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New York City's Best Stores to Shop on a Budget

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If you happened to one day be granted an unlimited bank account, you probably already know where you'd shop, right down to the exact floor of Bergdorf's. Alas, few of us are that lucky, making a massive chunk of NYC stores firmly relegated to the "window shopping–only" zone. But that doesn't mean we're without options in our budgets.

Instead of highlighting the cheap brands you already know—Forever 21, Old Navy, any one of those Necessary Clothing outposts on Broadway—we've rounded up the stores you might not think to shop otherwise: the small indie boutiques with cute under-$100 dresses, top-quality consignment shops, and the niche stores that sell items like books, shoes, or eyewear on the cheap. Did we miss your favorite affordable shopping secret? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Driely S.

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Darling

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Like its name suggests, super-cute dresses are the name of the game at this West Village boutique. Labels you'll find here include Yumi Kim, Eva Franco, and Dolce Vita, as well as its own exclusive labels, Kisses By Darling and Raquelle. Also in the mix: a selection of designer vintage finds. [Photo: Darling]

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

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Maybe you've traded in real books in favor of the steals you can find on the Kindle shop, but you'll never know what you'll find at this NYC staple. Added motivation? All proceeds benefit HIV/AIDS-related issues and awareness. [Photo]

Warby Parker

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Warby Parker's first full-fledged brick-and-mortar shop—now one of many—sells frames for prescription lenses and sunnies starting at just $95. Also offered in the store: eye exams, frame adjustments, and the entire Warby Parker collection at your disposal (and of course, plenty of mirrors to test them out). [Photo: Driely S.]

Galeria Melissa

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Here's a happy coincidence: The brand responsible for bringing jelly shoes back to the fashion forefront is cheaper than you'd think. Flip-flops start at $50, or you can invest in the most comfortable flats ever for around $60. [Photo Brian Harkin]
In Magdalena Jaworska's beloved Prospect Heights boutique, you'll find a mix of Brooklyn-based brands—think Dusen Dusen and Ilana Kohn—as well as bigger labels like Courtshop. Don't miss out on petting the store sidekick, Pizza—that extra perk comes totally free. [Photo: Driely S.]

Fanaberie

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Here's a Bedford Avenue boutique that's actually affordable: Greenpointer Ella Sikorski named this quiet, cozy store after the Polish word for "whimsical and fun clothing that you don't necessarily need, but very much want." True to its name, you'll find ultra girly pieces like sailor dresses, Taylor Swift-ian matching sets, and ladylike coats among the racks, mostly all under $100. [Photo]

Frankie

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Don't freak out if you've recently walked by 101 Stanton Street to find that Pixie Market isn't there anymore—its owners have replaced it with Frankie, a less-twee concept shop. But despite its minimalist makeover, Frankie still boasts relatively low prices for the Pixie Market girl's cooler, sportier older sis. [Photo: Frankie]
Even girls who don't necessarily vibe with the store's 50s rockabilly ethos can find something to love at the original location of this Park Slope boutique (there's a newer store farther south), which also includes tech accessories, $12 sunglasses, stationery and affordable jewelry on top of cutesy dresses. After all, Peter Pan collars, high-waisted bikinis, and polka dot frocks have stood the test of time for a reason. [Photo]

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The coolest girl in your office probably shops at this Carroll Gardens boutique. Dresses, tops, pants, and skirts from brands like BB Dakota and Minkpink in muted colors make up a majority of the merchandise, which is almost always under $100. Lest you assume the store's only for the South Brooklyn mom crowd, there's plenty of more daring, en-trend options, from chambray culottes to sexy, understated jumpsuits. [Photo]

Think Closet

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Pick up playful tops and dresses—think patterns made of macarons or hot air balloons—for under $50 at Think Closet. The brand, which gets its inspiration from cutesy Asian influences, also has stores in Soho, the West Village, and the Upper East Side. [Photo]

Babel Fair

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This Elizabeth Street boutique—fun fact, owner Erica Kiang opened it during the recession—carries tons of young, international designers from South America, Europe, and Asia. Unlike its many swanky Nolita neighbors, it specializes in entirely under-$300 items, and most tops, dresses, and skirts ring in at under $100, offering a far more unique alternative to Topshop or Zara at similar price points. [Photo: Driely S.]

Beacon's Closet

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We're calling it: Out of the many consignment shops in the city, Beacon's Closet is the best—just ask the costume designer for Broad City. At the warehouse-like Bushwick location that opened last summer, you'll find gently used, en-trend items separated by color, with brands ranging from Reformation to Miu Miu. [Photo: Beacon's Closet]

Yumi Kim Outpost

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While Yumi Kim's brightly colored floral dresses often ring out around the $200-to-$300 range, the Seventh Avenue South outpost acts as a sort of permanent sale location—you'll be able to pick of plenty of items for under $100. [Photo: Driely S.]

