T+L asked New York City’s tastemakers to open their little black books—here are our favorite tips.

Credit: Caroll Taveras

Expert Picks

Five New Yorkers reveal their top stops.

Kelly Framel, Blogger, The Glamourai:Catbird, a jewelry and home-goods store in Williamsburg, has delicate gold rings—I can’t walk by without adding another one to my finger.” 219 Bedford Ave.

Jason Pomeranc, Hotelier: “I like the Lower East Side’s Freemans Sporting Club for their custom suits; everything is vintage-inspired.”

Erica Domesek, Blogger, P.S.–I Made This: “The Bergdorf’s of craft emporiums? M&J Trimming. Gorgeous ribbons in silks and grosgrains that you don’t find anywhere else.” 1008 Sixth Ave.

Jonathan Adler, Designer:The End of History stocks an unexpectedly vast range of glass and ceramics from the fifties and sixties. It ain’t cheap, but squintillionaires can fill their houses with bright orange Murano decanters.” 548 1/2 Hudson St.; 212/647-7598.

Beth Buccini, Co-owner, Kirna Zabête Boutique:MiN New York feels like an age-old apothecary—as if you’ve walked into medieval Florence.” 117 Crosby St.

One-Hit Wonders

These stores sell mainly one thing, and sell it well.

Hats: J.J. Hat Center (310 Fifth Ave.)
Rain or Shine (45 E. 45th St.)
La Crasia (85 Grand Central Terminal)
Save Khaki (44 Greenwich St. and 317 Lafayette St.)
Tender Buttons (143 E. 62nd St.)
Vintage Eyeglasses:
Fabulous Fanny’s (335 E. Ninth St.)
Custom-Made Footwear:
E. Vogel (19 Howard St.)
Crime Novels:
The Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren St.).

Sample Sales 101

Tips for navigating (and scoring a great deal) in this fashionista paradise.

Timing Matters: “Go on the first day, very early, for the best picks. Looking for the lowest possible prices? On the last day, they may mark down even further,” advises Shereen Koshnoodi, founder of NYC Sample Sales.

Dress Accordingly: Sample sales aren’t known for dressing rooms, and many require you to check your handbag. “It’s good to have a wristlet or small wallet that you can put in your pocket, because holding a purse when you’re trying to look through racks of clothes is a pain,” says Tiffany Yannetta, editor of the shopping website Racked NY. “Wear leggings and a tank so you can try things on easily.” Also: “Don’t wear your Manolo Blahniks to a Blahnik sale,” adds Hayley Corwick of website Madison Avenue Spy. “If you take off your shoes to test another pair, someone could think they’re up for grabs.”

Be Polite: “It’s easy to get territorial or aggressive about a piece of merchandise,” Yannetta admits. “If you accidentally pick up another person’s item and they get defensive, that’s the appropriate time to walk away. None of this is life or death: it’s just shopping.”

Where are the best sample sales? Six of the top listing sites.

3 Places That Give Back

All profits at family-focused A Time for Children (506 Amsterdam Ave.) go to the Children’s Aid Society of New York.

Proceeds from used tomes at Housing Works Bookstore Café (126 Crosby St.) help HIV-positive New Yorkers.

For every pair of eyeglasses purchased at Warby Parker (121 Greene St.), another pair goes to someone in need.

Go the Distance

Some of the city’s greatest finds are a quick ride from Manhattan.

Bronx Park, The Bronx: Surrounded by 250 acres of the New York Botanical Garden, the Shop in the Garden offers a nursery and green-thumb-inspired jewelry, books, and dinnerware.

Long Island City, Queens: An overfilled curio shop, the Underpenny Plane & Cast Iron Museum is crammed with vintage finds, including rotary-dial telephones and Tiffany pens. 10-13 50th Ave.

Red Hook, Brooklyn: Letterpress stationery and textiles at Foxy & Winston are made on site by owner Jane Buck.

Graniteville, Staten Island: Like a scene from The Big Bang Theory, Comic Book Jones has a huge selection of comics and staff so friendly they’ll make you feel like a regular on your first visit.

Tips from T+L’s Twitter Followers

Kiosk in SoHo is well-curated, filled with useful global products. @ktrose

If we’re talking food shopping in #NYC: @Eataly is stop #1 every time! @breannajwilson

The smoked salmon at Fairway = the absolute best. @Hudsonvalleykid

On the Lower East Side, Volang is the spot for handmade, bohemian-style clothes. @belili

Freemans Sporting Club

Although it opened in 2004, walking into this custom tailor/barber/apothecary is like stepping into a 19th-century gentlemen's stockist. Started by a group of outdoorsmen with admittedly sophisticated urban sensibilities who hang out at the hip neo-tavern Freemans next door, the Club offers men the opportunity to be fussed over and fitted for a bespoke suit or belt, and to pick up wool work shirts with a tailored edge. And if he's a man who has everything, he can step into the back room for a classic indulgence: the barbershop shave.

Tip: Pick up Freemans' most iconic piece of clothing, the Shacket—an unlined jacket finished with French seams and available off the rack.

The Shop in the Garden

With more than 250 acres located in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Gardens are the largest in the United States. On these grounds, visitors can find Shop in the Garden, a weathered stone structure brightened by natural light and filled with plenty merchandise related to horticulture. Operated by Margaret Csala, the shop specializes in the raising of orchids, eventually available for sale onsite or via the website, along with the accessories for growing healthy flowers. Garden-themed gifts like books, dishware, stationery, clothing, jewelry, outdoor furniture, home goods, and floral prints are also for sale.