Century 21 Finally Opens on the Upper West Side
The real question isn’t why legendary bargain superstore Century 21 decided to open on the Upper West Side, but what took it so long. As the teeming crowds filling the store today attest, this neighborhood isn’t content with Loehmann’s and Filene’s Basement – it wants the big cheese itself.
This is a bargain hunter’s heaven: five floors packed to the brim with discount designer duds. The top two floors are menswear, so we recommend starting on the second floor, which mixes juniors, denim, lingerie, seasonal attire, and designer collections. Skip the first three of those categories – the prices and selection are the same or better at Filene’s Basement. We spotted a hefty the selection of coats, most of which were undistinguished, but we flipped for a mid-calf red Calvin Klein wool number, ultra-classic and a steal at 139.97 (from 280). The designer clothes are the real moneymaker here and we spotted some absolute gems.
Fall is in the air on the street and in the stores and Century 21 is no exception: try a Marc by Marc Jacobs navy cardigan, liberally embellished with faux pearls, just 199.97 from 358. Or go for a showstopping Nanette Lepore maroon beaded mini-dress. Don’t ignore the vague signs that read “Famous Designer” – they indicate some of the best bets, like an orange and blue checked Cacharel blouse for just 149.97 (from 540). The best bargain in the whole store, however, just may be a jaw-droppingly soft tomato red Enzo Mantovani cashmere cardigan for just $119.97, compared to an original price of 750.
The ground floor houses accessories, like Moschino leather and cashmere gloves (74.97 from 195) and a camel hair Pour La Victoire small bowling bag for 249.96 (from 445). It’s a pleasant stopover on the way to the basement, which houses perhaps the best reason to make a visit – the shoe section. We drooled for lavender Camper low-heel boots at just 149.97 (from 230). Boots are the star right now, given the season, but there’s no shortage of other shoes, including a darling pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs Oxfords at 159.97 (from 320).
If you can stand it, we advise waiting to check out the new Century 21 – the lines are insane. Regardless, whether you go now or later, it’s a worthwhile trip.
By Leila Cohan-Miccio
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