Monday, March 31, 2008

The week in shopping
If you like Abaete's shoes for Payless, here's your chance to stock up on the real thing--dresses and swimsuits--for up to 80% off. 4/3-4/5; 11-7, noon-6 Sat.; 560 Broadway (at Prince St.), ste. 509.

Just in time for spring break (if you haven't taken yours yet, that is), it's Calypso's warehouse sale. Boho-chic wares are as low as $10 for shorts and $40 for dresses. 4/2-4/6; 10-7, 10-6 Fri.; 11-5 Sat. & Sun.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Work-friendly (but feminine) looks from Cynthia Steffe are a mere $20-$100; 10-5 Thurs., 10-3 Fri.; 550 7th Ave. (at 39th St.), 10th fl.

My coworker KR is going to be so psyched about the Elie Tahari sale; stock up on work clothes for 70%-80% off. 4/1-4/5; 8:30-7:30 weekdays, 10-5 Sat.; 510 5th Ave. (at 43rd St.).

LES boutiques Honey in the Rough & Narnia Vintage are teaming up for a one-day warehouse sale. Narnia's vintage stock is $10-$40 and Honey's indie wares are at sample-sale prices. 4/5; 11-8; 174 Ludlow St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

Hollywood hippies love Me & Ro's semiprecious sanskrit-inspired jewelry, which is now up to 75% off. 4/3-4/4; noon-7 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; 13 Crosby (at Howard St.), 2nd fl.

I feel like Catherine Angiel is always having a sale, but her jewelry is feminine and well made, so I don't mind. Now, select items are 50% off. Through 4/14; noon-7; 43 Greenwich Ave. (Charles & Perry Sts.).

Kwigy-bo's doggie collars, sweaters, and bags are a mere $5-$40 at this cash-only sale. 4/3-4/4; 9:30-6; 501 7th Ave. (37th & 38th Sts.), ste. 506/508.

Robert Lee Morris's iconic jewelry is up to 60% off; RLM studio line is $14-$95, but gold, silver, and semiprecious jewelry can go up to $700-ish. 4/3-4/6; 11-6; 400 W. Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Ted Rossi's sample sale has leather and Swarovski jewelry, handbags, and hair accessories for up to 75% off. 4/2-4/4; 11-7; 15 E. 30th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 600.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Object of Desire: Golden Goose boots
I have been looking for the perfect pair of brown riding boots for what seems like forever. The shade needs to be not too dark; the toe not too pointy nor too rounded; the sole not too chunky; and the hardware not too ostentatious. I hate any kind of boots with zippers, so it needs to be a pull-on style. And while I realize that some breaking-in will be necessary, I'd prefer a softer leather that will age better. So when I got an email a few days ago about Golden Goose's boots at shopbop.com, I thought I had found my perfect pair. Witness the Charlye: perfectly broken-in, the perfect shade of brown, the perfect shape, and so on. Not so perfect? The price. $1,050, to be exact. That's two pairs of Louboutins, to put things in perspective. I'm even more incredulous that they're almost sold out. Regardless, I'm somewhat relieved that my size is no longer available--it wasn't meant to be. In the meantime, my search for the perfect riding boots continues...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sponsor shout-out (and sales!)
Once in a blue moon, I update all the links and ads on my sidebar; this is one of those times. I've got brand-new ads for you to click on (please, please click on them!), plus I've added a bunch of new blogs to my blogroll. Feel free to check them out (and if you want to be added, email me).

In other sponsor news, L'OCCITANE  has a nice gift with purchase--spend $85 and receive a "Tenderness" sample set when you enter COMFORT at checkout, while supplies last. Plus, receive free shipping on a $40 order through 3/31. I highly recommend the Immortelle line, the Amande line, and the Angelica shampoo & conditioner.

Also, the oft-overlooked Pink Mascara has redesigned its website (and the result is a vast improvement, if you ask me). To celebrate this occasion, you can enter to win a $3,000 shopping spree.

