Century 21, New York City
I love Century 21 and I have been a die hard shopper there for years! I wanted to add that the women's dressing rooms now have curtains, for those of us who are a little more modest!
My advice is to go early on the weekdays--The store opens at 8:00am. In the morning the merchandise has not yet been picked over and the experience is much more calming.
The worst time to go is during the holidays, but if you are brave you can get excellent designer gifts and not break your budget.
Described as " New York's Best Kept Secret", is Century 21, a great department store that has more than 15 departments of designer merchandise at greatly reducued prices.
The lower Manhattan store I went to was quite large and had a variety of designer goods, at great prices. They stock all American and European designers, from Jeans, Shirts, to Suits and Jackets, a great place to browse around and find yourself a great bargain.
What to buy: They have numerous departments that sell all kinds of designer merchandise.
I went to buy menswear, but they stock the following:
Mens, Ladies and Childrens Clothing and shoes, Lingerie, Linens, Cosmetics Accessories, Handbags, Luggage and many more.
What to pay: That all depends on that what you are planning to buy, but they offer discounts between 25% - 75% on goods.
This place is HUGE! There's always masses of people and you must have patience and strong arms to go through this place.
What to buy: This store has everything from no name to designer shoes, clothes & accessories for men, women & children. You definately won't leave empty handed.
What to pay: The designer items are still a bit pricey but, you can find some major deals.
Many floors of bargains....lots of designer stuff! The first and lower shoe levels were okay. We browsed around those for a while and we each got shoes and accessories. However, the other floors were a different story. We went up to the Ladies' floor and I grabbed a bunch of dresses to try on for a wedding that I'm probably going to in September. Took one look at the mile long line and decided that in a store was the last way I'd like to spend an entire day in New York! I'll have to look elsewhere.
What to buy: Designer clothes at good prices.....if you've got the time and patience!
Deeply discounted designer brand clothing, housewares, cosmetics and accessories at 35-80% off normal retail department store prices:
It can be an absolute mad house in here especially at the weekends!! My advice is to shop during the week in the late morning/afternoons when most people are at work.
Monday-Friday: 7:45am -8pm, Thursday: 7:30am-8:30pm, Saturday: 10am-8pm, Sunday:11am-7pm
You never know what you will find here, so don't come here with anyone thing specific in mind. Mostly past season collections, slightly irregular items or basically an overstock of top designer labels such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, DKNY, etc..
Housewares located in the basement, Menswear and cosmetics on the ground level and two floors for the ladies.
Stock is constantly changing! and Some days will be better than others! If you find that perfect D&G top that once cost $300 and now marked down to $40, I'd say you better grab it quickly!, Chances are you won't see it in the store the next day!
The Bad News:
There are no Fitting Rooms!!! Don't be shy to try things on over your clothes (everyone does it!) or it is not that unusual to buy something, go down the street and try it on in your office or a public toilet somewhere and then go back to shop and exchange it if the size is not to your liking.
What to buy: Tips:
Fragerance is usually $10-15 cheaper here than in most other retail shops. Also you will receive a $10 gift voucher with every fragerance purchase, which you can use towards another (clothing) purchase, the same day in the shop.
What to pay: Thats entirely up to you, but keep in mind, on a good day or rather a good shop, you may save yourself quite a bit of money or find that outfit you may not normally be able to afford!
Advertised as "New York's Best Kept Secret", it's the secret that everyone and their dog knows about. Still, Century 21 was on our "must see" list for New York, and it did not disappoint! Just make sure you get here very early, as soon as they open, and then get out of there by lunch, as the crowds do get overwhelming as 12:00 pm nears. The staff are not that helpful, and seem robotic, but at that point I really didn't care. I just got a $300 cashmere sweater for $65.00!
I must warn you about the change rooms -- if you are a very private person, you may not like them. Basically, they are set up like stalls in a barn, no doors, just two narrow walls about a foot wide to separate you from your neighbor. However, no one's looking, as they're trying on bargains as fast as they can!!
What to buy: There are truly some excellent bargains here, with plenty of all the big name designers. It was a whirlwind, but I remember seeing beautiful Tracey Reese dresses for $50.00; Marc Jacobs dresses for $65.00, a huge selection of high-quality cashmere for under $80.00, and Seven for All Mankind jeans at $75.00. For the vertically challenged, like me, there was a pretty good petites section and petite sizes available. The men's department had great prices too.
What to pay: Save 25-75% off of retail
I've always managed to find some interesting items at bargain prices: Tommy Hilfiger electric red loafers ($30), Kenneth Cole gray pillow-like purse($12), Kenneth Cole khaki 3/4 trenchcoat ($70) among other things. The drawback is that you have to spend a lot of time browsing.
I haven't been back to the store since 9/11 because it was used as a morgue after the twin towers went down. That general area brings back too much memories.
