How to Look Hot on a Limited Budget in New York

I have a great sense of style, even if I may say so myself but it makes no sense to me to have a great wardrobe while I have no savings in the bank because I do no intend to be renting an apartment forever. New York has a very egalitarian approach to fashion, unlike other big cities like London, nobody cares too much about designer labels here. The US is much cheaper than the UK and Europe, it gives me a real thrill to be endlessly shopping without breaking the bank. I can honestly say even if I was a millionaire, I couldn’t shop anymore than I do now, I am not deprived of anything. Except maybe the Kate Moss Collection for Topshop which sold out within an hour of debuting at Barneys New York. All is not lost however, I will probably go the online route as it is available at www.topshop.com and they ship to the US, although the exchange rate is what will kill you, it is about 2 US dollars to 1 pound sterling.

It’s springtime and a great way to start the season is a day-trip to Woodbury Commons, http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=7, the world’s largest outlet mall . This is an all-day event so my girlfriends and I will probably get a rental car or find a very patient friend who will shop with us until closing time at 9pm. Apart from the outlets, the best deals are the sales in the regular stores where the merchandise is more up-to-date than the stuff at the outlets and at sale time I do not hesitate to go the online route if I cannot get what I want in-store. My favorite stores for retail and online shopping are the Gap (www.gap.com), Express (www.expressfashion.com), Guess (www.guess.com), Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com), Banana Republic (www.bananarepublic.com), J Crew (www.jcrew.com), Bebe (www.bebe.com) H & M (www.hm.com), French Connection (www.fcuk.com) and Forever 21 is like a candy shop, www.forever21.com, although their sizes tend to run small and their returns policy is a little restrictive. The frequent sales at Macys are good for shoes and Junior clothing, and the Bloomingdales sale is so worthwhile for everything. Since there are Nordstrom sales in New York City I rely on the sales at www.nordstrom.com for my high-end fashion bargains.

When it comes to accessories, the Wholesale District is the best-kept secret in New York. This is the area from Broadway to 6th Ave between 32nd St and 26th St where you can find anything from earrings and hats to socks and hair extensions. I love earrings and I get compliments on the little bargains I regularly pick up from The Earring Plaza at 1263 Broadway on the corner of 32nd St. New York is famous for its sample sales and even though I have done them, I am not a big fan because the returns policies are mostly non-existent. A woman has the right to change her mind especially when it comes to impulse purchases. I definitely prefer boutique shopping to large departments stores which give me a headache and I love the sales at stores like The New York Look

When it comes to sexiness, certain stores sell what I call, ‘a sure thing’. Which means if you wear something from Bebe, Guess or Marciano on a date, chances are you will knock him out. For fantasy shopping, when I grow up I want to shop at places like Catherine Malandrino, www.catherinemalandrino.com, in The Meatpacking District and Nanette Lepore (http://www.nanettelepore.com) in Soho, one of my favorite shopping destinations. I should work in fashion, it makes me so happy!