Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dear Loyal Readers, This Is Why You Love Me.

I am the queen of finding good clothes for about a fraction of what everyone else paid. I've lived in four major cities and I've always been broke. Thus, I know where to shop. Let's start with Minneapolis because while it's not the greatest place I've inhabited, its shopping venue takes the cake.

Opitz is the name of the game. It's in Minneapolis (Neighborhood called 'Saint Louis Park' right next to Lake Calhoun). Opitz consists of 2 buildings. Building 1 is large, concrete & and has tacky murals painted on the outside. Building 1 sort of like a TJ Maxx except everything is ridonkulously high-end. It's nice and fun but not *that* cheap.

Building 2 (also called 'The Annex') is next door. It's a tragic little shack which could easily be mistaken for a crack house. The inside is no prettier; it features a whopping 500 square feet of narrow isles, broken garment racks, makeshift dressing rooms and an angry elderly woman who barrel through the store at least twice daily, growling at shoppers in German (and no, she's not an employee-- just a loyal shopper). The Annex's most persuasive deterrent, however, are the giant, electric yellow banners decorating the exterior. These banners are especially fun during summer sidewalk sales when rush hour passerbys drive past the Annex and read 'EVERYTHING TEN DOLLARS!!,' as if to point a big arrow at me, proclaiming 'THIS GIRL IS UNEMPLOYED, COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BROKE, AND HAS SIX FIGURES IN LAW SCHOOL DEBT.'

So, have I convinced you yet? If not, read on, oh noble bargain finder. 'Cause if great clothes on sale were easy to find, everybody would be doing it. Ready? Ok.

IT'S WORTH IT. When discussing the sale garments I've found at the Annex, my palms sweat, pulse quickens and my pupils dilate. So I'm just gonna spit it out here. Forgive me for my grammatical crimes. Moschino, Prada Collection, Donna Karan Signature, Gianfranco Ferre, Alberta Ferretti, Diane Von Furstenburg, Max Azria Collection, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar De La Renta, Louboutin, Miu Miu, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Baleniaga, Monique L'Huillier, Strenesse Gabriele Strehle, Agnona Italy, Pier Antonio Gaspari, Armani Collezioni, Versace. You'll find rare upscale eclectic boutique designers. You'll recognize dresses from a 2006 Vogue. You'll be light-headed with glee. Yes, they are damaged and usually they're only 90% off. HOWEVER, once/month they have the $10 sale, where everything in the store is, you guessed it-- $10. Women stand in line for about an hour beforehand and claw each other down to get inside.

So, moral of the story:

  1. Call ahead and find out when the $10 sale is (will be on a Wednesday, store opens at noon, usually).
  2. Or better yet, sign up for their mailing list (click here do that).
  3. Then call ahead and confirm the date of the $10 sale (click here for their website and contact info.
  4. Go during the summer when the sidewalks are full of extra merchandise included in the $10 sale. (not that you want to go to Minnie during the winter, anyway).
  5. Bring your girlfriends and make sure you all grow out and sharpen your fingernails before attending.
  6. Immediately upon entering, go to the back corner of the tiny shack and grab a mesh black bag.
  7. Grab everything and anything that looks interesting to you, remove the hanger so that each ensuing garment does not take up too much room in the aforementioned black mesh bag.
  8. When you are absolutely sure that you've grabbed everything which looks interesting to you, go to a corner of the store and sift through it carefully. Re-hang the rejects (you do not want to piss off the employees of this store; they are your friends). And proceed to the register to purchase.
Go, my fashion children, you shan't be disappointed.

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