Finally, if you still want to sign up for Gilt Groupe and don't want to wait for me to send the invite (sorry, sometimes I get a little backed up with my email!), you can click on this link. Then type in my personal address, which is gudy402 [at] yahoo [dot] com. Then you should be ready to start shopping! You're welcome!
MasstigeWatch!
Is it me, or have I been doing a ridiculous amount of MasstigeWatches lately? Regardless, we can now add Express to the list of mass-market stores hopping on the designer-collaboration bandwagon: The L.A. Times reports that Celia Birtwell will design a collection for the store. I have a feeling that the majority of Express customers have no idea who Birtwell is (for the record, she is a London-based designer whose heyday was in the late '60s; she's most famous for the prints she designed for her husband Ossie Clark's line). Regardless, I think the feminine pieces will be a welcome arrival at Express, which, I'm assuming, is attempting to shake the polyester/spandex shackles of its former owner, Limited Brands. The line hits stores April 7th.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The week in shopping
Dress like a starlet with a gown from Marchesa--this sale features both the couture and Notte by Marchesa lines for 40%-80% off. 3/26-3/29; noon-7 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri., 10-3 Sat.; Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 2nd fl.

City Opera Thrift Shop
always has great finds, but Thursday is their semiannual mega sale, featuring YSL, Chanel, and other coveted designer finds. 3/27; 5-8 p.m.; 222 E. 23rd St. (2nd & 3rd Aves.).

Ananas handbags and GirlCat are teaming up for a joint sample sale; prices are up to 80% off. 3/28-3/29; 10-8; 167 Elizabeth St. (at Spring St.).

Hit Hart Schaffner Marx's first-ever sample sale, featuring menswear for up to 70% off (suits are $399). 3/30-4/3; 10-6 Sun, 9-7 Mon.-Wed.; 9-5 Thurs.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

As the owner of a cheap-ass West Elm rug that sheds all over the place, I can tell you that if you're going to splurge on something for your home, invest in a good rug. Antique rugs are 20%-75% off at ABC Carpet & Home; that means they're still pretty pricey, but worth it. 3/27-4/13; 10-8 weekdays, 10-7 Sat., 11-6:30 Sun.; 888 Broadway (at 19th St.).

Past-season hipster staples from Built by Wendy are up to 75% off. 3/28-3/29; 11-8; 46 N. 6th St. (at Kent St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 3

DDC Lab has dressed-up basics for men and women, mostly for under $100. 3/26-3/30; 10-7, 11-6 Sun.; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Take 15% off a $100 order at BananaRepublic.com when you enter promo code BRSPRING15 at checkout. Online only, from 3/25-3/30.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One for the boys
A few weeks ago, MW and I went out to dinner with two of his best friends, CK and DG and their significant others, and MW was the only dude at the table without a beard. Perhaps feeling a bit insecure about his manliness--or the fact that he's the only beardless hipster in Brooklyn--MW decided to grow one. (A beard, that is.) Two-plus weeks in, his beard is about a quarter of an inch long, surprisingly multicolored, and itchy. And while MW is somewhat metrosexual in terms of his shaving products and hair styling aids, he has not yet ventured into the world of moisturizers. So we went searching for a beard-specific lotion and came across the excellent men's grooming website Grooming Lounge. God knows we women have enough products at our disposal, but I was surprised to see all of the cool grooming aids available here--it's enough to turn any man's man into a product junkie. Some of them are surprisingly specialized too. For example, who would've thought that there would be a special moisturizer for bald men's heads? For the perennial Adjuster in your life, there's Balla Powder, which is pretty self-explanatory. Got a Harry Goldenblatt situation? I present The Mangroomer, an electric back-hair shaver that extends to 135 degrees. Of course, Grooming Lounge carries the more mundane products--after-shave, deodorant, body wash--but it's more fun to talk about the quirky stuff. Speaking of which, the copy on the website is hilarious, in a Maxim-lite way; I guess making pimple cream and foot spray humorous is the least one can do. As for MW, he's temporarily moisturizing his beard with a T. Anthony sample I found in my drawer, but we're going to order him some Bluebeards Original Beard Saver. That is, until he caves and shaves it all off.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cheryl Shops...Old Navy
You have to admire Old Navy--under new creative director Todd Oldham, they're desperately trying to shed the frumpy-campy image of yore in favor of a more fashion-driven focus, along the lines of Forever 21 and H&M. They're not quite there yet, but they're trying. I stopped by the Atlantic Center store today on my way home just to check things out, and their current campaign, "pattern play," definitely has a colorful, Palm Beachy vibe, just in time for spring break. I have a strapless maxi dress that I bought last year at Old Navy and this green style definitely caught my eye; unfortunately, it must've caught other people's eyes too, since it was sold out at the store and is nearly gone online, however it is available in a pink and a black print.


