Thursday, February 28, 2008

Premium Denim -- Why pay full price?

Who doesn't like a great pair of jeans? I think we all do! If you are one that prefers "premium denim", please don't pay full price!! These jeans (you know the brands: True Religion, James Jeans, Joe's Jeans, 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Paper Denim & Cloth, Yanuk, Buffalo by David Bitton, Rock & Republic, Salt....just to name a few) can all set you back upwards of $150 to $200 or more per pair!!! I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't see paying that when I can often find these exact same jeans for far less!

I have never once paid full price for any of these brands! In most cases, I pay $30 to $80 per pair, which I think is fantastic. After all, you cannot go into place like The Gap & find jeans there for under $60 (unless they are having a big sale). So, that being said, why not buy premium, get a great fit AND a great price??!! (And, I like The Gap, don't get me wrong, just not for my jeans).

Best places to shop for such deals on premium denim: Loehmann's, for sure!!! Also, a few times a year, Marshall's will get in a huge load of premium denim & their pricing is on average about $10 less per pair than Loehmann's. All first quality -- no defects that I have detected to date.

I have Joe's & James jeans, both from Loehmann's, that I have paid $79.99 per pair for. If you sign up for Loehmann's Insider Club, you will often receive e-mail discounts....the last one I received was for an additional 15% off my entire purchase. Not too shabby!!! (More on my love affair with Loehmann's later......) Jeans by Paper Denim & Cloth or Salt will run you about $39.99 from Loehmann's, which is even more amazing. Oh, and the jeans I have purchased here by Buffalo, I have really scored....anywhere from $11 to $25 per pair! I see these jeans at Macy's starting at $95 a pair.

I also have jeans by 7, Joe's, Salt, Paper Denim & Cloth and more that I scored at Marshall's in recent years & those started at about $24.99 a pair up to $79.99. No coupons, though. Usually, I get wind of the Marshall's premium denim influx by E-mail. Everyone should sign up for their "newsletter" via E-mail so you know when the good stuff is arriving.

Bottom line: Hit the web-sites for both Loehmann's & Marshall's & sign up for their E-mail newsletters / the Insider Club (Loehmann's) so you can get hot tips & extra discounts. Then, head on out for some great shopping. Your denim-covered butt will look like you spent some serious coin, when in reality, you scored 2-3 pairs for the price of one, had you bought them at Barney's or some cool shop on Melrose!

Hey, and when you tire of your premium denim, you can always get your money back -- you sell them on E-bay! Often times, I auction a pair off & it makes more than I what I originally paid!! E-bay shoppers enjoy a good deal & are not afraid of "used" denim, as long as the stuff is clean & in good condition.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday is my Fun Day!

If you are like me & tend to believe that one man's trash is another man's treasure, then I have a few fave shopping haunts to share with you......

2nd Sunday of every month, rain or shine: The Rose Bowl Flea Market
It's at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, just like the name implies. Parking is free, but they have steadily upped the admission price. I think we're up to $8 per adult now!! It's fun, though, despite the entrance fees. No pets allowed, but we often see smuggled in dogs -- I just don't have the balls yet to try it! Concessions are costly, as is the beer, so if you are pinching pennies, you may want to pack some H2O & snacks of your own, but I love me the frozen lemonade on those hot shopping days! There are areas of new items for sale, but mostly, it's old antiques of every variety. And, if you need some great (new) "Persian" style rugs, hand-made in various places in the Middle-East, there is a "rug guy" there to can find a huge area rug for MUCH less than retail. Trust me, we have shopped these babies around.....what would have cost us far beyond $3500, we paid maybe a third!

You can find anything from cell phone accessories, to clothing, to Spanish clay tiles, to plants, to edible items, jewelry, handbags, belts, candles & soap.......then, you have your antique toys, vintage clothing, furnishings, etc. TOO much to name! Plan to be there for at least 2-3 hours & wear comfy shoes!! A recent score: Rustic teak coffee table for $140 which we have seen similar items at local shops like Jackalope Pottery for nearly $600 !!!

The general admission begins at 9am. If you get there earlier, be prepared to pay far more than $8 just to walk in the door!

3rd Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at Glendale College (GCC) in Glendale
This one has free admission, but you will pay $2 to park, which is a deal right there! It's a small group of vendors & if you are prepared to dig through the junk a little, you can really score BIG & pay next to nothing for those items you just found! I have scored a bunch of home decor items for prices so low, you would not believe me if I told you! And, yes, there is a lot of junk......but amongst the junk, we find many gems.

If you get hungry, it's the "Roach Coach" for food or drink. I recommend you eat before you arrive unless you like that sort of thing. And, yes, you can bring your pooch along for the shopping trip!

1st Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at PCC (Pasadena Community College) in Pasadena
Another one with free admission, although I have not been there lately -- it may have changed. And, you will need to supply a couple of bucks to park the car. This one is pretty large, so again, wear those comfy walking shoes! You will see mostly antiques & some "junk"......but when you find your treasures, the vendors often have GOOD pricing!

There is not much here in the way of concessions, but you won't starve to death if you go on an empty stomach. They do have some food & drink offerings for sale. Just nothing fancy.

For all of these events, I recommend bringing what I call a "Granny cart" -- it might look lame, but you won't be alone pushing one around filled to the brim with treasures, I promise! My man even modified ours to add a pair of drink holders -- it's fabulous! And, by all means, be prepared to haggle on pricing! Unlike a retail store, nothing is set in stone!!

