After dissatisfaction with the high prices and chaotic crowds at Century 21, our attention turned to discount staple TJ Maxx and their designer friendly Runway section. We surveyed Manhattan’s four TJ Maxx stores and bringing you the highlights.
Before we start our overview and you begin to shop you should keep in mind a couple of pointers. Always go straight to the Runway and clearance sections. If you see blue tickets, those are the Runway designer pieces. Red clearance stickers are the first reductions, while yellow stickers are the final markdowns. If you find something you like at one store, chances are one of the other stores may have it as well --and in different sizes. Lastly, as with all discount shopping, check your items for damage prior to purchase. Even though they have customer-friendly return policies, there is nothing worse than the disappointment of your designer treasure being damaged when you go home.
UES TJ Maxx: 59th Street and 1st Ave.
The Runway section is located conveniently at the bottom of the stairs ad Emilio Pucci’s colorful designs and bold print immediately stood out. Silk dresses and skirts ranged from $399.99 to $149.99. In addition, we spotted a red Prada trench coat for $599.99, black blazers by McQueen ($169.99) and Emporio Armani ($199.99) and Bruno Cucinelli beige blazers in suede and fabric for $299.99. There was a gorgeous beige satin silk Prada dress for $499.99, and a good mix of Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana, although the Gucci was a bit too pricey for our liking. This location happened to have a great selection of contemporary designers (think 5F) like Soft Joie, Theory, Elie Tahari, and See by Chloe, but their shoe and jewelry selections left much to be desired.
Chelsea TJ Maxx: Avenue of the Americas & 18th St.
This location had a stellar selection of Judith Ripka jewelry, most under $400. This downtown TJ Maxx had a similar selection as the one located on the UES but there was a larger assortment of sizes. If you are looking for summer white pants and jeans, they have a great selection of Valentino and Versace ($129.99), Dolce & Gabbana ($199.99) and Gucci ($249.99). We also found great Dolce & Gabbana corset tops for $149.99 (less than Century 21). They also had Runway items on clearance. (This spy couldn’t resist a slinky Halston Heritage dress for just $34.99). Many of the clearance designer shoes were mixed in throughout the racks. We found Giuseppe Zanotti and Gucci pumps for $199.99 and $289.99, respectively and Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino strappy sandals for $229.99 and $399.99..
Mid-town TJ Maxx: 57th Street and 8th
Unlike the other stores, this location has a Runway shoes on prime display. Giuseppe Zanotti formal and casual evening styles dominated the racks and various styles ranged from $199.99 to $359.99. Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and Hogan had a number of sandal styles available from $199.99 to $399.99. With black suede and a buckle detail, there were dozens of pointed Dolce & Gabbana flats in various sizes for $199.99.
The Runway apparel was our favorite. We found white McQueen and Ferragamo skorts that were on clearance for $39.99 and $79.99. A Love Moschino dress was on sale for $34. A beautiful floral Dolce & Gabbana dress was $399.99 while a fuchsia satin Versace was on sale for $249.99. This location had the best prices for Runway clearance, but it did take an effort to find them.
TJ Maxx UWS: 98th Street and Columbus Avenue
This location was most organized and pleasant shopping experience. Their Runway section is spacious and neatly organized. While they have a good variety of designers they did not have a good range of sizes. We found a very wide selection of Miu Miu, including a gorgeous violet and black chiffon dress for $499.99. Ralph Lauren Black label button up tops were $139, Fendi cotton tee shirts in black and white were $149.99 and few Chloe jeans were $179.99. All the designer shoes were in the clearance isle, but the best pricing and selection goes to the Judith Ripka and Charriol jewelry.