I didn't see a lot in the store, but online, there are a lot of great peasant tops and dresses, which I love to wear out at night when in tropical locales. This embroidered tunic will look great with a simple pair of sandals (like these) and a tan, and the embroidery is far more luxe than you'd expect from, well, Old Navy.


But some of my favorite pieces were the jewelry, many of which looked like Kenneth Jay Lane knockoffs. The enameled snake bracelet and free-form ring are awesome, but my favorite is the bamboo bangle--at $7.50 each, you can buy a bunch and stack 'em on your wrist like a glamazon.


Thankfully, my high school girlfriends and I are planning a little warm-weather getaway--and it's never too early to start shopping for a vacation, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

MasstigeWatch!
WWD reports that Gap's Design Editions will be back this year [subscription required], featuring a drool-worthy lineup that includes 3.1 Phillip Lim, Band of Outsiders, Michael Bastian, Philip Crangi and Threeasfour. The line hits stores--and not just select locations!--April 15th. Because I love me some 3.1 Phillip Lim, I will be there bright and early. As for the designs themselves, sorry, this is the biggest photo I can find!

Want more good news? Monica Botkier is doing a line for Target! [Again, subscription required.] Word on the street is that it hits July 14th. I will, of course, post more info as soon as I have it.
The week in shopping
Get there early and bring your credit cards: It's time for the storied Hermes sale. Expect long, long lines. 3/19-3/22; 10-6, 10-8 Thurs.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th floor.

On the more affordable side, Lauren Merkin's cute handbags are up to 70% off. 3/18-3/20; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 201.

Just in time for spring break, the J Rosen Showroom has swimsuits, flip-flops, jewelry and more from Vix, Lisa Curran, and other designers. Prices are mostly under $100; cash only. Through 3/21; 9-8; 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 510.

La Petite Coquette's lingerie from Araks, Cosabella, Only Hearts, and other fancy brands are 30%-80% off at this semiannual sale. Through 3/23; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 51 University Pl. (11th & 10th Sts.).

Sadly, Gramercy Park's Stardust Antiques & Jewelry is closing after 15 years in business. Select items are now 50% off; discounts will increase as the weeks pass. Through 6/30; noon-7 weekdays, noon-6 Sat. (closed Sun.); 38 Gramercy Park (at 21st St.).

Samples for (eco)mpasson is now open permanently, with a different sale each week from Thursday through Sunday. This week, look for Linda Loudermilk, Joe's Jeans, People's Liberation, and a selection of items from Big Drop. Five percent of all sales go to charity. 3/20-3/23; noon-8; 2 Great Jones St. (Broadway & Lafayette).

Buy next year's coat now at Searle - they've got Mackage and private label coats for ridiculously low prices. Through 3/31; 10-8 weekdays, 10-7 Sat., noon-6:30 Sun.; 156 5th Ave. (20th & 21st Sts.).

Misorena has men's and women's accessories from Ro, Mayle, and John Richmond for a mere $29.99. Through 3/23; 10-7 weekdays, 11-6 weekends; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

All 18th Amendment and Karen Walker denim is 40% off at Elizabeth Charles, in stores and on the website. Through 3/31; see www.elizabeth-charles.com for locations.

