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Where to spend your holiday gift money

Tory Burch Madison Avenue

Tory Burch Madison Avenue Photo Credit: Tory Burch Madison Avenue (Whitney Cox)

You have to spend that holiday gift money somewhere! This week, head over to these independent shops and designer boutiques that always top amNewYork's list.

Tory Burch
797 Madison Ave., 212-510-8371
Just a warning: This UES townhouse-cum-flagship is so inviting, you'll probably want to move in. No bed? No matter! The space's thoughtful restoration and impeccable design reflects Burch's signature uptown-with-a-twist aesthetic, and it's packed with a dizzying mix of textures, colors and prints.

Alexander Wang
103 Mercer St., 212-977-9683
Stylish young things had been waiting with bated breath for wunderkind Wang to open an NYC flagship - and, as of February, they breathed a sigh of relief. The 3,500-square-foot SoHo store is - much like Wang's coveted aesthetic -minimalist, with tongue-in-cheek twists (including a fox-fur hammock suspended from the ceiling). Clothes, arranged by color, hang along the shop's periphery, while the bulk of Wang's signature bags are displayed on the back wall, each shining on its own shelf, not unlike covetable pieces of art.

No Relation
204 First Ave., 212-228-5201
This store carries a killer selection of vintage clothing and accessories - most of which are priced in a fair $10 to $50 range, with exceptions made for rare finds. A search through the selection of thrifted threads is likely pay off: On our last visit, we found a soft T-shirt from the original Sam's Town Hotel in Vegas, a black sequin shell and a brown leather rucksack.

Palmer Trading Company
137 Sullivan St., 646-360-4557
Like any robust Americana shop worth its salt, PTC is filled with dark furniture, leather chairs and even an American flag propped up in the corner. The store - opened last fall by flea-market junkies Willy Chavarria and David Ramirez - stocks a well-curated (if pricey) mix of made-in-the-USA men's goods.

ShiShi
2488 Broadway, 646-692-4510
Is there anything better than wandering into an independent boutique only to realize, " I can actually afford to buy stuff"? We think not, which is why this year-old gem is worth the trip uptown. Owner Yael Levertov stocks a mix of casual wear ($39 T-shirts) and dresses ($68-$89) and everything in between. Once it's on your radar, you'll be making trips regularly: The shop gets new merch weekly.

With & Wessel
247 Elizabeth St., at Prince St., 917-261-5607
Fans of minimalist cold-weather dressing will fall in love with this new Nolita spot from Norwegian-born husband-and-wife team Stian Tolnaes and Catherine Wessel. Interestingly, 100% of the goods are made from eco-friendly merino wool, right down to the bras and undies. The emphasis is on layering - neutral tanks and bodysuits, floor-grazing dresses and paper-bag pants are meant to be piled on. The best part? At $35 to $250, chic layering comes at a price that won't give you chills.

Goliath RF
175 E. 105th St., btwn Lexington and Third aves., 212-360-7683
Formerly a bar, this Harlem shop now hawks a top-shelf selection of sneakers. A self-proclaimed sneaker fiend, owner Rosemary Frazier carries a fine selection of limited-edition and hard-to-find kicks. The store mostly caters to men, but there are some women's and kids' shoes, too. Tees, caps and other streetwear round out the selection.

The Village Scandal
19 E. Seventh St., 212-460-9358
Cloche chic! This shop is a milliner's dream, offering a staggering array of headwear, including vintage styles. Grab a drink at McSorley's before swinging by - the Village Scandal is open late.

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