An insider's guide to shopping in New York City

Published August 14th, 2012

Though currently Sydney based, Williamsburg, Brooklyn local Tracey Taibe of nycgo.com knows New York like the back of her hand. Here she lets us in on her favourite shopping haunts of her home town.


Macys by LauraMiller

Don't miss shopping at Macys, image by Laura Miller

As a New York local, I can vouch that the city more than lives up to its fashion capital reputation, boasting countless shopping experiences from department stores and boutiques to vintage stores and flea markets. The possibilities are indeed endless and with the Aussie dollar pretty much on par with the US dollar, now is the perfect time to get in on the action (and the bargains) and plan a shopping trip to this amazing city.


Soho by Joe Buglewicz

Shopping in Soho, image by Joe Buglewicz

When you first arrive in New York, the best place to begin your shopping expedition is at one of the city’s the department stores, like Barneys New York on Madison Ave. Barneys is also neighboured by a wide range of designer shopping opportunities so dress to impress and spend an afternoon wandering through some of the world’s best designer stores. Most women in NYC will also agree that the Bloomingdale’s little brown bag is their best friend. The shopping mecca has two locations, 59th and Lexington and on Broadway in Soho. While also in Soho, take a trip to the always hip, Opening Ceremony where the owners travel the world to find edgy and up-and-coming labels to feature in store.


What I love about New York is that you don’t need to spend a lot in order to achieve a fashion forward look. The city is you’re fashion oyster and home to all of the world’s best high street stores including favourite UK import Topshop, colourful basics store Uniqlo, as well as H&M, Victoria Secret, Forever 21 and make-up boutique Sephora. With so many options, it’s more than possible to buy a complete new look for no more than $50. In fact if you pick up an extra suitcase on Canal Street in Chinatown you can take home a whole new wardrobe.


East Village by Joe Buglewicz

Boutiques in the East Village, image by Joe Buglewicz

For cool kid clothing and vintage stores, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg in Brooklyn is where you will need to be.  This is where you’ll find carefully curated boutiques and vintage shops, like Edith Machinist, which mixes classic designer finds from as far back as the forties, with no-name treasures. At The Reformation on Ludlow Street, fashion designer Yael Aflalo and her partner Chi Bui remake vintage finds into one-of-a-kind garments. Some of my favourite stores can be found on Ludlow, including Assembly New York which offers a collection of designer-oriented luxury labels, as well as Maryam Nassir Zadeh, where you can browse stylish threads presented in a gallery-like showroom.


If you’re keen for a day of shopping (and bargains), hop on the L train on 14th street and get off at Bedford Avenue, the first stop in Brooklyn. Every Sunday, Brooklyn Flea features over 100 vendors selling an array of vintage clothing, jewellery, furniture and home décor, as well as gorgeous handmade items and some of the best food in NYC.  Another neighbourhood I love to shop in is Williamsburg, for its cutting-edge boutiques, restaurants and bars found along the main drag on Bedford Avenue as well as the surrounding streets.


One of my favourite stores in the area Oak, located on North 8th between Driggs and Roebling Street, is known for its deconstructed clothing, selling items by Nicole Farhi, United Bamboo and Opening Ceremony, as well as pieces from its own line. Vintage lovers won’t want to miss Beacon’s Closet, a vintage-thrift superstore offering a huge selection of low-priced finds. True to its name, Beacon's Closet exudes the kind of coziness you might feel while exploring your mother's walk-in—only on a much larger scale.

Like I said, when it comes to shopping in New York, from thrift superstores to shiny boutiques, this city has it all. Happy spending!

Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.