By Jessica Allen
Without a doubt, New York is one of the most fashionable cities in the world. But how can you strut your stuff without breaking the bank? Never fear: the five boroughs are abound in bargains — assuming you know where to look. Below are our five favorite spots for snagging deals on designer duds.
22 Cortlandt Street
New York, NY 10007
After opening in Brooklyn in 1961, Century 21 has expanded beyond its NYC origins. Despite its growing popularity, the chain remains family-owned, and is a must-visit destination for bargain hunters. If you can wear it, spritz it, or use it to beautify your home — you can find it here. There’s also a curated kids’ section, including baby clothes, toys, and furniture. At these prices, you can outfit your kid and all his/her friends.
195 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
For going on three generations, Gabay’s has carefully pored over luxury goods and looking for the best deals to pass on to their customers. Don’t like your Gucci disco bag after all? Found a problem with your Prada? A mark on your Manolos? You can always bring ’em back — the store offers a 100 percent authenticity guarantee.
60 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
We can’t say it any better than the company itself: Nordstrom Rack is “where style meets savings.” Loyal as we may be to NYC stores, we have to admit we were pretty jazzed when Nordstrom Rack arrived in Union Square. Here’s where to go to load up on basics like suits, ties, polos, slacks, socks, jeans, undies, and jackets — anything you need to jazz up your wardrobe, really. What you may lose in undivided attention from the sales team is more than made up for in the amount of clothes to sort through and admire. Put another way: you only have yourself to blame if you leave empty-handed.
Privé Designer Sales
75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Privé specializes in sample sales—an exciting opportunity to discover designer items you never knew you needed or have long coveted from afar. We’re not going to lie — sample sales require a thick skin, figuratively and literally, as you will sometimes be jostled as you lunge for that perfect Rachel Zoe lace-up boot, Helmut Lang peekaboo top, or nicely structured Theory jacket. Any blood, sweat, and tears are worth it — sample sales offer true bargains.
Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH
125 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022
You name it, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH likely stocks it. Everyone who’s anyone in fashion and design can show up on the racks or in the showrooms of this store, including Carolina Herrera, Balmain, Acne Studios, KENZO and more. With one visit to the New York flagship location, you can change your entire look from top to toe, as well as the look of your house. The store also sells furniture, luggage, home décor and pet accessories in addition to their wealth of clothes and jewelry. For even better prices, have a gander at the clearance items — it’s a great way to stock up on seasonal finds for next year.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.