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New York City, the weekend before Thanksgiving is one word - hectic! I was lucky enough to have a quick stop visit for two nights in NYC, but upon arrival at JFK, with a three hour queue through immigration, I realised this is the big shopping week for Manhattan, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, so maybe a big mistake! Eeeek.
With Black Friday now becoming a weeklong sales shopping event (now filtering to the UK) tourists are arriving the week before Thanksgiving to see the parade and then proceed to shop ‘til they drop! Mega bargains are everywhere and everyone knows NYC is THE place to shop.
I stayed in a cute little hotel opposite the Statue of Liberty, right in the middle of Fifth Avenue, with a Starbucks partnership, home from home and WiFi guaranteed. So braving the extreme wind, cold and occasional snow flurry, I set to walk the Fifth to see what everyone is wearing and what the shops trends are across the pond.
Right on Fifth took me to Saks, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Lord and Taylor and Sephora, plus Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, lots of jewels and expensive shoes. Every girls’ dream and all very nice. Expense and quality is key here, if not bang on trend, with classic, eternity buys guaranteed. Keep on walking, and towards Central Park and Park Avenue where I relaxed in the park and had a quick peep at the super-posh New Yorkers before they spend, spend, spend huge amounts of money in the extremely beautiful flagship stores.
Left on Fifth I wandered to a very festive Macy’s. A queue to get in and when you are in, it’s bargains galore, intoxicated with consumerism, you shop, shop, shop. A Christmas dream! Further along are Gap, Levi's and some cool off the main strip shops that are a little bit cheaper than the UK. Great place for wardrobe staples like Converse and jeans at a great price.Keep walking towards the garment and fashion district and you are in the heart of what makes all this happen. Unknowingly for most, but essential for those working in the fashion industry.
After scouring central London, pre NYC, I found UK fashions are mainly 90s inspired trends resurrected. However, NYC is about keeping warm and remaining stylish. Must-haves include, ankle boots, knitted beanie hats, pom-pom optional, tailored and warm often funnel neck full length coats (Zara seems the shop of choice for these), oversized black sunnies or mirrored aviators with skin tight jeans or leather leggings, and layers, layers, layers. A pop of fur completes the stylish and practical look.
While in London, we tend to go with almost any individual trend and make it our own, NYC has more of a sophisticated, uniform of style that’s groomed and classic, but with a funky edge, like a collar in plaid or a tartan and lace mix scarf. Sportswear is also key, with the newest trainer style teamed with maxi scarves and quilted coats. When in London it may not look much, but in NYC it's cool and well put together. These New York gals have style, but we Londoners have the edge!
So a whistle-stop visit to Fifth Avenue in the extreme cold concludes that I love, love, love NYC and will one day fulfil my wish in living here, but until then I will remain part of the London crowd that they look to for the latest style edge and trend direction. P.S, a New Yorker asked me, a Londoner, for directions. Direction or directions? Ironic, huh! Happy Christmas shopping guys.
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