Millie Dillmount escapes to New York City from Salina, Kansas determined to marry her wealthy boss - whoever he may be. Bobbing her hair and assuming the modern look of a “flapper,” she takes a room at the Hotel Priscilla for Women and gets a job as a stenographer at the Sincere Trust Insurance Company. In short time, she finds herself involved with Jimmy Smith, a poor but fun-loving paper-clip salesman; Miss Dorothy Brown, a gentle aspiring actress who never seems to have spare change; several other stagestruck young women staying at the hotel; and Muzzy van Hossmere, a madcap Manhattan cabaret singer and heiress with a zest for the high life and a glamorous penthouse.
Millie's pompous but wealthy boss, whom she intends to marry, is Trevor Graydon III. But trouble comes in several respects. First, Millie is falling for Jimmy, but she fears that Jimmy is having a fling with Millie's new friend, Miss Dorothy. In addition, the hotel proprietress, the mysterious and sinister Mrs. Meers, employs two Chinese henchmen, Ching Ho and Bun Foo. They must help Mrs. Meers to kidnap any orphaned women checking into her hotel as part of her dealings in white slavery, so that they can bring their elderly mother to America. One of the potential kidnap victims is Miss Dorothy. Millie tries to seduce Mr. Graydon, until she finds out that Dorothy and Mr. Graydon are in love. Ching Ho also falls in love with Miss Dorothy.
Jimmy finally declares his feelings for Millie. Millie, Jimmy, and Mr. Graydon realize what Mrs. Meers is up to. They persuade Muzzy to pose as a new orphan in town. Mrs. Meers takes the bait and is exposed as the mastermind of the slavery ring. But Ching Ho has already rescued Miss Dorothy and won her heart. Jimmy proposes to Millie, and, poor as he is, she accepts, “because if it's marriage I've got in mind, love has everything to do with it.” Jimmy turns out to be Herbert J. Van Hossmere III, Muzzy's stepson, and one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. Miss Dorothy turns out to be his sister, an heiress, and she ends up not with Trevor Graydon, but with Ching Ho.
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