Prepare to drop some serious dollar…
New York has always been a shopping mecca. This has only been solidified in my mind through my recent binge-watch of Sex in The City (Amazing! Loved it! Can’t wait to watch it again!). Back in the day the running joke was that you headed to NYC with an empty suitcase and returned with a full one and although the current financial climate doesn’t make it as appealing these days, it’s still home to stores that will make you want to drop some serious dollar. My advice would be stick to those that you’re currently unable to get in the U.K or items that are made in the U.S that tend to be a tad cheaper over there, otherwise just do a good ol’ online shop sesh on your return.
Still, you want to make sure you have a bit of extra space in your suitcase though as you won’t be leaving these places empty handed…
WHERE TO SHOP FOR BEAUTY
There’s an obvious pick here – Glossier. If you can’t already tell by the contents of today’s video, I’m a little bit obsessed with the brand; partly because we’re currently unable to ship it to the UK (although that’s changing later this year apparently) and partly because it’s the brainchild of Emily Weiss, the founder of Into The Gloss, who I just think is the coolest chick ever. They have a showroom on top of their offices on Lafayette Street down in Soho and it’s pretty darn cool. It’s always pretty buzzing and all the products are out for you to have a play with, plus the place is Instagram gold. Think minimalist beauty, with a heavy emphasis on glow and skincare, that doesn’t break the bank. THE DREAM. Purchases are made by ticking off a shopping list, and yes I ticked the majority of them. If you leave empty handed I’ll eat my hat.
Speaking of more traditional beauty bits, the Sephora on Union Square is the best I’ve ever visited. It’s seriously massive. I recommend meeting your other half outside after doing your supermarket sweep in there as they’ll never be able to find you inside. The beauty halls of Barney’s are pretty spectacular if you’re after some luxe and harder to find brands, Blue Mercury is a great place to source them too. If you fancy a completely customisable experience then head to the BITE Beauty Lip Lab where you can mix and blend up your own lipstick – how cool is that?! My tip would be to head there early as you can’t pre-book and spots there fill up fast each day.
WHERE TO SHOP FOR FASHION
If you’re looking to add some new items into your wardrobe then you can’t really go wrong with heading down to the Soho area of town. They’ve got you covered down there as it connects up a really banging stretch on Broadway with the backstreets that are home to luxury stores and NY-based designers. There are some great finds on Grand Street, Mercer Street and Broome Street and check out the Madewell on Broadway as they do some really lovely basics, great quality jewellery and leather goods that are tough to source in the U.K. They also specialise in dainty summer-wear that doesn’t make you feel like you have your butt hanging out if you need to beef up your holiday wardrobe.
Reformation is an obvious stop whilst you’re down there as again it’s something that has yet to make it to our shores. I didn’t think that it would be to my taste from the silky, side-booby dresses I’d seen on Instagram but I found myself being sucked in with the soft fabrics and before you knew it I was trying on a royal blue silk number in the changing rooms. It was lush (and unfortunately out of stock in the size that I needed), but they also did some great shoes, denim and jumpsuits in there. I can see myself heading to their site when my next capsule wardrobe season rolls around.
One place I did buy some clothing from (only because they don’t currently ship to the UK – boo!), which you’ll see in a ‘His and Hers Haul’ video with Mark is AYR, which stands for All Year Round. Based just a few doors up from Glossier (handy!), they specialise in providing pieces that fit in all year round – screw the seasonal stuff. They do jeans real good and the only dose of colour in their line-up was blue. I know – my personal heaven. I could easily have an AYR-exclusive wardrobe.
WHERE TO SHOP FOR FITNESS
It would be rude not to have a wee little look in Lululemon when you’re in the U.S as although U.K stores exist, they are few and far between. Although the saving buying it over there isn’t as alluring as it once was, you still do make one and they do tend to have styles available that haven’t made it to our turf just yet. I highly recommend the Namaste-Put Hipsters which are the most comfortable pants on the planet (I used to wear them just for working out in, but now wear them daily), or the Align Pants which again are the most comfortable leggings that I own. If I could wear these everyday I would.
For something different though, give Outdoor Voices a try. You can ship these over, so I’d actually given them a go before, but I’d never been to a store and let me tell you – they’re bloody beautiful. Their NY store is right behind AYR (you see why I said Soho is the shopping patch to top all shopping patches?) and is full of the most non-workout looking workout clothes I’ve ever seen. You might assume that they don’t live up to the job, but they do! I wore my new buys to my first personal training session in yonks last week and they didn’t show sweat, dig in or rub and they moved perfectly with my body without any bunching or cutting in. I’ve been scouting the website and eyeing up the same designs, but in different colours – try the 3/4 Two-Tone Warmup Legging. That’s how good the stuff is. I’m converted. Plus, who doesn’t want a pair of leggings that you can squat in, just as easy as you can eat Sunday brunch in?
WHERE TO SHOP FOR MENSWEAR
I wasn’t the only one pounding the pavements with a glint in my eye and dollars during a hole in my pocket, Mark did some serious shopping whilst we were out there too. He loved Steven Alan which was featured a mix of their own brand, along with other higher end ones. Side note: They also did womenswear and had the most beautiful collection of jewellery I’ve ever seen out by the front, with some great bags and shoes too. If you’re other half wants to visit here, don’t complain and go with them – there’s plenty for you to browse.
Mark loved The Lodge. He’s been looking for a new wallet for the last million years that I’ve known him. It had become a running joke between us that he’d never actually buy a new wallet because he’d dismissed so many and still loved his now battered old one. Then he visited The Lodge, came back completely overexcited and with a new wallet in tow. I actually said – ‘Are you kidding?’ – when he called to tell me he’d got one. He also picked up a few other bits, but said it was one of the best places for accessories that he’d ever been in.
Other notable mentions have to go to any Van’s shop out there because they do work out to be cheaper and have a tonne of styles, APC which Mark has decided is his new favourite shop (although it works out wayyyy cheaper to buy it back in Europe) and Fjällräven which Mark informs me is a great shop for outdoor-appropriate clothing and accessories. Yeah, skip the later and head to Steven Alan, you won’t be disappointed.
Photos by Mark Newton & yours truly