For the well-dressed pooch, Wagwear has dog clothes and accessories for up to 70% off. Through 3/31; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 48 E. 11th St. (Broadway & University).

Head over to eDressMe's Penthouse for all manner of dresses at rock-bottom prices. Through 3/20; 10-6; 325 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

In preparation for warmer spring weather--if it ever gets here--silk sweaters are 25% off at Henri Bendel. 10-8, 11-7 Sun.; 712 5th Ave. (56th & 57th Sts.).

Boutique 57 has Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, YSL, and other ritzy designers for up to 70% off. Sizes 2-10 will be available, as well as bags, jewelry, and other accessories. 3/18-3/19; 10-7; Regency Hotel, 540 Park Avenue (at 61st St.), penthouse suite.

Through 3/31, Beauty.com has an awesome Jenni Kayne makeup bag filled with beauty samples, yours with a $75 purchase (mine is already on the way).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Buy it: Delia*s Honey Bee Shoes
I don't know about you, but I think I suffer from a mild form of Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). It gets really bad this time of year--at this point I've had enough cold weather and clouds and precipitation (normally snow, but in this year's case, rain). If my recent sinus problems are any indication, however, spring is on its way, but in my opinion, it can't come quickly enough. Which is why I like these super-cute Honey Bee shoes from Delia*s. The floral print (which gives a nod to Gucci's signature botanical motif) is so bright and cheerful, but the covered-toe slingback style is still appropriate for spring's unpredictable weather. Wearing them might not make the conditions outside improve any faster, but at $39, they're way cheaper than one of those UV lamps doctors suggest buying if you do suffer from SAD. Plus, they'll keep you smiling all the way to summer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fashion news roundup
Nominees for the CFDA awards have been announced; Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, and Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein are vying for the womenswear prize. Winners will be announced June 2nd. If beauty is more your thing, Fashionista has the full list of nominees for the CEW awards, which will be announced May 2nd.

In high fashion news, Paulo Melim Andersson is out at Chloe; he'll be replaced by Hannah MacGibbon, who worked at the label under the sorely missed Phoebe Philo. Word on the street seems to be that Andersson's collections were fairly well received by the press, but not so much by Chloe's loyal clientele. Personally, Andersson's designs were a bit too Marni for me, and while I love me some Marni, well, I'd rather go straight to the source. Let's hope MacGibbon brings the label back to its feminine roots.

Finally, for the MasstigeWatchers out there, Glamour's Slaves to Fashion blog was the first to confirm that Richard Chai is Target's next Go International designer! (I posted about the rumor back in January.) Word is that the Rogan Gregory collection is all swimsuits, so I'm guessing this one will be for late summer or early fall. I am very excited--Richard Chai is one of my favorite up-and-coming designers!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The week in shopping
Donna Karan is clearing out her personal clutter to benefit the Urban Zen Initiative; everything from vintage clothing and antiques to personal jewelry and couture is on sale for $20-$2,000. 3/14-3/15; 10-7; 711 Greenwich St. (10th & Charles Sts.).

Olive & Bette's West Village store is hosting a one-day sale with TIBI, Nanette Lepore, Splendid, and other great labels for up to 75% off. 3/13; 8-7; 384 Bleecker St. (at Perry St.).

The Paul Smith sale has moved to Soho, and prices are now up to 85% off. 3/13-3/15; 11-7, 11-3 Sat.; 76 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Mick Margo is taking 50%-70% off fall and winter collections from some of the most coveted designers around, like Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, and VPL. Through 3/15; noon-7; 19 Commerce St. (7th Ave. & Bedford St.).

Furniture, fabrics, home accessories, and more from Ralph Lauren Home are on sale. Credit cards only, and leave the strollers at home. 3/11-3/14; noon-7 Tue., 9-7 Wed. & Thurs., 9-5 Fri.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Clothingline has Agnes B., Inca, Iisli, designer shoes, and children's clothing from last week; see website for details. 3/11-3/14; 10-7 Tue. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Underground NYC has Bill Blass dresses, coats, and ready-to-wear for up to 90% off. 3/13-3/17; noon-7; 440 Broadway (Grand & Canal Sts.).

