February 27, 2015 - Comments Off on Shopping Guide: Where To Shop in NYC
Pro Tip: Avoid this scene at all costs // Photo by Joey Lax-Salinas on Flickr
Shopping in New York City can be a lot of things, but the first word that comes to mind is "overwhelming." If dodging camera-toting tourists, waiting in fitting room lines long enough to make it through your entire Instagram feed, and battling techno music-induced headaches (down with the trendy department store DJs), this round-up is for you.
It can be tough to pull out the gems among the "quantity over quality" global retailers that seem to be on every corner of the city. Nicole Lenzen (who confesses to not really enjoy shopping in most cases) has a few go-to spots for low-key browsing of timeless wardrobe essentials and quality designs that will last for years to come—if you give them the care they need. Give our NYC shopping guide a read and start planning that buying spree.
Clothes: Eva Gentry Consignment
If you couldn't tell, we're really into the idea of clothes having a story behind them. Eva Gentry does consignment like no one else. All of the pieces comes from tried-and-true names (think McQueen, Margiela, Band of Outsiders, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler) guaranteeing that you're going home with a piece that's sure to impress.
Nicole's recommendation: Eva Gentry definitely has a knack for retail buying. I came across her stores in Boerum Hill by first wandering into her high-fashion boutique (killer avant-garde aesthetic leaning very Antwerp-Six). Then I discovered her consignment shop down the street (which now appears to be her sole business focus), with an amazing collection of designer pieces in impeccable condition, across a wider style spectrum.
371 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Stop into Kaight for a taste of Brooklyn designers, and stories behind the brands. All of the pieces in the store (womenswear, accessories, and gifts) are made sustainability and/or are locally produced. The shop was recently named Best NYC Sustainable Fashion Boutique by Ecocult.
Nicole's Recommendation: Kate (founder and owner of Kaight) has a nice eye for curation and I always enjoy browsing her shop. Plus she has always only carried lines with an ethical and sustainable focus. If I'm going to buy something new, I always try to shop from someone I respect. (Plus it's fun catching up with her if she's in the store, always a rewarding experience!)
382 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Bird is a Williamsburg retail landmark. The merchandise has changed quite a bit from more local designers to known names, but it's a good stop for a weekend stroll in the neighborhood. They have a great blog tracking fashion trends and new arrivals that's definitely worth a look.
Nicole's Recommendation: Bird does a nice job culling together collections for women and men. Owner Jennifer Mankins is a pioneer of fashion retail in Brooklyn—she deserves credit for that. She's made a significant impact on the retail landscape. The store is a nice go-to spot if you want to drag your boyfriend along shopping after brunch (he's got options there too!).
203 Grand Street, Brooklyn NY
220 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY
316 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Clothes (Designer): Phillip Lim
Sometimes treating yourself to an impeccably made design is the right thing to do. The perk of buying from a high-end designer is the high level of customer service you'll experience in the store. Phillip Lim has a gorgeous new store that offers all of this and more—whether you're window shopping or looking for that piece that was just made for you.
Nicole's Recommendation: The new Phillip Lim store is really beautiful. If I feel like trying on beautiful pieces or splurging on something well-deserved (like a gorgeous knit sweater with a felted collar) I'll stop in on occasion. It's nice to have attentive, yet never pushy, customer service and that level of attention to detail.
48 Great Jones Street, New York, NY
Clothes (Vintage): 10 Ft. Single
You're going to want a few hours when you head to 10 Ft. Single. With racks and racks of vintage gems and a back room of designer pieces, they've got enough material to keep you busy for an entire afternoon. Aside from the clothing, this vintage free-for-all also has a wide assortment of scarves.
Nicole's Recommendation: If I'm looking for something vintage, there are a couple places I go. There's 10 ft. Single on North 6th—I think it's Japanese-run and it's huge. Rather than going to a Beacon's Closet where everything is either from Gap or H&M, this place does have some variety across decades, and items of decent quality. Their selection is pretty fun - some of the vintage dresses I wear dancing I've gotten from there. (Plus I don't mind gazing up at the larger-than-life Sean Connery 007 poster on their wall!)
285 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY
Shoes: Cole Haan
Originally a men's footwear brand, Cole Haan has long since ditched the single-gender focus and started designing sturdy, classic kicks for the ladies. If you're looking to purchase a cute and reliable pair, this is the place for you.
Nicole's Recommendation: I really favor Cole Haan, because for me it's a one-stop shop no matter what season. I have a pair of their booties that are waterproof and I've been wearing them nonstop lately because it's been snowing or freezing rain 99% of the days I'm outside my apartment. They're really versatile, well-made, comfortable, and aesthetically timeless.
128 Prince Street, New York, NY
141 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
620 Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
Shoes: Barney's Warehouse Sale
Sometimes you just need a killer pair of statement shoes. Paying an absurd amount of money for a pair you can't consider "go-to" takes a little bit of fun out of the idea, so it's best to do you research before pulling out your wallet. Part of the research? Finding the best sale sites. Barney's Warehouse has a great selection of designer shoes at a discount—perfect for window shopping and completing that knock-em-dead outfit.
Nicole's Recommendation: They don't have the physical Barney's Warehouse sale anymore, but at least their website is shop-able year-round! I've gotten some really nice designer shoes, like Marni boots and other high-end designer shoes heavily discounted from those kinds of sales.
Jewelry: Gotham Smith
Their mantra says it best: "Fine goods for fascinating times." Gotham Smith is made up of four dudes using their digital savvy to create unexpected accessories using 3D printing in unusual materials.
Nicole's Recommendation: If you're looking for something different (and want to support some friends of mine), Gotham Smith does really cool 3D-printed, metal accessories that stand out. My u-lock necklace and zipper pull ring always get compliments (and exclamations of surprise when I reveal how they were made).
Jewelry: Erica Weiner
Victorian rings, brassy necklaces, a slew of vintage chains—you can find all of this and more at Erica Weiner. One of our favorite pieces is a ring made from a 1920s brass cocktail pick from the Waldorf Astoria. Each piece has a story, so make sure to ask before buying!
Nicole's Recommendation: Even though she's local, I first discovered Erica Weiner through a beautiful ginkgho leaf and vintage locket necklace my sister gave me. So now I regularly check out her offering and love that she integrates vintage finds into the new pieces she creates.
195 Chrystie Street, New York, NY
360 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY