazing one!love love love, NY=dream city.
    following each other?yes no?
    yours truly, L.

  14. Thanks for checking out my blog :) You've got yourself a new follower! Love the posts :)


    Hannah (my blog: ❂ MARIBLEU ❂)

  15. Great tips in here! Thanks for sharing :)

  16. love your blog, followed! would you mind checking mine out ? maybe we could follow echother?


  17. Great tips :) I so want to go to New York again!

  18. Looks great! I really want to go to New York!

    Please check out my blog:

  19. I desperatly want to go to ny and especialy brooklyn! I thought that i should notfiy you that my blog is no longer called rose dust x, it is now called Fashion Rhapsody and is now under the domain

    Thanks for following me, Rose x

  20. I am so jealous right now. Those markets look lovely and I can't wait to see a post of all your finds xx

  21. Aw iv always wanted to go to America but have never been... Yet :-) Just started following your blog, love your style, please follow mine thanks x

  22. i would love to go to new york sometime!,


  23. Such a handy post considering me and my friends are planning a trip to New York next Christmas. I sympathise with you on the road crossing situation, in LA cars were oblivious to people on foot!

    Lindsey. x

  24. Great post !! I hope in 2 OR 3 years I'll go in New York or LA !!

    Nice blog

    Bisous from France

  25. Lovely post :) It looks likes such a cool place to visit, especially for the markets! X

  26. I really like the pictures on your blog! So amazing and inspirational !

    Please check me out at og

    Huge hugs !

  27. great post! Makes me so homesick <3

    XO Sahra

  28. Great guide! I'm definitely going to take a trip to Brooklyn next time I'm in New York! x


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