Elijah's fall and holiday women's lines are 70% off. 3/12-3/14; 10-8; 252 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1502.

Home accessories for francophiles are up to 50% off at Le Cafetiere. Through 3/15; 10-7, 10-6:30 Sat.; 160 9th Ave. (at 19th St.).

Nancy & Co. has Robert Rodriguez, Rozae Nichols, and a host of other designer pieces for up to 90% off. Through 3/30; 10-7; 1242 Madison Ave. (89th & 90th Sts.).

Echo Of The Dreamer's semiprecious jewelry is $15-$320 at their first sample sale of the year. 3/11-3/15; 10-6, 11-4 Sat.; 242 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

The imaginatively named Denim & Knits has, well, denim and knits by Joe's, J Brand, True Religion, and others, for $89-$129. Through 3/17; 10-8, 11-6 Sun.; 2 Cortlandt St. (Broadway & Church St.), 2nd fl.

New York Dog's pet carriers, clothing, collars and leashes, and toys are up to 80% off. Carriers are buy one, get the second for 50% off; sweaters are $10 and up; beds are $25 and up; and totes are $20 and up. 3/11-3/14; 9-8; 133 W. 25th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 9 East.

Former Cheryl Shops website of the week and online shoe oasis Barefoot Tess has revamped their website--check it out!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Reality TV roundup
Christian won Project Runway! After seeing the photos from the show, I had a feeling (as I gloated to MW last night) that he'd be victorious--he has a flair for runway drama, sure, but I also think that Christian was the most talented of the three. Rami is technically skilled, but his clothes seem to be more about showing off his tricks rather than, as he said, celebrating the female form. I will say that Jillian's was definitely the most wearable, and I really hope she finds financial backing, because if she produces a line, I will buy it. But it was sportswear, and Christian's was high fashion (which leads back to the eternal visionary male designers vs. practical female designers argument). Also, Christian, with his asymmetrical haircut and witty quips, is just made for reality stardom, and the fact that Victoria Beckham was a guest judge definitely didn't hurt. So far, the Project Runway winners have all seem to have had a little difficulty getting their businesses off the ground; hopefully Christian's drive and energy will ensure that his clothes actually make it into stores.

I am still watching America's Next Top Model, and I feel like whenever the show takes a step forward, it then manages to take a step back. Or vice versa. I thought most of the makeovers were so hideous (as was the super-annoying "Tyra TV" commentary), but then the photo shoot was fairly normal (lingerie, no crazy makeup) and mega-supermodel(!) Elle Macpherson was there, lending an air of legitimacy. (Side note: I like her lingerie line, and I recommend checking it out.) And then there was the product placement: I'm used to Cover Girl by now, but what was up with the random Apple Bottoms delivery? If you're going to whore out to a brand, at least turn it into a challenge or a photo shoot! I am glad Allison got kicked off, because she was clearly brat-tastic (and somewhat racist at that, thanks to her "black girls take it in the butt" comment). Although I will say, I know Fatima has had a hard life and is missing a clitoris and all, but girlfriend is a big ol' bitch, and next week she appears to tussle with both Whitney and Miss J. Uh-oh...
MasstigeWatch!
Now that the Jovovich-Hawk Go International is available at Target, customer reviews have started to trickle in, and as I feared, the collection appears to be ill-fitting and made of mostly synthetic fabrics. The earlier collections, like Paul & Joe and Proenza Schouler, had mostly silk and stretch cotton, but the more recent lines have been heavy on the polyester and rayon. The tops and pants seem to be getting better ratings, however, so perhaps those are worth a try.

