Weekend shopping
On a Thursday? You bet. I'm taking tomorrow off, as a well-deserved comp day, to hang out with Ms. Battle and capitalize on the last three days of tax-free shopping week.

Today through Sunday, Bloomingdales is taking an additional 40% off all sale merchandise.

Tomorrow and Saturday is the Manhattan Vintage show at the Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th and 7th). Go to the website and print out the first page for a $5 discount on admission (regularly $20). Hours are 1-7 tomorrow, 10-6 Saturday.

Find Outlet got a new shipment of Seven jeans (plus jackets, tops, miniskirts, and other pants) and Paul & Joe. 361 W. 17th St. (8th and 9th Aves.) and 229 Mott (Prince and Spring Sts.).

Happy shopping!
Are you a better shopper than me?
Prove it. Enter the Search for America's Smartest Shopper at Suave.com. The grand-prize-winner gets $20,000 and a chance to appear on The Look for Less, which is seriously one of my favorite shows (it's on the Style channel) and is hosted by the lovely Elizabeth Hasselbeck (nee Filarski) of Survivor and The View fame. Basically, you have to write a 250-word essay on why you're a kickass shopper. Entries must be e-mailed by March 31 or postmarked by April 1. Thanks to Brian Battle, brother of Laura and PR dude extraordinaire, for bringing this to my attention!
It's Final Take, whatever that means, at Lord & Taylor. Fall/winter merchandise is up to 80% off. Yowza! Click here to get a coupon for an extra 20% off.

Gabay's just received a new shipment of handbags from Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Tod's, Gucci, and more, and, dear lord, they're 70% off retail. 225 First Avenue (13th and 14th Sts.).

Save up to 40% on select items at West Elm.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, GlamOnWeb has La Perla lingerie for up to 40% off.

Cool midcentury modern furniture store Modernica is having a sale of up to 75% off. Items include bubble lamps, fiberglass shell chairs, mini wire tables, and more. I got my dining table here (sadly, for full price) several years ago--if you're in need of furniture, check it out. 1/28-2/1; 10-7 weekdays, 11-6 weekends; 57 Greene St. (Spring and Broome).
Notes from all over
WWD: Joining the West Village migration is Christian Louboutin, who will open a new store on Horatio Street, which is the very street on which yours truly lives, this summer. The selection will be more "extreme" than what's found in his Madison Avenue store. Also, J.Crew will feature 16 bridal looks in its new catalog, out February 2. But lest J.Crew's preppy, college-age clientele freaks out, the formalwear will be presented casually, with flip-flops.

The Daily: Meghan Stier gives us highlights of last night's America's Next Top Model. She failed to mention, however, how hot Shandi looks with her new blonde 'do and contacts! My money's on Shandi, not pixie crybaby Catie. Also: yet another pair of pants that make your butt look good (hey, you can never have enough).

Style.com: See-through stuff.

Finally, a special shout-out to Mina, who was having a terrible week at work until she bought the famed Marc by Marc Jacobs lace-up boots at the Language warehouse sale. The next day, Mina found out that she was being moved to a new, Manhattan-based group. The lesson, kids? Buy nice shoes, change your karma.
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
It's a special Golden Globes editon of E! Fashion Police! Thus, we have '80s prom queen Sarah Jessica Parker (to be fair, the dress looks a lot better in a still photograph than on TV); freshly-squeezed J.Lo; same ol' same ol' Jennifer Aniston; Maria Bello in a perplexing jumpsuit-style satin dress; Carson Kressly, who actually looks pretty cool except for his bedroom slippers; Scarlett Johansson in a sexy Stella McCartney gown that would've been ten times better in a different color (note: blondes should stay away from nude); Debra Messing in a goth pregnancy gown; Kim Cattrall in an amazing vintage Valentino; Jude Law is just damn hot; Sofia Coppola in a groovy Alaia (I'll forgive the flats, due to her allegedly broken toe); our March cover girl Elisha Cuthbert in a sweet '50s cocktail frock, which, again, would've been better in a color other than nude; Dominic Monaghan in a weird shiny suit (albeit, better than hairy hobbit feet); hot, hot mama Cate Blanchett in red Donna Karan; Uma in a beautiful lavender Versace; Nicole Kidman in her YSL misstep; and, finally, clear-cut fashion (and Best Actress) winner Charlize Theron in her light-as-air Dior. Whew!
Cool stuff
I don't know if I buy it, but these Miss Sixty Anti-Cellulite jeans have a "micro-capsule anti-cellulite finish," which, they claim, combats cellulite and stretch marks. Well, I suppose wearing them couldn't hurt...

