I always manage to find myself in a Macy's, why not? They have everything and anything you can ever need. I love their cosmetic and fragrance counters and their lingerie department.
I stopped by the Coach and Dooney & Bourke counters (I have a hand bag fetish) and scoped out the newest bags for the fall season. I've already got my eye on the new "Signature Stripe Reversable Bag" by Coach. I also stopped by the fragrance counter to pick up one of my favorite perfumes "Allure" by Channel.
What to buy: What are you looking for? Cosmetics, men, women and children's clothing and accessories, fantastic designer shoes, handbags and cosmetics.
You can also find household furnishings, bedsheets and comforters, towels, electronics, and even an optical place.
I love Filene's. I have never actually been in the REAL store, but I love the basement. It's always one of my highlights of going to Boston because I do love to shop. It's not for the faint of heart, though-it gets kind of crazy in there. Not very organized and hordes of people. And if you're not into sales (I have friends that refuse to shop sales because it's somehow demeaning of them) then it probably won't be for you. BUT, if you like heavily discounted clothes, jewlry, and chocolate then you should check it out.
What to pay: They're supposed to mark down things every week but I think they sneak by on it and don't. For every week it's supposed to be marked down by 25%.
If you have a car, then I definitely recommend Wrentham Premium Outlets in Wrentham. It's about 35 miles south of Boston. If you take 495 South, it's exit 15.
Great clothes; my favorite stores there are Benetton and the Polo Jeans Outlet. In the past I had been spending a lot of money in malls, and I felt quite stupid for doing that when I discovered this Outlet. If you need to do lots of shopping, buy stylish clothes, and still save money, that's the place to go.
Forget the fancy malls and the designer shops. If you want real bargains - and I'm talking about a couple of dollars max - head down to the Hadassah Thrift Shop in Allston. For all you squeamish people out there, try it once and you'll be hooked. This place does not sell junk. Boston is full of wealthy people who buy stuff and never use it. The store is packed with good-quality clothing, housewares, furniture, children's toys, etc. - some of it with the price tags still on. The prices are dirt cheap, and if the salesladies (volunteers) take a liking to you, they'll give you a wink and lop off the price even more. And remember, whatever you do pay goes to charity.
This is a particularly good place for students looking for a cheap way to furnish their rented apartments. This place has got everything - sofas, desks, mirrors, linens, dishes - all going for a pittance.
Having said all this, remember that luck has a lot to do with it. People are constantly bringing in carloads of stuff, so if you don't do well one day, try another. When my daughter was small, for example, I happened to be there when someone came in with a Fisher-Price doll house filled with little furniture and dolls, which I grabbed for something like $3. You wouldn't want to know what it cost in a toy store...
The shop is closed on Saturdays.
2007 update: Sad to say, I heard the place recently closed down. Boston won't be the same without it.
In 2000, the Landmark Center reopened its doors to the public. Built in 1930, this massive Art Deco building was the former home of the Sears Warehouse and Catalog Center. It stood unoccupied, and decaying for years until bought by the Abbey Group, which restored it and adapted it to today's standards, with offices on the upper floors and retail stores on the ground floor. It has won several awards for historic preservation.
It sits at the crossing of Park Drive, Boylston St., and Brookline Ave. and the Fenway T stop is right next to the parking lot.
The upper floors house many businesses, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the Harvard School of Public Health. There is also a day care facility.
What to buy: Some of what you'll find here:
The Art Store
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Boston Sports Club
AMC Theater - 13 screens, all with stadium seating
A strange little store in a great little city! Gargoyles, Gravestone replicas, Books, Salem Souvenirs, Tarot Cards, Teeshirts & Sweats, and beautiful Custom Made Doll Houses. Open year round.
What to buy: Where else would you find Gravestone Reproductions, Gargoyles, and Cute Stuffed Toys?
Along with Books on Salem's History and Modern Day Witchcraft, Beautiful Scarves, Jewelry, and the Best Souvenirs and Teeshirts in the Witch City!!
Fi-Dough, Boston's premier pet bakery, grooming salon and boutique. Where dogs and the people they own can stop in for fresh baked biscuits, a great gift basket, all natural foods, the funniest toys and the finest accessories around!
What to buy: Bakery
Bedding 'n Things
Leads & Collars
What to pay: reasonable
The great thing about this multi-level music and video store is that if that don't have it, they'll find it for you and mail it to you. Everytime I have ever wanted to locate a hard to find or out of date cd, the staff at Tower Records has helped me find it. The have a wide selection of music and movie genre's. So wide that you'll always find something new that you will want to buy.
Store hours are:
Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. - Midnight
Tower Records also hosts numerous live performances in it's store and also plays host to many CD release parties. Check out their site for a schedule of these events.
What to buy: Books, CDs, Videos
What to pay: ?????????