I am not a huge fan of synthetic fabrics, but I will gladly wear costume jewelry, so I'm happy to report that Target's next designer collaboration will be with Justin Giunta of Subversive jewelry. Featuring the line's signature clumpy-chic look, the collection will retail for $14.99 to $59.99 (the groovy earrings pictured here are $14.99) and hits stores March 23rd. (What's left of the Dominique Cohen jewelry collection is on major markdown.) Joy Gryson's bags hit stores April 6th, with prices from $19.99 to $49.99 (check out this awesome bag, for $49.99). As for Go International, the next designer confirmed after Jovovich-Hawk is Rogan Gregory, although there's no date yet. So many designer collaborations at Target, so little time...

...which is why Wal-Mart is getting in on the Masstige bandwagon (WWD subscription required). They announced last week that '80s icon Norma Kamali will design a fashion and home line for them, a la Vera Wang for Kohl's. It sounds like a strange pairing, and it is: Kamali is an advocate of the arts and a believer in holistic wellness; Wal-Mart is known for underselling its vendors and refusing to pay benefits to its workers. If you're still intrigued but refuse, as I do, to even set foot in Wal-Mart, the collection will also be available in Kamali's NYC store at 11 W. 56th St. (although it should be noted that there is no Wal-Mart store within the five boroughs of New York City). The line will debut this fall.

Thankfully we do have a Uniqlo in NYC, so we can partake of their upcoming designer collaborations (WWD subscription required): Brazilian Juliana Jabour created six looks that will hit stores later this month (this is one of her dresses--cute, no?); for the guys, Tim Hamilton will also be in stores in a few weeks. Then, in May, downtown girls will be lining up for Alexander Wang and guys can score Loden Dager. I love me some Wang (pun intended), so I will of course keep you updated on the details.

Finally, the Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes are now in stores, but it's not like you'd know, because they're doing so little to publicize it. Besides for blog mentions here and there, the only press I saw was an article in this month's Elle. Also, in the stores and on the website, there is no mention whatsoever of Pierre Hardy's name anywhere--it's lumped in with the European Collection. Now I know most people who shop at the Gap have no idea who Hardy is (for the record, he's a French designer who has a namesake line and also makes all the shoes for Balenciaga and Christian Dior). But think of all the attention that, say H&M and Target get for their Masstige collections--all the press, and all of the foot traffic and curiosity-seekers that they draw. We all know the Gap is in major financial trouble, so don't you think they could benefit from some media attention? Maybe they can't afford to pay a marketing department anymore. Nevertheless, the Times Square Gap by my office had the same shoes that are currently available online; I have my eye on the blue-and-white striped wedge, so I might try the store on 5th Avenue, which, according to Racked, has the entire line in a special popup shop. In the meantime, my other favorite style is the wooden platform sandal pictured here, but keep in mind that only whole European sizes are available, up to 41 (which is a 10)--sorry, big-footed gals.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cheryl Shops...San Francisco
I love New York and have no plans to leave anytime soon, but if I had to live anywhere else in the country, San Francisco would be at the top of my list. The city has an excellent public transportation system, the weather is ideal, the people are friendly but not vapid (unlike, you know, maybe some other big cities in California), the food is fresh and tasty, and, perhaps best of all, there's excellent shopping. In other words, San Francisco is like New York with nicer people and better weather. Like NYC, there's a little bit of something for everyone, from big department stores clustered around Union Square to smaller, curated boutiques in yuppie-ish neighborhoods like Cow Hollow and the Marina. My favorite part about shopping on the West Coast, however, is the vintage boutiques. I love vintage shopping but find it incredibly frustrating in NYC--with the exception of the cavernous Beacon's Closet, you can expect to shell out $125 for a nondescript '70s sundress at any random boutique to thousands of dollars for, say, a vintage YSL dress from a store like Resurrection. I don't know why vintage shopping in California is so much better, but I'm certainly not going to complain about it.

