Bespoke Shopping Experiences in NYC

By Jessica Festa,

Sure, you can wander luxurious Fifth Avenue, the cobbled streets of SoHo or the boutique-filled Elizabeth Street in NoLita; however, when you want bespoke shopping experiences in NYC you’ll have to dig a bit deeper. Luckily, there are plenty of shops and excursions that take you beyond simply perusing and purchasing, and should be treated more like an experience in themselves. Here are some of trivago’s picks for the best shopping in NYC.

Take A Shopping Tour

madewell shopping nyc

A look from inside the shopping scene. Photo by Ledovic Bertron CC BY.

New York is an enormous city, and knowing where to shop can be tricky. On NewYork.com you’ll find two shopping tours to alleviate this issue. The first is a Garment Center “Insider” Shopping Tour ($60) with Shop Gotham, which gets you access to appointment-only designer showrooms (and showroom prices 50-70% below retail). You’ll get the scoop on the history of the neighborhood, information on what goes on behind the scenes and the chance to interact with designers enhance the excursion.

The other tour is a New York Insider’s Shopping Tour ($31.50) with Inside Out, where you’ll be escorted through the hip hoods of SoHo and NoLIta, discovering the best boutiques and being pumped with fun trivia on celebrity clientele.

Todd Shelton

Custom Men's Clothing New York City

Get bespoke men’s clothing at Todd Shelton. Photo courtesy of Todd Shelton.

Menswear fashion brand Todd Shelton offers a Kit Fit try-on program for clients who want custom-made clothes. Select your possible sizes to be sampled — either online, at their brand showroom in East Rutherford, New Jersey, or Brower Club in Hoboken –and try on a series of fit evaluation garments. Once the best fit is determined, garments are custom-make in-house. The Fit Kit is free to use, although a $100 security deposit is needed.

Jill Lindsey

Kelly Jones perfume NYC

Find all sorts of creativity at Jill Lindsey . Photo courtesy of Jill Lindsey

This Brooklyn-based clothing boutique-meets-gift shop-meets-cafe features a number of creative finds, although the most interesting may just be their Kelly & Jones Notes of Wine Collection, perfumes meant to be paired with wine. Buying any of the scents ($25 a bottle) means you can sidle up to the Jill Lindsey bar and have a glass of vino while spritzing yourself to heighten the sensory experience.

Harlem Haberdashery

Shopping in Harlem

Fashion and history collide at Harlem Haberdashery. Photo courtesy of Harlem Haberdashery. 

Harlem is a fascinating neighborhood and while you can certainly explore its heritage through tours, gospel brunches and museums, it’s also possible to discover it through shopping. The family-run Harlem Haberdashery immerses you in a retro Harlem Renaissance aesthetic, from old-school-made-modern pieces by local designers to walls showcasing a mix of sepia-toned and black and white photographs of the family and historical Harlem influencers. Walk into the ground level brownstone space – which was once the home of Malcolm X – and be greeted by Guy or Shay Wood, or one of their family members, who share the story of Harlem, the shop and the attire. Through their 5001 Flavors label, popular with celebrities, clients can also have pieces custom made. As the shop is more of a community hub than a retail space, Harlem Haberdashery hosts a slew of philanthropic events to bring the community together–from kid’s fashion shows to neighborhood cleanups. They also have a social non-profit, The League: Distinguished Gentlemen Movement, where the men work to help the community and empower youth.

24 Hubert Wines

Wine shopping in NYC

Sit back and enjoy the wine. Photo courtesy of 24 Hubert Wines.

Whether you’re looking for that perfect bottle of red or just want a break from roaming the city, 24 Hubert Wines is a must-have experiential stop. First off, once per week they host complimentary 90-minute formal wine tastings, dinners with a three Michelin star chefs, and wine films paired with truffle popcorn and vino. Even when there’s no official events, open tastings are always available, not to mention free “palate appraisals,”  which are one-on-one tastings with the store manager to help discern what types of wines the customer likes.

Satya Twena Fine Millinery

Custom hats NYC

Keeping traditions alive in Manahatten. Photo courtesy of Satya Twena

When one of Manhattan’s last remaining hat factories closed, Satya Twena launched a Kickstarter to save the building and open her own hat factory, Satya Twena Fine Millinery, one of Manhattan’s last remaining millineries. Shoppers can design their own hat and then watch it being made, interacting with the team as it’s crafted using the traditional method of millinery (hat-making) using old sewing machines. Guests can have absolutely any style of hatmade – although the most popular are fedoras, pork pies and Indiana Jones-style – with prices starting at $450.

Fun fact: Baby Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, used to have his hats made at this very location.

Seaport Studios

Unique shopping in NYC

Emerging talent and design are showcased at Seaport Studios. Photo courtesy of Seaport Studios.

Seaport Studios in Lower Manhattan’s historic Seaport District is a rotating incubator for emerging art and design talent. The pop-up spaces rotate every six weeks, with the design paying homage to the Seaport’s maritime heritage through aesthetics like maplewood, white rope, frosted glass and weathered corten steel and minimalist walls coated in a white gray finish. Whether it’s an interactive installation, fashion trend or latte art in the on-site cafe that inspires you, shoppers are encouraged to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #SeaportStudios.

Shopping With A Celebrity Stylist

Shopping in NYC with a stylist

Shop with a stylist and re-invent your look! Photo courtesy of If Only.

If you don’t mind spending a few grand on a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience, If Only offers the chance to go shopping with celebrity stylists, Lori Goldstein (request a quote) or Kate Young ($5,670 per person for three people). Each includes a seven-hour shopping spree under their guidance, perfect for those wanting an updated look, to re-invent themselves or to better understand how A-listers always look so amazing. For a social good aspect, 1% of the excursion costs go toward the charity of the luminary’s choice.