Off-Price Retail Shopping in NYC: Filene’s Basement

On my recent trip to NYC, I planned to visit as many off-price retailers as I could. By the end of my trip, I had been to 13 discount department stores:

2 Daffy’s stores
3 TJ Maxx stores
3 Marshalls stores
2 Filene’s Basement stores
1 Loehmann’s store
1 Nordstrom Rack
1 Burlington Coat Factory

Filene’s Basement

Filene’s Basement emerged as a clear favorite shopping stop this time. You see, I have been growing my dress collection for the past three years and the dress section at Filene’s basement is quite extensive. I think I was grinning from ear to ear when I entered the store on the Upper West Side. The store looked like a discount dress heaven. There were Max Studio, Marc New York, BCBG, Ellen Tracy, French Connection and many more dresses everywhere.

My first thought was, “I wonder how many items I could take into a fitting room?” With a handful of dresses, I headed to a fitting room.

What I Bought

I purchased a black Adrienne Vittadini dress because of its classic, form-fitting style with a little edge via the zig zag zippers.

Adrienne Vittadini knit dress with zippers

I also bought a BCBG t-shirt dress with darling yellow layers because it exudes such a unique flavor. What can I say? I was instantly attracted to this dress and just had to have it.

BCBG tiered t-shirt dress

What I Didn’t Buy

Marc New York sheath dress

Max Studio tank dress

The Marc New York dress would work well for work, but I needed to size up. Do you ever pass on an item because you just don’t feel like returning to the floor, grabbing another size, and trying on the item again? Well, that’s what happened here.

The Max Studio tank dress had a striking racerback and I wanted it for that reason only. The top of the smallest size available, however, was too big. I also noticed that Max Studio dresses are more expensive in Filene’s than they are in Marshalls and TJ Maxx.


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  1. July 6, 2011 / 2:15 pm

    love the two dresses you purchased- that yellow is SO fun!! and yes, i pass on items all the time just because i dont want to go back and get a different size then go back to the dressing room!

  2. July 6, 2011 / 2:19 pm

    Ok that black dress with the zippers, just sharp. And the BCBG is so fun, love it. Good job!

  3. July 6, 2011 / 3:06 pm

    That zipper dress is 100% fantastic!

  4. Anonymous
    July 6, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    I love the dresses!!!…Especially love the Max Studio Tank….Are your feet aching yet??…CAPIS

  5. Anonymous
    July 6, 2011 / 4:37 pm

    Those dresses look fab on you!!! Great eye!

  6. July 7, 2011 / 3:47 am

    I like the two that you bought, but my favorite is the t-shirt dress with the yellow layers! Very unique!

  7. July 7, 2011 / 3:53 am

    LOVE Filene's Basement! We have 2 in downtown Chicago and I've scored some MAJOR deals… $40 Gucci seasonless wool pants, $179 Dolce & Gabbana Suit! You did great and I love the zipper dress!

  8. July 11, 2011 / 3:42 am

    How did you not hit Century 21???

  9. July 11, 2011 / 12:12 pm

    @Lori: That's exactly what I thought about the yellow dress. At this stage of my wardrobe building, I am only looking for special pieces and the BCBG dress was just that. I like being left alone when in an off-price store, but dressing room assistance (like getting additional sizes) is the only service I miss.

    @Sing: Thanks! We are on the same page there 🙂

    @Sal: Right! It is the kind of dress I wish I could wear all the time.

    @CAPIS: You should see the back of the tank dress…a fierce of racerback. It was too cute. I am still hoping that I could find it in a Marshalls. Wow…how did you know about the feet? I only took shoes that were well broken in, but none of them had the kind of sole support needed to walk around NYC. Those avenues are too long! Ha!

    @Kish: Mine too. That BCBG dress might be my greatest find. I am really feeling BCBG this year. I love hitting up the outlet store in Cinci.

    @Bravoe Runway: No way! Impressive! I also love shopping those two stores in Chicago and maybe doing so soon.

    @Kady: Good question! Century 21 was definitely high on my list. I have found some amazing shoes in C21 over the years! I just didn't have the opportunity to get out to Wall Street and totally regret that. I am so excited about the new store coming to Lincoln Square though. That location would be ideal for me when I visit.

  10. September 4, 2011 / 12:39 am

    THANK YOU for pointing me to this post! My mom, a couple of my aunts and I are taking a bus trip to Chicago in October. In the past, we never have a plan and just wander around town, but this time I'm going with a mission to shop, and I will definitely make it a point to stop at Filene's Basement!