DNA Footwear

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This Brooklyn-grown mini-chain has expanded from a single shop way out in Bensonhurst to practically ubiquitous in the borough's best shopping corridors, and for good reason: The store specializes mid-range, quality brands like DV by Dolce Vita, Kork-Ease, and Clarks, plus trendy, albeit slightly more expensive labels like Swedish Hasbeens. The good news: Sale sections almost always make up a huge percentage of the store. [Photo]

Lockwood Style

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Despite the many young, fashion-conscious shoppers living in Astoria, the neighborhood hadn't had much in the way of local options—which was why Mackenzi Farquer decided to spin her home goods shop Lockwood into a new store, Lockwood Style. Brands like Dolce Vita and BB Dakota line the racks, with jeans around $75 and dresses starting at $45. Bonus: the store caters to larger women by carrying up to a size 20. [Photo]

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Darling

Like its name suggests, super-cute dresses are the name of the game at this West Village boutique. Labels you'll find here include Yumi Kim, Eva Franco, and Dolce Vita, as well as its own exclusive labels, Kisses By Darling and Raquelle. Also in the mix: a selection of designer vintage finds. [Photo: Darling]

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Maybe you've traded in real books in favor of the steals you can find on the Kindle shop, but you'll never know what you'll find at this NYC staple. Added motivation? All proceeds benefit HIV/AIDS-related issues and awareness. [Photo]

Warby Parker

Warby Parker's first full-fledged brick-and-mortar shop—now one of many—sells frames for prescription lenses and sunnies starting at just $95. Also offered in the store: eye exams, frame adjustments, and the entire Warby Parker collection at your disposal (and of course, plenty of mirrors to test them out). [Photo: Driely S.]

Galeria Melissa

Here's a happy coincidence: The brand responsible for bringing jelly shoes back to the fashion forefront is cheaper than you'd think. Flip-flops start at $50, or you can invest in the most comfortable flats ever for around $60. [Photo Brian Harkin]

O.N.A.

In Magdalena Jaworska's beloved Prospect Heights boutique, you'll find a mix of Brooklyn-based brands—think Dusen Dusen and Ilana Kohn—as well as bigger labels like Courtshop. Don't miss out on petting the store sidekick, Pizza—that extra perk comes totally free. [Photo: Driely S.]

Fanaberie

Here's a Bedford Avenue boutique that's actually affordable: Greenpointer Ella Sikorski named this quiet, cozy store after the Polish word for "whimsical and fun clothing that you don't necessarily need, but very much want." True to its name, you'll find ultra girly pieces like sailor dresses, Taylor Swift-ian matching sets, and ladylike coats among the racks, mostly all under $100. [Photo]

Frankie

Don't freak out if you've recently walked by 101 Stanton Street to find that Pixie Market isn't there anymore—its owners have replaced it with Frankie, a less-twee concept shop. But despite its minimalist makeover, Frankie still boasts relatively low prices for the Pixie Market girl's cooler, sportier older sis. [Photo: Frankie]

Flirt

Even girls who don't necessarily vibe with the store's 50s rockabilly ethos can find something to love at the original location of this Park Slope boutique (there's a newer store farther south), which also includes tech accessories, $12 sunglasses, stationery and affordable jewelry on top of cutesy dresses. After all, Peter Pan collars, high-waisted bikinis, and polka dot frocks have stood the test of time for a reason. [Photo]

Article&

The coolest girl in your office probably shops at this Carroll Gardens boutique. Dresses, tops, pants, and skirts from brands like BB Dakota and Minkpink in muted colors make up a majority of the merchandise, which is almost always under $100. Lest you assume the store's only for the South Brooklyn mom crowd, there's plenty of more daring, en-trend options, from chambray culottes to sexy, understated jumpsuits. [Photo]

Think Closet

Pick up playful tops and dresses—think patterns made of macarons or hot air balloons—for under $50 at Think Closet. The brand, which gets its inspiration from cutesy Asian influences, also has stores in Soho, the West Village, and the Upper East Side. [Photo]

Babel Fair

This Elizabeth Street boutique—fun fact, owner Erica Kiang opened it during the recession—carries tons of young, international designers from South America, Europe, and Asia. Unlike its many swanky Nolita neighbors, it specializes in entirely under-$300 items, and most tops, dresses, and skirts ring in at under $100, offering a far more unique alternative to Topshop or Zara at similar price points. [Photo: Driely S.]

Beacon's Closet

We're calling it: Out of the many consignment shops in the city, Beacon's Closet is the best—just ask the costume designer for Broad City. At the warehouse-like Bushwick location that opened last summer, you'll find gently used, en-trend items separated by color, with brands ranging from Reformation to Miu Miu. [Photo: Beacon's Closet]

Yumi Kim Outpost

While Yumi Kim's brightly colored floral dresses often ring out around the $200-to-$300 range, the Seventh Avenue South outpost acts as a sort of permanent sale location—you'll be able to pick of plenty of items for under $100. [Photo: Driely S.]

DNA Footwear

This Brooklyn-grown mini-chain has expanded from a single shop way out in Bensonhurst to practically ubiquitous in the borough's best shopping corridors, and for good reason: The store specializes mid-range, quality brands like DV by Dolce Vita, Kork-Ease, and Clarks, plus trendy, albeit slightly more expensive labels like Swedish Hasbeens. The good news: Sale sections almost always make up a huge percentage of the store. [Photo]

Lockwood Style

Despite the many young, fashion-conscious shoppers living in Astoria, the neighborhood hadn't had much in the way of local options—which was why Mackenzi Farquer decided to spin her home goods shop Lockwood into a new store, Lockwood Style. Brands like Dolce Vita and BB Dakota line the racks, with jeans around $75 and dresses starting at $45. Bonus: the store caters to larger women by carrying up to a size 20. [Photo]