Ready to give the credit card a workout? Brilliant. New York City is teeming with amazing stores, from latest-and-greatest fashion and homewares to vintage treasures, independent designers, affordable boutiques, sassy souvenirs and delicious take-home treats.
For unique NYC souvenirs – bags and clothing that proclaim a love for the city, locally made jewellery, subway-themed toys – consider the gift stores of museums. Here you'll find some of the loveliest and most original goods, at reasonable prices to boot. Check out the wares at Tenement Museum, MoMA Design Store, Museum of the City of New York and Studio Museum in Harlem.
Bargain hunters know the best outlet stores (hundreds of them) are at Woodbury Common, 90-minutes' drive north of Manhattan. Bring an empty suitcase or buy one there: Samsonite and Tumi have discount stores at the mall, as do fashion faves including Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren and Emporio Armani. Buses depart regularly from Midtown. A growing number of outlet stores are also popping up in downtown Brooklyn.
NYC is a city that inspires writers, poets and photographers. Shop for books about the city (and plenty of other subjects) at Strand Bookstore, a legendary independent store with "18 miles of new, used and rare books".
During Black Friday sales (always held the day after Thanksgiving), citywide drastic discounts make it almost worth fighting the crowds. Lessen the pain and shop the big-name brands – including Uniqlo, Victoria's Secret and the Gap – in one place at 34th Street Herald Square or down in Soho.
For original fashion boutiques, covetable homewares and urban essentials, consider a trip to Brooklyn. Find many stores worth visiting along Atlantic Avenue, Bedford Avenue and 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Brooklyn bonus: decent coffee to fuel your spree.
Artists & Fleas is the place for fossickers and foragers. Open daily in Chelsea Market and on weekends in Williamsburg, it attracts top-notch vendors selling their handmade jewelry, vintage lamps, repurposed clothing and much more. Artsy and cool.
A history lesson mixed with a shopping spree by way of celebrity inspiration? Oh, yes please. Housed in a brownstone where Malcolm X once lived, Harlem Haberdashery offers tailored suits, ancy footwear and clever T-shirts at a range of price points. Have the founders dressed Jay Z? Yes, they have.
Going on a hot date with a flirty New Yorker? You'll need to bring your fashion A-game. Rent the Runway is a popular high-end dress-rental service where the coolest designer gear from labels including Opening Ceremony, Vera Wang and Prada is available for short-term loan at a fraction of its label cost.
Homewares & furniture
Deck your home out with elements of NYC interior style, with repurposed vintage furniture and homewares from Brooklyn Reclamation. Dining tables might be a pain to ship, but recycled rugs and photo frames are a different story. Shop for furniture and design inspiration at Restoration Hardware.
Spoil friends & family
Spoil friends back home with made-in-New-York Malin + Goetz skincare, Mast Brothers Chocolate or a gift basket from Bklyn Larder.