Last time Britney Spears was in New York — almost exactly one year ago — she finished off a wild night in a strip club by putting on one of the dancers’ thongs.

But since she flew in from LAX last night, her latest trip to the Big Apple has been a very different affair.

Instead of heading to the clubs to catch up with her scantily clad buddies, Brit checked straight into her swank downtown hotel to get ready for the busy day of high-level business meetings (and a little shopping!) ahead.

The newly fit and focussed singer started today by paying a flying visit to the Z100 radio station to talk about her new album Circus, before zipping uptown to the Sony headquarters wheres she was scheduled to meet with Barry Weiss, the president of her record label.

But after an hour-long sit down with the boss, Britney relaxed by spending an hour or so (and, it seems, a few hundred dollars) in super-luxe department store, Barneys.

"When she came out of the elevator, her assistant was already carrying an armful of clothes," said a fellow shopper in the shoe department. "I’d say she’s definitely a fan of this place!

"Britney took a good long look at a pair of Christian Louboutin high heels ($575) and looked like she spent a long time weighing up whether she was going to buy a pair of knee-high black leather Fendi boots ($920), but decided against them in the end.

"She seemed pretty relaxed, twirling her hair around her fingers as she wandered around, checking out all the cute shoes. She looked like she was in her element!"

Brit finished up her spree in the cosmetics section, where she tried out a few different shades of lipstick before picking out just the right red, a Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited #190 ($23), plus their Nobara cream foundation #554 ($27).

Then she hopped back in her car and headed right back to her hotel — without a single second-hand thong in sight.

What a difference a year makes!


By Oliver Coleman

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