Christmas Shopping Saga Part III--LA Apparel Marts

Since this was the last week I can spend time on Christmas shopping at brick-and-mortar locations before my final exams, I decided to go to the Downtown apparel marts again. I brought my friend with me, and we both scored big. During the month of December, many showrooms open for every Friday of the month right up until Christmas (see BargainsLA.com for specifics on designer showrooms of note). The really good sample sales tend to be during this time of the year.

Usually I start with the New Mart, but this time I started with the Cooper Building because the sales I was more interested in were there. I picked up a bit of jewelry from 1 showroom, where my friend bought a $10 Fredricks of Hollywood clutch--perfect for her office holiday party tonight. There were a couple of guys on my shopping list, and guys are always tougher to shop for. The Mon Petit Oiseau showroom took a huge bite out of that problem. I got a couple of cool Charizmatik shirts for $5 each. Never mind that I never heard of the brand before--what I was into was the graphic designs on one of the T-shirts (the other was a nice baseball tee). Finally, the Lily McNeal sale took care of me. Although the Lily McNeal prices and merchandise were good, the prices were still beyond my low budget...I'm not willing to pay more than $15 for a sweater that I don't really need at this time. However, the showroom was also selling a ton of stuff from Development, my favorite label. The dress pants went for $20 and tops for $25. I refuse to pay that much for tops, but I'm willing to invest in pants because it's really difficult to find a pair that fits. After seeing all the wonderful merchandise, my friend is now also in love with Development. She bought a pair of white pants and I bought a pair in a minty green. We absolutely love our purchases.

Even though there weren't many showrooms to hit in the Cooper Building, we spent about 2 hours there. After a quick lunch at the nearby El Pollo Loco, we head over to the New Mart. Usually I find all my cool stuff there, but this trip was absolutely disappointing. Only few showrooms were open and the goods were nothing new, and prices weren't exactly jawdroppingly low for what they were. The only saving graces were the Tarina Tarantino and Gig showrooms. The Tarina Tarantino showroom has great bargains, especially for little hairclips. Things range from $5 to $40. They didn't have quite the super deal on the hairclips this time so I didn't buy more as I had planned to do, but I did pick up a bracelet for myself. The Gig showroom has good lingerie from Calvin Klein, JLO, etc. for a decent price. $5 samples are much better than what's sold at Victoria's Secret at the same price. They had good socks too; I picked up a pair of tights that I've been wanting for winter for $3. However, even that showroom had a significantly less impressive array of samples than a few months ago.

The California Mart was our last stop, since we were tired and most showrooms were closing at that point. We were quite "clothes'd out" by then, so we mainly wandered around looking for non-apparel gifts. We found some really cute stationary and candles for $1-2 each.

All in all, we spent a lot of money, but it was a productive day since we shopped mainly for others and not waste money on ourselves. I'm still not done with Christmas shopping, but at least I took care of a good chunk of it--much better than having to freak out after my finals are done. By then I'll need sleep, not more worries.

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