New York City

The Big Apple is one of the best shopping destinations in the world, rivaled perhaps only by London, Paris, and Tokyo. Its compact size, convenient subway system, and plentiful cabs (or Uber or Lyft rides) make it easy to navigate with plenty of bags in tow. But what it really comes down to is the staggering number and variety of stores. If you can't find it in New York, it probably doesn't exist.

If you like elegant flagships and money is no object, head to Midtown, where you'll find international megabrands like Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci, as well as famed department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. Nearby Madison Avenue has couture from Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang, and 5th Avenue is lined with famous jewelry stores such as Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston. This is also the neighborhood to indulge in bespoke goods, such as handmade shoes from John Lobb. If you like designer pieces but can't afford them, don't despair—there are plenty of upscale consignment shops around the city where you can find last season's Chanel suit or a vintage YSL jacket.

The small, independent shops that once lined SoHo have largely been displaced by the likes of J.Crew and UNIQLO, but if you want to hit the chains, this is a great place to do it, because the neighborhood also provides high-quality people-watching and superb lunches. Poke around on the side streets and in nearby NoLIta for outposts of smaller local and foreign designers and, if you're craving some of old SoHo's artistic spirit, don't discount the street vendors' stalls, which sell handmade jewelry and simple cotton dresses.

The East Village and Lower East Side are hotbeds of creativity and quirky coolness, with little boutiques selling everything from retro furniture to industrial-inspired jewelry. They're tucked among bars and old tenement buildings. The Meatpacking District is another great shopping destination to find chic designer stores like Diane von Furstenberg and rag & bone along with independently owned boutiques. And if you jaunt over to Brooklyn, you'll discover that some of the city's hippest designers are hanging out at boutiques just across the East River.

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  • 1. Alter

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    Sartorialists come to this fashionable boutique to snag unique wardrobe pieces like drapey sweaters, Cheap Monday jeans, and minimalist jewelry...Read More

  • 2. Beacon's Closet

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    The racks are organized by category and color at this trove of secondhand and vintage clothes, so you can find an entire section of black dresses...Read More

  • 3. Beacon's Closet, Park Slope

    Park Slope | Clothing

    Of the four secondhand clothing shops in a two-block stretch, this one's the best. The well-organized local chain carries vintage and modern...Read More

  • 4. Black Bear

    Clothing

    The well-curated selection of secondhand and vintage designer clothing—perhaps a colorful Pucci dress or a child-size coat—sunglasses, hats...Read More

  • 5. bocnyc

    Upper West Side | Clothing

    Who needs to go downtown for cutting-edge designers? This store stocks sleek designs from the likes of Ulla Johnson, Loeffler Randall, and A...Read More

  • 6. Bonpoint

    Upper East Side | Clothing

    Celebrities and mere mortals love this French children's boutique for the beautiful designs and impeccable workmanship—think pony-hair baby...Read More

  • 7. Brooks Brothers

    Midtown East | Clothing

    The clothes at this classic American haberdasher are, as ever, traditional, comfortable, and fairly priced. Summer seersucker, navy-blue blazers...Read More

  • 8. In God We Trust

    Greenpoint | Clothing

    Stylish shoppers love this boutique for the homespun clothes and cheeky accessories, like gold penne pasta on a delicate chain or business-card...Read More

  • 9. Journelle

    Union Square | Clothing

    This chic New York–based boutique was started by two women who believed that sexy, pretty lingerie should be everyday wear—and comfortable,...Read More

  • 10. Ludivine

    Upper East Side | Clothing

    Make a beeline for this store if you love French designers. Owner Ludivine Grégoire showcases of-the-moment Gallic (and a few Italian) designers...Read More

  • 11. Pema New York

    Clothing

    Stylish shoppers stop into this boutique for affordable dresses, tops, and skirts by the likes of Olivaceous, Everleigh, Lucy Paris, and Gracia...Read More

  • 12. Tokio 7

    East Village | Clothing

    Even fashion designers like Alexander Wang have been known to pop in to browse at this high-end consignment store. Racks are loaded with goodies...Read More

  • 13. V Curated

    Park Slope | Clothing

    Designer Vanessa Vallarino's motto for her cooperative of 38 emerging designers is one-of-a-kind, and handmade in the United States. Aesthetics...Read More

  • 14. 10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas

    Clothing

    For vintage clothes, look no further. The store is enormous, with rack upon rack of secondhand clothes ranging from '40s cocktail dresses to...Read More

  • 15. A. Cheng

    Park Slope | Clothing

    Owner Alice Cheng curates a lovely selection of elegant women's clothing. Choose from her own A. Cheng line, Sessùn from France, or Local from...Read More

  • 16. Abercrombie & Fitch

    Midtown East | Clothing

    This brand is known for its casual, preppy clothes for men, women, and kids—but brace yourself for the thumping club music and dim lighting. ...Read More

  • 17. Alexander McQueen

    Upper East Side | Clothing

    The New York flagship of this iconic fashion house is full of rich details, like intricately patterned floors, and tiny architectural nuances...Read More

  • 18. Anthropologie

    Flatiron District | Clothing

    This popular women's clothing and home accessories chain epitomizes bohemian chic. Stock up on flowing dresses, floral-print blouses, and ruffled...Read More

  • 19. Article&

    Carroll Gardens | Clothing

    This is the place to go for eclectic, anything-but-basic separates and accessories. Rollas straight-leg jeans, kitschy PepaLoves blouses, and...Read More

  • 20. Assembly New York

    Lower East Side | Clothing

    Sleekly cut modern and some vintage womens and menswear, as well as an interesting selection of accessories and jewelry, fill this medium-size shop. ...Read More

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