The Garment District is a two story warehouse. On the first floor are shoes and clothes, piles and piles of clothes in the back on the floor. At first I thought; "No way will I find anything here." All I can say is something took over; call it my inner shopping demon. But soon after I had casually picked up a t-shirt, I was digging through mounds of clothes. This place is addictive. The first time you grab a Liz Claiborne or Eileen Fisher or Ann Taylor or Calvin and realize (MY GAWD) it's really a dollar a pound, you are HOOKED! Yes, the clothes are worn but ever so gently. I got a pair of Gortex snow boots on my first visit. The second time around, I went upstairs. It was Saturday and a clerk told me everything on Saturdays is half price. "Oh geez, you're kidding right!!!!" She wasn't kidding. Instead of paying the tourists sucker price for all those Harvard t-shirts come and get them here for $.50. Sweatshirts are a buck. The day I visited, there must have been twenty in the bin with the Harvard logo. I walked away with a linen jacket (Bloomingdale's) which had never been worn. Upstairs, the clothes are not a dollar a pound but the regular prices are also unbelievable and way below retail. The jacket was $9. I also got an Adrienne Vittadini purse for $3.50
What to buy: The Garment District has a huge selection of everything from punk rock, glam to prairie home companion and Cape Cod cool; men's women's clothing, shoes, accessories and vintage. You will find what has just appeared in the Globe Sunday Magazine as the hottest on the street right here and not pay ridiculous retail prices. A designer label lovers paradise. Apparently the BackBay Nouveau Rich' love wearing it once and getting rid of it.
What to pay: You could replace your entire wardrobe for under $50 in this place. I'm not exaggerating.
I honestly don't know if this store even exists in Boston anymore, but it was so much fun to walk around that I had to mention it. You guessed it, this store sells everything Warner Brothers from Bugs Bunny to Daffy Duck to Elmer Fud. I brought Vanessa, Beth and Heath here to pass some time until supper and Vanessa just didn't want to leave. I think this was her second favorite store with FAO Swartz coming in a distant first.
What to buy: Warner Brother memorabilia
What to pay: ????
When Beth was celebrating her 18th birthday, everyone on our dorm floor left it to me and Dave to find her the perfect cake. Well if anyone knew Beth, they knew she loved 2 things most in the world, Carl and Sex. So we found the perfect place to get a cake. This store was filled with all sorts of erotic treats, some not for the weak at heart. Everything from *** on a stick to cakes.
What to buy: Whatever floats your boat
What to pay: Depends on what you buy.
We used to go down to the Garment District in search of unusual and vintage clothing bargains.
There, among others, you will find 'Luckys' - a 'legendary' vintage warehouse store. Located near the M.I.T. campus, you can find hundreds of things to rummage through, most priced under $10 They stock lots of Rock and Roll stuff, vintage T's, etc...
I picked up some brand new vintage Converse boots for $5. I also found (brand new again) some fantastic 70s high-heeled sparkling glitter platform shoes which I got married in. (I mean, when else can you wear such things!) Cost - $15.
KB couldn't stay in there long as the dust would make him sneeze, but the Small Person loved it in there (there is a toy section too).
I'm not sure which store it was now (may have been Luckys basement, not sure), but you could grab a pile of stuff and have it weighed and pay 'dollar a pound.
Vintage game bargains, such as Atari can also be found.
Beyond the typical kitschy Harvard souvenirs, Harvard Coop sells serious stuff like specialty books and the range is quite extensive. I could easily spend hours here - but wasn't in the mood to carry heavy hardbound books around with me. In case you need a caffeine fix or a hot drink on a cold autumn day - or just a shelter from the rain (my main reason for going here) - there is a Starbucks outlet inside that attracts students and tourists alike.
As in all libraries and museums of this sort, the gift shop is a good collection of memorabilia and good quality gift items. There are always good books for sale as well. I chose one of Kennedy's books which has just come back into print again after many years. It's as relevant today as the day he wrote it. A Nation of Immigrants Also picked up one of Bobby's books, To Seek A Newer World .
How did they have time to write in such short lives?
Also couldn't resist a campaign button which I tend to collect. This one has a bit of wit....
What to buy: Books, ties, videos, games, coffee cups and the like.....
You can pick up some really good bargains in Allston's secondhand stores. I always went for a quick rummage when in that area. There are some pretty cool ones there.I remember one in particular, that was a little more pricey, but it was like Aladins cave in there, full of old retro ballgowns, bags and wonderous 'gilrlie' objects of desire!
It is on the same side as the Model Cafe, towards the Sunset Bar and Grill (you can easily spot it as it usually has clothes rails out on the sidewalk).
There are also some of your usual secondhand stores further along on the right.
Some other very cool vintage/retro stores can be found in Boston in other areas (which I will add in sepparate tip).
What to buy: If you are from the uk, buy Levis.
What to pay: $2 up for a pair of Levis (amazingly!)
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