What to buy: Clothes, shoes, designer labels clothing, houseware and home decoration
What to pay: $5 to $ 2,000
Great chaotic place to find all sorts of odd things in a dept store layout. Right next to Ground Zero.
They have secions for everything and it's all crazy. Crowded place. People love this store.
What to buy: One of each!
What to pay: 9 trillion hams.
If you like designer clothes but can't really afford them, Century 21 is the place for you. You can spend hours in the shop. They have everything. Versace, Pucci, Polo, Dior. All at discount prices. (well, relatively speaking). =)
What to buy: Clothes. Accessories. Watches. This store has everything.
Okay, you may have heard about the wonders of Century 21 - the great brand names for low prices. It's true. There are great American, European and designer duds to be had at Centruy 21.
There's a big BUT here though. The place is PACKED with people on a weekend (well, Friday - Sunday). There are always a lot of people but, during the week it's much more tolerable.
If you're a fanatic and HAVE to go and only have a weekend, you'll find deals. you'll also be pushed, shoved and generously ill-treated by all the other people who're looking for a bargain.
(If you're Canadian, think "Boxing day shopping"... if you're American, think "Black Friday".... otherwise, think whatever day of the year you have in your country that has crazy sales and expect some of that behaviour! :))
What to buy: If you do feel irresistably pulled into Century 21 I can only hope it's on a weekday (I go on the weekdays - it's absolutely tolerable and the deals ARE great!).
Some things to look for - go into the Shoe Department ladies! (And gents - lots of great shoes!)
You can get to it from a completely separate entrance - off of Church Street. (You can also get there through the store but, it's not the most user-friendly experience - following a bunch of footsteps in, around, up , down... confusing!)
Also, a lot of people miss it but they have a great home section in the basement. Lots of crazy brand name towels for silly prices. I get giddy everytime I go there! :)
Summary of things worth going into Century 21 for (because I babble!):
- house stuff
- brand name duds if you're patient
They certainly stack'em high and sell'em cheap at this place.
There are plenty of bargains to be had if you have the stamina to go through all the racks and other piles of clothes.
Enormous place so be prepared for a long look round.
What to buy: It's probably better to have some idea of what you want to buy before going in as this cuts down on the browsing time.
I went mainly for shirts and trousers...still came out with socks, scarves and a hat as well though.
Bargain Tommy H shirts.
Everything but cosmetics are sold cheaply, about 30% - 70% below market prices. Cosmetics are generally sold at normal retail prices but more often than not, the sales assistants will include free gifts (good quality cosmetic pouches, brushes, samples, miniatures).
What to buy: Origins, Clinique, various fine fragrances.
Everything in current fashion except women's clothing and shoes, they're like what your grandmother will probably wear. Menswear and Childrenswear perfectly fine. Most are designer labels.
This store has everything. I arrived an hour and a half before closing to see men and women diving pellmell into the inventory. Try to go in armed with a specific list, or at least zero in on a category of what you're looking to buy--otherwise, it's a little overwhelming. The line to the fitting rooms was about 30 deep--you'll do best if you know your figure well enough to predict how a certain cut of clothing hangs on it. I'm a master bargain shopper, so I didn't think all the prices were that great, but I did find some good deals. On a practical note: if, like me, you come out of Century 21 needing to replenish the calories you just burned off shopping, there's a Kentucky Fried Chicken just down the street. If you're facing Century 21, KFC is on your left, in your line of vision.
This is an amazing department store. There are lots of bargains to be had here. The selection is amazing & you can find some one of a kind pieces here.
You can literally spend hours here. Some negative points though:
I'm a shoe fanatic but found the shoes to be more expensive than at DSW.
There's only ONE women's fitting room (and ONLY on the 3rd level; when you finish shopping on the women's 2nd level you have to bring your clothes upstairs to try them on). Also, in the fitting room you get your own stall but there are no curtains or doors. Be forewarned.
You will find many great bargains at this discount designer haven.
Lines can be long for dressing rooms, and they are not very private, just little dividers with no curtains. Dressing rooms for men are non-existent, unless they are trying on suits. I have witnessed guys hiding behind the garment racks to try on clothes. Don't let this turn you off though...these inconveniences just make the shopping trip more interesting.
When I was working in NY in 2000, the best time to shop here was during the work week, mid morning or afternoon. During these times you didn't have to battle huge crowds.
After shopping, stop by the Stage Door Deli on Vesey for a quick bite to eat.
What to buy: Good things to look for at Century 21 are:
- Women's Shoes (2rd floor)
- Wallets & Purses (1st floor)
- Luggage (basement level)
- Just about everything else!
What to pay: It really just depends on your budget. There are deals to be found whether you have $50 dollars or $500 to spend.