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New York with the girls!

(43 Posts)
BeginnerSAHM Mon 13-Jan-14 09:50:33


I'm shortly going to New York with some friends (hooray!!) and would love to have any tips on (1) which shops in particular to visit and (2) which brands/products are much better value there...

My 'style' is (according to House of Colour anyway wink) 'natural ingenue' - tend to wear skinny jeans, biker boots and coloured sweatshirts or pretty jumpers when 'off duty' and fairly conservative suits or dress + smart cardigan and comfy heels at work. (Due to start work again fairly soon after a year off with the children.)

So... I would like any recommendations for some brands for:

(1) smart separates for work (Theory maybe? Love a suit I have from them but don't like that it is black). Is J Crew as good as all the hype suggests? Seems v expensive to me and a lot like Banana Republic (which I will visit!);

(2) possibly a smart work handbag (budget up to £300 but would rather spend £150ish);

(3) nice 'going out' jeans to suit a (slimish but still) pear shaped bum! I may just go to GAP;

(4) shoes? Going out heels maybe

(5) any beauty products that are much cheaper in the States? Am thinking possibly dermalogica or Clinique but am hopelessly out of date on the latest brands... (Skin is a bit dry, getting wrinkly (am 38) and v pigmentation prone/affected, although I'd recently done a peel thing that helped that!)

Anyway, any help would be gratefully received. I realise my requests for suggestions are rather specific, but you S&B ladies seem to be far more knowledgable than me, so I thought it would be worth asking wink.

Will do a GAP shop for the children and finally get us a family iPad. (Might pass it off as DH's birthday present...) We've been holding off for a while!

Also, has anybody used a personal shopping service in a NY department store?

Thank you (in anticipation).


OllievanderWand Mon 13-Jan-14 10:19:31

No specific advice, only be very chatty and friendly with the shop assistants. When we were in Macys we told our assistant that we were just visiting for the weekend from England, we were over celebrating a special event and he gave us 25% off all our purchases because he 'just loves England' grin We didn't complain!

BeginnerSAHM Mon 13-Jan-14 14:44:55

Great tip...! Thank you!

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 14:45:53

there are loads of threads on this if you have a rootle

LaundryLegoLunch Mon 13-Jan-14 14:54:00

Be wary. Gap is no cheaper over there than here. I was in NY last summer and checked the uk website to compare.

And you often have to add on sales tax to the price on an item. Just enjoy being there but don't expect to fill cases with much cheaper clothes.

burnishedsilver Mon 13-Jan-14 15:00:18

If you bring your passport and flight info to macys customer service desk ( to prove you're a tourist) they'll give you a discount card.

sleepdodger Tue 14-Jan-14 00:08:29

Head out to jersey malls on bus for no tax and escape from wet weather if applicable,
Gap not as good as here and usually more expensive
Apple no cheaper
Clarins Clinique and Mac better value
Sales assistants on commission so v helpful
Dept stores do visitors discount usually equivalent to tax off again
Carry passport for this reason and for alcohol
Tipping is now at min20% for drinks and food it's obscene
Buy a visitors pass prior to arriving for good value museum entry etc works out cheaper
Broadway cheaper tickets from tkts booth nr times sq
Have a blast,

MissScatterbrain Tue 14-Jan-14 09:15:01

Levi jeans are much cheaper over there. The same goes for Hollister etc for teenagers.

Old Navy (part of the GAP group) is fab & great value, ideal if you are buying for fast growing DC. GAP not as good though, not sure about Banana Republic.

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 09:16:09

Thank you!!

Am v excited. Rather surprised at Gap prices but I think things were a bit different last time i went there (and could shop) 10 years ago shock! Such a shame about apple... Ah well!

I think a Jersey mall trip is an excellent idea. I will propose it! And getting visitor tickets in advance.

Thanks again grin.

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 09:23:11

MissScatterbrain - cross-posts but, yes, of course, Levis!! Haven't bought them since I was 16 (when they were having a 'moment' and I got a pair of 501s as a GCSE reward wink). I realise they are supposed to be really good now but haven't tried them.

And thanks for the Old Navy tip !

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 09:27:09

Old Navy is fabulous. Really good quality for casual gear. I live in their lounge pants and hoodies. I've been recently. If you spent $70 you got 40% off the bill. Avoid the Time Square one though. Sephora is great for make up sets that you can't get here. Other than that I only found Clinique skin care to be cheaper beauty wise. Levi jeans are practically half price. Holister is cheaper also. Macy's is great for kids Ralph Lauren. It all had 40percent off.

Enjoy the city though. Try to be disciplined with your shopping habits or else you will spend all your time in and out of shops.

