Shopping and Drinking in LA--Part 2Part of: Fashion , Food , Guest Bloggers , LA
[Rachael's breakfast: TBA]
...Which leads me to: Shop with attitude. Seriously. I know girls who won’t step foot into a place like Chanel because they can’t get that Pretty Woman scene out of their heads. I say, OH PLEASE!! Go in whatever store strikes your fancy. They really are just clothes, and the people working there really are just sales girls/boys. So go in, try on, see what the hype is about (or not) and buy or don’t, but at least see what they are offering. I am not advocating being rude, I am simply saying you are the customer, and you are in charge, so go for it. You never know what you may find. (Or who might find you)
My favorite stylist to a star (he may be dating some pop diva, but his stylist ain’t exactly on the back burner...) wants me to give a shout out to swap meets and flea markets too. She is a huge fan and I sometimes find my skinny white girl butt being hauled down to Slauson and out to Pasadena for the real deals. It is pretty fun too for a once or twice a year excursion. You should check it out. If her client can get away with it (and the boy has gazillions) you can too. There is no shame in a bargain my friends. No shame.
I am really compelled to throw in "don’t gain weight" and "treat your clothes well," (wooden hangers people. wooden hangers. And always insist your dry cleaner use fresh fluid on light clothes) which are fashion and wardrobe essentials, but perhaps a little too basic...so let’s say you really want a cream colored cashmere twin set, (because, you know, Bree is your favorite Desperate Housewife) but can’t decide which looks best or what you want to spend. Why not go ahead and buy a few different styles and bring them home to check out and return what doesn't work. Who knows, the $45 top may just go with more of your wardrobe than the $450 version. Trick here is to not lose the receipts (I once lost the receipts to about $3500 worth of down vests and seriously had a breakdown) and all will be good. This does require advance accounting skills for your bank balance, but I have faith in you.
There is also something to be said for having a personal shopper. I don’t mean a stylist here kiddies, I mean a shopper. (Though stylists do rock) You go into one of your better department stores (though heck, I think Macy's has them too) and sign up. You meet with a shopper and they walk around with you, getting a sense of what your style is (and making suggestions of what may work for you) and what your price ranges are. Then they call you up, or email whenever something comes in that they think you’ll like. This is something I do when my life starts to get hectic, and I tell you it’s a dream. Just don’t yank the shoppers chain, I mean, if they are taking the time to work with you, buy something and tip accordingly (if the store allows that) Also, even when there is no official shopper service, in a lot of stores where the salespeople are on commission, if you buy there often enough, and are friendly, they will typically throw some kick ass stuff your way (as in, holding things off the sale rack if they know you had looked at it.) because they trust you will be all over it. Turns out, being nice does pay off!
Internet shopping is just too tricky and involved for a girl like me, but once in a while it can work. Lets say you see a picture of Rosario Dawson sporting the most incredible taxicab yellow patent leather Christian Louboutin shoes you have ever laid eyes on, but $895 seems a bit extreme for a pair of shoes you may only wear three times, what do you do? Well, first, you locate the shoes in the real world and try them on to make sure you can even pull something that hot off. Then, go home, go online and find them on ebay, or at eLuxury or Amazon or wherever they turn up and get them for less. It doesn’t always work, but what a dream when it does. Sigh.
I also advocate signing up for mailing lists. They email you when there are sales, and sometimes include discounts that joe public doesn't get.
As for where to shop, well kiddies, that's all up to you and your bankbook. (and a little help from Daily Candy, I’m sure) My style is a little funkier than most, so top choices include Trina Turk on 3rd St. Miss Sixty on Melrose. Dale Michelle on Beverly, (she is SUCH a peach) Kitson on Robertson, Ethel on 3rd Street, Barneys, Nordstroms and the fab new Marc Jacobs store also on Melrose. And the bestest spot of all? The Neiman Marcus outlet out in the desert on the way to Vegas. You can buy a ton of name brand stuff there, ebay it all, and hook yourself up with a super sleek-and-sexy gold snake skin trench coat to end all trench coats.