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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 Am thinking possibly dermalogica or Clinique but am hopelessly out of date on the latest brands...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).


mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 04:29:11

You can find OP and Essie nail polish at most drugstores for about that price though you will pay tax on top of the price so your total will come in probably just under $10. Duane Reade has a good selection, same goes for Rite Aid. Ditto Walgreens, but they only have about three locations.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 15-Jan-14 17:42:53

Oh, and just to warn you. They've stopped selling Clinique at the airports but the do sell OPI $8 each.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 15-Jan-14 17:38:03

Honestly, I've just got back. I hate to bang on about old navy but the basics for adults are fab. Mine was in Chelsea a very upmarket area that was let's say , male dominated. Believe me those blokes were lining up for the Old Navy basic long sleeved vests in all colours. My brother said they are brilliantly warm in this weather. I never bought one thing from the kids dept, saved that for American Eagle, Holister, Ralph Lauren and ck underwear from Bloomingdales (which is miles cheaper)

I liked the Union Square area, some great places to eat. Don't forget Five Guys burgers!

WillPenn Wed 15-Jan-14 16:19:36

I would also pay a visit to Nordstrom Rack (one on Union Square I think?). It is the upscale department store Nordstrom's bargain basement store. They do vary according to location but I have got some great deals there especially on expensive jeans - Paige/7FAM for $70. Also often have some tory Burch, Theory, Vince if you are lucky.

The Uniqlo "world" flagship store on 5th Ave is also great - prices a little lower than in the UK.

knowler Wed 15-Jan-14 14:01:38

So jealous! only been to NYC once, but loved it. We were there for a week and spent a good half day (actually, more like a day) in Macys stocking up on mainly work clothes.

my work wardrobe sounds a lot like yours and i bought some brilliant dresses which 4+ years on still look great. One was Calvin Klein and this brand along with other US brands did seem significantly cheaper than here. Can't remember the other dress brands, but there was a massive choice of stuff which was just slightly different from the run of the mill workwear you tend to get in dept stores here.

if i went again i'd try on a few DVF dresses as i think these are cheaper and also last for yonks.

have a great trip smile

Moggy72 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:21:33

Hi there - a more tips from me (lived in New York for 8 years).

Best brands that are cheaper: seven jeans, DVF, Tory burch, juicy.

All available at Bloomingdales. Go to the visitors desk on arrival and get additional 10 per cent discount card. Am not a Macys fan.

Am not a fan of j crew -quite plain stuff and not that cheap

Best local boutiques for skinny jeans and cute dresses and tops : big drop, Searle and scoop.
They all have a few locations around the city but if you go to 75th and third avenue all three shops are right next yo each other.

For cheap designer bargains take bus out to Woodbury commons but will be a whole day out of your trip.

Have fun !!

BeginnerSAHM Wed 15-Jan-14 11:59:16

Well, maybe an Old Navy visit for the children's clothes then.

Anybody have views on J crew? Prices seem v high for what it is. Although it's the same price in dollars as it is in pounds over here so worth getting there IF it's not overpriced in the first place....

mathanxiety Wed 15-Jan-14 03:25:46

I think I was referring to 'cheap and cheerful basics' when I commented that I agreed about Old Navy quality for adult jeans -- though I admit I would lump jeans in with 'basics'.

CiderwithBuda Tue 14-Jan-14 22:50:53

I like the homeware stuff in Target. I'm a bit odd that way!

I have just remembered though that when I went before we were living in Budapest where the shopping was limited so Gap was great whatever the price! My friend did get some bargains on the sale rail though.

I'm not Gap size unfortunately. Hoping to be when I go though. I love Macys as their Plus size section is huge. Hoping not to have to use it this time!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 22:05:11

I don't think anyone recommended jeans from old navy just their casual knocking around stuff. Levi's curve are great but I thought the cut was different somehow this year.

mathanxiety Tue 14-Jan-14 21:21:15

VS bras are poor quality and I agree about Old Navy jeans quality -- they lose their shape fast.

BeginnerSAHM Tue 14-Jan-14 20:57:12

Sadly, they don't even do a 30 back, let alone a 28.... Ah well!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 20:29:42

I found the quality not as good as it used to be and the designs just too sexy. Showing my age!

HoneyStepMummy Tue 14-Jan-14 19:26:24

And I forgot to add...bras...I don't recommend buying them in the US. It's almost impossible to buy small back bras over here. They still use the old fashioned sizing system too. The only place I can find small back large cup bras is Victoria's Secret. I would waste your time buying bras here, plus they're expensive. That being said VS is a really nice shopping experience.

HoneyStepMummy Tue 14-Jan-14 19:21:33

There's a Target in Brooklyn and Jersey City. If you go to Jersey City you won't have to pay clothing tax and you can go check out the Cake Boss' bakery. I mostly go to Target for dog food (!) but they have some brilliant designs very cheaply. If you go to the Target website you can download their instore coupons. Lot's of times they have a % off coupon for clothes which can really add up.
There's lots of overpriced tat in the stores around Times Square. Avoid avoid avoid. If you want to do a cheap breakfast go to Dunkin' Donuts. Really good coffee. Butterfield 8 has a good Happy Hour and great food.
Hopefully I don't sound really cheap...this post is turning into how to save money in NY...

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 18:43:54

Don't eat there not but!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 14-Jan-14 18:43:21

Don't do the SATC tour you can do it yourself. Go to the Magnolia Bakery but don't but there. Down that street you will find Marc Jacobs and other high end boutiques. It's a lovely area and the real SJP lives around the corner. Loads of A Listers live in that area. We went for a drink in here and just walked down. I loved that area. Bleaker street is great for normal bars if you don't just want cocktails. The Red Lion has good live music. I stayed in Chelsea and wouldn't stay anywhere else now. You really felt like a local.

bunnymother Tue 14-Jan-14 18:33:11

Highlights from when we went included cocktails at the bout house in Central Park, oysters at the oyster bar in Grand Central Station, drinks at a roof top bar - stunning skyline views, but might be too cold. Also, Moby was permanently DJing somewhere in Chelsea, I think it was. Well, he was amazing, and his music was nothing like his album music.

For places to eat and drink, have a look at the places they used in Sex and the City - think you can't go wrong w those locations.

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

Brilliant views from here

Try and go to the Highline and potter around Chelsea.

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 18:07:46

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 18:05:50

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...)

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

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.

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.

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