We’ve all wasted precious hours and foot power on missions to stores somebody’s friend recommended to us that turned out to be a complete disaster. For me, it was a “super cool” store in Greenwich Village that a friend turned me on to when I was a teenager on the Upper East Side. Nothing needs to be said other than the fact that DayGlo wasn’t right for me then and isn’t right for me now. Here are some places that won’t let you down.
For Uptown folks: Bloomingdales
For Downtown folks: Atrium
These stores offer the best way to shop for jeans: locate a huge selection, pile dozens on your shoulders and head for dressing rooms where you, mercifully, have fewer salespeople telling you how “faaahbulous” you look in a pair of blues you hate.
Best Lingerie Mixona
For those with ta-ta’s or without, Mixona offers a delicious mix of casual and luxe, simple and frou-frou that can fit any gal (or her significant other’s) pocketbook.
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Bergdorf Goodman & Bergdorf Goodman Men
Everyone always hits the pavement running when it comes to the restaurants they want to sample once the guardians arrive, but next time plan on picking up something to cover your ass — be it Gucci or Theory or Juicy.
For gals: Destination
For fellas: Paul Smith
Destination is a Meatpacking menagerie of genuinely unique accessories, from sculpted hats to one-of-a-kind jewelry. Paul Smith blends Brit-punk influences with a touch of old school class.
Best Fantasy Shopping Alexander McQueen
Born in London’s East End, McQueen has earned his status as the bad boy genius of fashion with aggressive, tailored, fantastical pieces that might even be more fun to look at than to wear. Think of it as “Breakfast at McQueen’s.”
Best Resale/Vintage INA & INA Men
This ain’t no East Village or LES bargain-bin diving. Edith and Daha might be my favorite ‘thrifty’ store, but INA hand-picks designer pieces from neighborhood fashionistas who’ve worn them twice to create a virtual closet on consignment for others to enjoy.
Best Designer Knock-Offs Zara & Zara Men
Quit rolling your eyes, it’s true. Three years ago I bought an exact replica of the white Donna Karan dress with metal at the shoulder and hip that Demi Moore wore on a Vogue cover. Since then I’ve found Balenciaga balloon skirts and Marc Jacobs jumpers, so get hooked before the Canal Street police rat them out.
Best Place to Fall in Love
Young Designer’s Market
Like the Union Square Farmer’s Market for Fashion, this massive Nolita space supports lesser-known designers. Wander around and find some unknown guy making T-shirts in his basement and wear your new treasure around like a hickey on your neck.
Best Place to Find What ‘That Girl’ is Wearing
Castor & Pollux
You know who I’m talking about — that girl in your office or your video store or your neighborhood teashop that always wears what you wish you were wearing. Beat her at her own game. Just try not to spend all your hard-earned cash in one place.