There's something magic that happens between snatching clothing off the rack and plunking it down at the cash register, and that something is the dressing room. Here are our favorite oases throughout the city -- from temperature-controlled to ultra-posh.
Most Technically Accurate: Burton's Cold Room
Set at a constant 15 degrees, Burton Snowboards' chamber of chill at their SoHo store lets you accurately test the warmth of all their outerwear, reminding the weaklings like us that winter sports are, in fact, cold. It also happens to be perfect diversion on a hot-and-humid day like today.
106 Spring Street
Unless you've got the rack of Venus and can drift into a shop on a leisurely schedule, bra shopping can be a harrowing experience. Not so at Journelle, where you get chocolate (yes, chocolate). At her Flatiron boutique, owner Claire Chambers puts her shoppers at ease by serving up sugary delights and bottled water while shoppers fit themselves into impeccably designed underthings.
3 East 17th Street
To enter the Prada store is to, well, enter the Prada Store -- thus slipping into a luxuriant realm of the finest things the earth has to offer. Even if, like us, you can't justify blowing the month's rent on a dress or your entire checking account on a pair of shoes, fake it and spend some time in the dressing rooms. The entire Rem Koolhas-designed space is a high design paradise -- one you won't miss a minute of while changing, thanks to some macdaddy liquid crystal technology in the rooms' sliding glass doors, giving them an ethereal smoke-and-mirrors effect. You'll thank us later.
Most Enthusiastic: Juicy Couture Flagship on 5th & 52nd
Yup, we said it - if you're going to act out one epic movie montage of costume changes, why not do it among the bright pink cheek of Juicy Couture's crazy midtown universe? It's big, it's loud, and it puts us in the mood to buy -- so if Juicy's keeping score, she'd say it's a winner. Go mildly icognito among the tourists and teenagers and leave with a little pep in your step.
650 Fifth Avenue
Dreamiest: The Bergdorf Goodman Wedding Salon
High on Mt. Olympus, a.k.a. the seventh floor of Bergdorf's, sits a luminous ivory tower. The art-deco salon is absolutely stuffed with top-shelf gowns, served up by a serene staff over champagne and smiles, and could turn the illest-bridezilla into a contented little kitten. Plus, the home registry lies just steps away, meaning one could register in her actual dress were she so inclined.
754 Fifth Avenue