The best place for vintage in San Francisco is, of course, Haight-Ashbury, birthplace of the hippie movement. La Rosa is the most New Yorky of the stores on Haight Street, because it has both the highest prices and the most curated (and dry-cleaned) selection. There's a messy Goodwill and a Buffalo Exchange--I know many people who find amazing things at this store, but whenever I go in, all I see is past-season H&M and Urban Outfitters merchandise in varying combinations of synthetic fabrics. Aardvarks, which also has locations in L.A., is kind of hit or miss; at first glance all I saw a bunch of gross polyester dresses, but upon further digging, I found some awesome old Gunne Sax dresses from the '70s at very reasonable prices. I feel like Aardvarks has better stuff for guys--Western shirts, cool leather jackets and such. Held Over is quite possibly one of the best vintage stores I've ever been to--every item in the store is precisely categorized, so if you're searching for, say, peasant tops and dirndl skirts, you can go straight to the source without digging through the racks. There were sexy '70s disco dresses, mod '60s minis, delicate super-old vintage dresses and everything in between. Sadly, I didn't find anything I truly wanted to buy, but this will be one of my first stops the next time I'm in town. My favorite vintage store, however, was The Wasteland, where I also had success in L.A. I love Wasteland because they're obviously picky about what they accept on consignment; a good portion of the merchandise is designer, but--get this--it's actually affordable. Sure, more recent items from labels like Prada and Chloe were in the $100-$200 range, but I saw a Sonia Rykiel sweater for $18, a Missoni skirt for $65, and a wonderfully tacky '80s Versace jacket for an insanely low $22 (I noticed the newer items tended to be more expensive; I don't know if Wasteland's buyers have become more savvy about pricing or if things get marked down the longer they're on the racks). I lucked out with a very Mod patent-trim jacket/dress, a yellow '60s Joseph Magnin babydoll dress that fits me perfectly, and, my favorite, a huge Chanel tote for a mere $45. That's right, a Chanel bag for $45. See why I love vintage on the West Coast?

MW's favorite store was Amoeba Records, which may or may not be the largest music store in the country. He spent $150 and an hour and a half there, and I practically had to drag him out. And then he went back two days later. I buy clothes; MW buys media.

My other favorite shopping area was Hayes Street, which kind of felt like the Smith Street of San Francisco. There's a store that sells only sake, a bunch of funky galleries, and small but well-curated boutiques. I didn't buy anything due to time constraints, but there's always next time...
The week in shopping
Contemporary wonderland Wink is having a warehouse sale featuring Alice + Olivia, Madison Marcus, and other trendy labels for up to 80% off. 3/6-3/8; 11-7, 11-8 Sat.; 188 Columbus Ave. (68th & 69th Sts.).

Socialite fave Rachel Roy's collection (normally found at Bergdorf's) is up to 70% off. 3/5-3/7; noon-7; 148 W. 37th St. (6th Ave. & Broadway), 2nd fl.

Johnson's sale may be cash only, but you can score both winter and spring clothes with that certain downtown-girl je ne sais quoi for up to 80% off. 3/8-3/9; noon-6; 179 Orchard St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

Clothingline has Chaiken maternity and childrenswear from JAcadi, Rachel Riley, Kule, and more. Through 3/7; 10-6, 10-7 Thurs.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Pratesi linens are up to 75% off, which puts sheet sets in the mid to high three figures, but robes are a mere $95! Leave children under 12 at home. 3/9-3/11; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

For the dapper dressers, men's and women's Paul Stuart clothing and accessories are up to 75% off. Through 3/7; 9-6:30, 9-5 Fri.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Toys, art, and apparel are 50% off at this special Kidrobot sale. Through 3/9; 11-8; 70 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Shelly & Renee's latest sale features Tuleh, Marc Bouwer, and Pamela Dennis--plus Carlos Falchi handbags--for up to 80% off; a portion of proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 3/9-3/11; 10-6, 10-4 Tue.; 36 Central Park South (5th & 6th Aves).

Stylish loungewear from E.vil, C&C, and Juicy Couture is on sale at Schvitz NYC. Through 3/15; 11-8; 128 Thompson St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Get free shipping on any order at net-a-porter.com when you enter code FREESHIP through 3/10.