Stay tuned for more on this subject, but there are 3 of MY local faves in this category.....Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Things...

The premium outlets in Cabazon, California! Need I say more?

Well, in case I do.....Cabazon is the home of Casino Morongo on Indian land. Sales tax is lower than in LA & you are just minutes from downtown Palm Springs.

These outlets are by far the best I have been to.....I always seem to score, as does my hubby. Just a few of the wonderful stores: Gap, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ferragamo, Nike, Dior, Barney's New York, Theory, Hugo Boss, Osh-Kosh, Puma, Bose, Coach, Tod's, Michael Kors -- just to name a few! There are 3 huge shopping complexes & there is no way I could list all the stores, not to mention I have yet to hit them all myself, despite my numerous voyages to the area. GO EARLY if you go on a weekend & actually expect to find a parking space.

Normal Shopping Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm. Check their site for holiday hours, special sales & coupons.


Wear comfy shoes.....and if you forget that tip, just buy some while you are there shopping!
Happy Shopping!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shop Shoppin', Shoppin' at ROSS

If you find a good Ross store (because let's face it, some of them suck booty)....then you know how cool Ross can be. One of my favorite locations is the 2-story Ross in Pasadena on Lake Avenue.

All Ross stores offer a 15% discount to seniors on Tuesdays.....that means it's all the old crap from the week that did not sell & they want to get rid of it before the new goodies arrive. Lines are extra long on Tuesdays. New merchandise arrives at most LA Ross locations on Wednesdays.

Best days to shop at Ross: Thursdays & Fridays. All the new goodies are out for the taking! If you wait for the weekend, the stores will be more crowded, lines will be even longer than usual (if you can imagine that) & you may miss out on some of the good merchandise that I already went & bought on Thursday or Friday!

Many people don't like Ross because the stores tend to be sloppy, crowded & the lines are long. I understand all of that, believe me.....but if you can go on either a Thursday or Friday during the day (translation: on your extended lunch break), then you will likely score better merchandise while the store is slightly better organized. I am afraid the long lines seldom subside regardless of days or times you shop. You will have to "dig" a lot through the acres of clothing racks or shelf upon shelf of home decor, but it's often well-worth the hunt! They have some name-brand merchandise. If you have children, Ross is a must!!! They can get all the Roxy & Quicksilver they desire for a fraction of the price!

Ross is an excellent place to by stylish, affordable home decor items for general use OR if you intend to sell your home & you need to do some staging before you list with a realtor.

Ross Warning: read the tags on the clothing & bedding/towels......those items can be "irregular". It's clearly marked on the price tag, if this is the case. Try on the clothes -- in most cases, it's all good. With linens & towels, I have yet to find any irregularities with my naked eye that I cannot live with. Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Barney's (NOT the "beanery")

The big Barney's Warehouse sale is back once again at the Santa Monica Airport. The sale runs from 2/7 - 2/18. You can save 50%-80% on designer fashions in for men, women & children (clothing and accessories) and items for the home.

This sale is not for the faint of heart. You have to do a LOT of digging in this huge place! And, let's face it, the items are designer & prices are not dirt cheap for the most part. Savings start small early in the sale & end up at a larger percent off as the sale draws to its close. Be prepared for crowds & "Andy Gumps" if you need to relieve yourself. There are NO fitting rooms, either! Don't be shy -- people will be dropping their drawers & changing clothes all over the warehouse right in front of you. They do have mirrors, though. I find the best way to shop is in a dress with a fitted top & fuller skirt, so I can slip pants on & off underneath without overly exposing myself!

Might be the only time some of us non-celebs can MAYBE afford a pair of Manolo's! Some of the items are pure junk if you wait until the end of the sale, but my man has scored some premium denim for about $40! Speaking of men, the suit selections are awesome & they even have employees there to measure you to help you find the correct size.

Santa Monica Airport Hanger, 3021 Airport Ave, Santa Monica. 310-276-4400.

Happy Hunting!

The time has come: Confessions of a Shop-A-Holic

A bit about me:
I like to shop.....a LOT. I don't often get to shop as much as I would like since I switched jobs to an area that is less than appealing, but work is work! I need to support my habit.

My friends all come to me when they need to know WHERE to find the best deal on something & have repeatedly tried to get me to post my "wealth of useless information" somewhere more public. So, why not today? Why not here?

I am quite busy with work, driving in LA traffic & the who knows how often I will post, but I am giving it a try. ENJOY!

Best time to shop COSTCO

Confessions of a Shop-a-Holic:
It's almost that time of year again..........the BEST time to shop @ Costco where there are NO lines, NO crowds & you can actually enjoy the experience & get out of there reasonably quickly if need be: Valentine's evening!!!!!!!

Everyone is out on "date night" for the fake "Hallmark holiday", paying for overpriced flowers, dinner & jewelry...... and you can actually get some serious shopping done there in peace! I do it nearly every year. Of course, the few lonely souls left to work there that night look at you kinda "how sad......the poor girl can't get a date." ha ha!!!!
And, for those of you that actually enjoy this particular holiday, please don't take offense to my comments. To each her own!!! : )
Happy Shopping!!! Happy V-day!! XOXO