Williamsburg is great for quirky jewellery. Find out when the flea market is on.

Where are you staying? Centuary 21 on Columbus Circle is better than the main one. Got all my spanx and tights from there.

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 12:19:14

Thanks lighthouse! Staying in the Gramercy area...

HoneyStepMummy Tue 14-Jan-14 16:36:56

The best TJ Maxx ever is the one on Wall St. They have very upscale and heavily discounted items, I really recommend it. It doesn't get as crowded as Century 21.
Aldo's and Century 21 are great for shoes.
Michael Kors has really nice handbags and dresses, and you can also get Michael Kors at TJ Maxx.
If you are looking for knockoffs or trinkets for teens etc. Canal Street in China Town is the way to go. Bring cash and avoid the perfume vendors like the plague.
There are trips/buses to get to the outlets in NJ. Ask the hotel desk clerk about them. Like someone else mentioned we have no sales tax in NJ on clothing purchases. If you like Coach handbags the Coach outlets have really good deals.
I think Old Navy is good for v. cheap and cheerful basics, but the quality is shoddy and the sizes are huge! It is very good for kids though.
I do recommend getting a mani-pedi, facial, massage, spray tan or blowout over here. It's very inexpensive and I book everything through
Most bars and restaurants offer Happy Hour specials during the week. I usually call up where ever I'm going and check what specials they have going on. By getting there a bit earlier you can save quite a bit!
Look for coupons online and ask at the hotel too. Some stores (for example Victoria's Secret) have a survey invite at the bottom on their receipts. If you complete the survey you get a discount code. I bought a $50 gift cerficate, completed the survey, then went back into the store and got $10 off my $50 purchase.
How you have a great trip!!

MrsDavidBowie Tue 14-Jan-14 16:39:42

Give David a wave from me! envy

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 17:16:39

Wow!! Thanks Honeystepmummy....! Fab tips!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 17:20:05

Victorias secrets not what it used to be. I got all my underwear from centuary 21. We love Old Navy the quality is fab compared to the thin cotton we get hear. It's not high fashion but it's fab for casual stuff.

Go to Gramercy Tavern. I'm so jealous. Roll on 2015!

MissBeehiving Tue 14-Jan-14 17:29:14

envy Go to the Campbell Apartment. Old NY glamour

Cherrypie32 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:38:58

I'm going with hubby in March so find this info useful also. Sadly the exchange rate a few years ago was what made shopping in the States a must, in the data when you got 2 dollars to the pound there were lots of bargains to be had. I plan on buying Levi Curve jeans and possibly new Converse or Ash trainers but these are same price in dollars as pounds so I will only save a few quid. Shopping in NY is only half the fun, being there, eating there, sightseeing there etc is just fab!

CiderwithBuda Tue 14-Jan-14 17:45:40

Great thread. I'm going in May wth my sisters for my 50th.

Have been before and love it.

We did find Apple a bit cheaper. And a friend got some great bargains in Gap. I think you can be lucky or unlucky - like anywhere really.

HoneyStepMummy - I love Target. There isn't one in Manhattan I don't think. Any recommendations for one? Pref a SuperTarget.

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 18:01:38

There's one in Harlem and one in Brooklyn. I'm not sure they are supersize ones.

Honestly I spent hours with my friend looking at Apple stuff and in the Gap. I was practically in tears. It's really not worth your while using up you baggage allowance and precious hours shopping for stuff that's only going to save you afew quid. I bought Burts Bees there and when I got home it was cheaper in a Boots! Honestly it's such a vibrant exciting place I would spend a day shopping and that would be it.

Do go to Brooklyn flea though and also pizza at it's yummy and the views fantastic.

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 18:04:06

Don't worry, we won't just be shopping wink! We've planned a visit to the opera, booked a couple of dinners out (complete with cocktails to start, of course) and I will definitely be going to the MoMA again (with or without my fellow companions)! Thank you for all the tips though - I am avidly compiling a list of what to do. Soooo excited now!! grin

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 18:05:50

On the off chance, anybody know if I can buy small back bras there?? Suspect things might be better here as Bloomingdales, Barneys etc don't seem to sell any 28 back bras. (Guessing I am a 28D - currently wear 30C but band too big...)

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 18:07:46

Try and go to The Frick Collection. I wished I'd broke away from the group now and had a day to myself. Next time!

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 18:14:51

The Frick Collection is now top of my list (after a quick web browse).... Looks brilliant. Shame we'll miss the Rembrandt. Thank you!!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 18:27:33

Brilliant views from here

Try and go to the Highline and potter around Chelsea.

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