I remember that when I first came to NY, I was confused by the variety of brands I saw. I didn’t know most of them, which is why shopping became an adventure. Now I know a bit more, but there are still plenty of brands I haven’t heard of. I observe where tourists go, which is how I find out what brands are desirable for people who don’t live in the US.
When it comes to casual outwear, the most popular brands are definitely Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister: they’re considered very American, and probably they really are. The brand that is similar to Gap is Joe Fresh, which is not that known among tourists, but I think it’s worth checking out. There is another casual brand that tourists and New Yorkers really like (I like it, too) – Uniqlo. It’s a Japanese brand that makes their clothes with a different technology, which is worth considering too.
When it comes to women underwear, Victoria’s Secret wins it all. This store is always crowded – especially their location on 34th Street. Some of my friends recommended me to buy my bras somewhere else, but I can’t help the fact that their size fits me perfectly. I can’t afford anything more expensive now, so I’m going to stick to this one for a while. Victoria’s Secret also owes the brand Pink, which is very casual, colorful, and highly popular among all girls – American and tourists. When it comes to men’s underwear, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are the most popular – guys usually buy them at a popular outlet store – Century 21.
The brands I got to know here that are chic-casual and are extremely popular among NY women (age 20-50) are: Banana Republic, Anna Klein, Kate Spade, Club Monaco and J.Crew (I like and recommend especially the last two ones – their stuff is of good quality and usually matches up greatly with just about any kind of clothing you’re wearing). A bit more pricey, but still very affordable is Michael Kors, which is very popular (if not quite my style). I heard it’s pretty expensive outside of US and is not considered as “exclusive” here. In the same price range is Kenneth Cole, whose style I like, and a bit more expensive – getting more and more hype – is Tory Burch.
There are also brands I’d like to shop at: they are a bit pricey, that’s why I look for their clothes in outlets or second-hand stores – British brands All Saints and Reiss; Rag&Bone, Zadig&Voltaire, Vince, James Perse, Diesel or even Armani Exchange – these are more my style.
Sports clothing is basically the same as it’s in Europe, all these biggest sport brands are popular here too, especially Adidas, which became the ”it” brand again. But there is also a brand I hadn’t heard of before – Lululemon – popular among American (especially white and rich) women. I just bought two tank tops and I must say that they’re comfortable and their quality is recommendable.
I like fashion and I like to look around and match different styles (mine style is more sport – chic – casual – if that combo even exists :), but I don’t follow trends. I will buy a fashion magazine and will go through fashion websites once in a while, but it is not something I would spend much of my time on. Still, fashion is fun and we should just enjoy it.