In New York City, walking past the shops along Madison or Broadway can feel like strutting down the catwalk. Chic women click their Louboutins from shop to shop, their perfect hair unaffected by the summer heat. Because of the city’s enormous range of high-end stores, New York City shopping can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive; knowing where to find affordable items can turn an afternoon of retail pain into fashion gain.

To browse a variety of items, from handmade jewelry to re-purposed clothing, head to the Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn. Housed in a series of salvaged shipping containers, this one-of-a-kind flea market provides a multi-purpose venue for shoppers in New York City to buy wares of all kinds from retailers, grab a bite, and then enjoy some live music.

A stroll along 9th Street in the East Village is a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday afternoon, especially with a stop at Cloak & Dagger. With a second location in South Brooklyn, this boutique embodies what’s best about New York City shops, offering timeless fashions that outlast the latest fleeting pop-culture trend. In addition to selling flattering summer dresses by designers such as Lauren Moffatt, Cloak & Dagger offers the latest accessories, shoes, and handcrafted soaps.

For more casual threads, visit one of the three locations of Uniqlo, a boutique that offers men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. This Japanese company features their own line as well as items by designers such as Lulu Guinness and Orla Kiely. With a commitment to social responsibility and a clothing recycling program, Uniqlo ensures that, by buying their clothing, you’ll build up karma points in exchange for a bag full of affordable, fashionable items.

With so many places to shop in New York City, the toughest decision may be where to start. The first step is to just step outside and start exploring what the city has to offer.

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