Only a genius could create an upscale drugstore that focuses solely on makeup, fragrances, and skincare products. Don’t be shy about testing classics like Chanel No. 5. Or Calvin Klein’s Obsession for men. The extremely neat space holds a deceptively large assortment of goodies. Like eye shadow, mascara, and foundation from major players including Dior and Smashbox. But makeup can be murder in the wrong hands. It’s worth the wait for face time with one of the helpful reps.

Victoria’s Secret

Along with all the eye candy, Victoria’s Secret offers makeup, comfy t-shirts, and sweet-smelling bath and body products that help guys earn brownie points at home. If you prefer your undies untouched by human hands, stick to the chain’s catalogues and Web site, which offer deeply discounted bras, panties and flattering separates. All that’s missing is the cute pink shopping bag.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Established in 1892, but major fame derives from more recent homoerotic ad blitzes. Seaport location lower-key than Fifth Avenue flagship, although still plenty of fellow shoppers and pounding club beats. Solid wardrobe basics, think cargo shorts, pre-distressed jeans, polos, sweaters, A&F-emblazoned T’s. Preppy, but relatively benign, as these things go.


Back in the summer of ’69, Gap sold just Levi’s, LPs, and tapes. 1969 was a long, long time ago. All growed up now, 3,000-plus location chain will hook you up with everything from bathing suits to bras, hoodies to hosiery. Bewildering array of jeans, but if you can master it, you just might find the perfect pair, at least for the few months before they wear out. New 1969 Premium Jeans line takes stab at designer market with cuts like Sexy Boot and Always Skinny. Regular sales and quick turnover reward frequent visits. Just so long as you don’t mind looking like everyone else.

Ann Taylor LOFT

Less dowdy spinoff of preppie parent store. Any “loft” associations should have you thinking modern professionals, not the gritty artists of yore. Practical work clothes, full lines of casualwear, “upper moderate” prices. Save a few bucks by waiting for the next sale. Not exactly edgy, but can be fashion-forward. Boyfriend wash jeans jackets, graphic T’s, crewneck cardigans. Broader range of sizes than most New York stores, accommodating full-figured ladies in addition to the half-starved.


Like its sister location in the Back Bay, it probably gets confusing in this Equinox location sometimes. Did I just check into a hotel or am I here to do crunches? Is this a nightclub or the treadmill room? High-end luxury gyms, sorry, health clubs, don’t stop you from sweating out a good one. It just means you can relax in style when you’re done. Juice bar, complimentary towels and other accoutrements in a locker room that looks like it should have an attendant waiting for a tip, full service spa, gift shop, sauna, yoga, boxing studio and plenty of heaving Financial District types living the dream, if that dream means toning their abs. It does.

Bar Seven Five

Prime wind-down spot for FiDi hotshots. Dual entrances lead to modern space, with sleek clusters of exposed bulbs, glossy black surfaces. Keeps it Empire State proud: order a Manhattan, or a brew from Brooklyn, or a glass of wine from Long Island or the Finger Lakes. Also plenty of scotch. Stick around long enough and hopefully some financial regulator will swoop in with a bar-tab bailout.

Brooks Brothers

Business, casual. Inventors of Gentleman Chic. Don’t mistake timeless for old-school: wares are ever-fashionable, running the gamut of occasions, from swimwear to bespoke suits. Some stores offer in-house tailoring. If they do: go. These brothers know their own cuts like nobody else could. Helpful salespeople will give the assist on navigating their polished, warm spaces.