For the past few seasons, the Gap has sold out of the cutest bags. For spring, they have this suede oversized hobo, which comes in pink, lavender, yellow, and my favorite, "tennis green." I love the cute floral lining, and the design is very modern. Best of all, it's $88--a tenth of the price of a Marc Jacobs bag. (For an even better bargain, check out the trench satchel for $34.)
In the papers
NYT: Cathy Horyn on the Paris menswear shows. Plus: Dietrich as muse.

WWD: Beyonce to shill for Tommy Hillfiger (What, no Ally?); Sephora to return to 5th Avenue.

The Daily: Damon Dash launches WASHHOUSE.
More Golden Globes
Not that there weren't enough "golden globes" on display, heh heh heh.

WWD: They luuuuv Uma, and give a plain ol' roundup for everyone else. Plus: Sofia had a broken toe, hence the flats.

NYP: What was wrong with Nicole's outfit (a lot, apparently). Plus: best-dressed and wavy hair.
Golden Globes report
I will fully admit that the only reason I watch all of these awards ceremonies is to see what people are wearing (and I'm sure I'm not alone, here). Hence my critique of the best- and worst-dressed:

Charlize Theron: This gorgeous, gorgeous woman wears the strangest colors (remember the pumpkin-colored Vera Wang she wore a few years ago to the Oscars?) and always looks incredibly amazing in them. This year? A graceful lemon chiffon Dior gown.
Cate Blanchett: She's pregnant and, in a ruby-red Donna Karan gown, managed to look better than 75% of the other actresses.
Uma Thurman: In floor-length bias cut lavender satin, is clearly better off without the grungy Ethan Hawke.
Gwen Stefani and Kim Cattrall: Both in vintage Valentino, illustrating the theory that they don't make 'em like they used to. Also, I can only hope that I look half as good as Kim Cattrall when I'm in my 40s.
Brittany Murphy: This is going to be a controversial pick, but I thought she looked very cute in her Dolce & Gabbana dress, and being engaged must be doing wonders for her, because she looked much less sickly (i.e. no undereye circles or sunken cheeks) than normal.
Sofia Coppola: Although I'm sure she's going to take a lot of crap for wearing flats (okay, okay, perhaps a round-toe heel would've been a better choice), I thought her sculptural, draped Alaia dress was refreshing.

Nicole Kidman: While I love how she takes fashion risks, her YSL gold pailette flapper dress, with its nude illusion fabric, reminded me of a figure skater's costume.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Sadly, her Chanel couture dress made her look like an '80s prom queen.
Jennifer Lopez: Her tangerine Michael Kors goddess dress clashed with her deep-bronze fake tan, making her look a bit overdone. Perhaps she wanted to appear subdued after the Big Breakup, but if I were her, I would've gone all Versace T&A. After all, she's still Jenny From the Block.
Jennifer Aniston: I love the girl, but she's stuck in a huge awards-show rut, i.e., black gown with plunging neckline. Suggestion: Try color. It looks good on you.
Renee Zellweger: While I applaud her for pouring her 30-lbs-heavier self into a Carolina Herrera cocktail dress, the cut, not to mention the horizontal stripe across the chest, was not flattering, especially on someone who appears to be carrying the weight on her top half.
Diane Keaton: We saw Something's Gotta Give. We know you have a hot bod, especially for a 50-something lady. Why the hell won't you show some skin? Come on, Annie Hall was nearly 30 years ago. Please move on from the menswear look.

Other takes on Golden Globes fashion:
Lookonline.com (The second post, by Marilyn Kirschner, is much more honest)
The Daily
In the papers
NYP: It's tax-free shopping week, uh, week at the Post, with stories on what to buy at the department stores and how to buy a whole outfit for $110 or less. Plus: Kelly Osbourne is this week's Shopaholic; an ode to the slip; and potentially libelous T-shirts.

NYP: More on the haute couture shows from Cathy Horyn.

WWD: Random notes on stores and coming this fall: UGG handbags. Hmm.
The week in (tax-free!) shopping
All clothing and footwear purchases under $110 are tax-free, kids! Not to mention, there are enormo sales galore. So without further ado...

I just hit the Language sample sale on my lunch hour and finally scored the Marc Jacobs lace-up boots that I've been lusting after for, oh, four months. The sale was a zoo, but they have a ton of stuff, most of it marked down 50% or more. I saw a bunch of Stella McCartney, Chloe, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Language private label, Citizens of Humanity, and more. I'd highly recommend checking it out. 1/26-2/1; 11-7, noon-6 Sunday; 238 Mulberry (Prince and Spring Sts.).

Clothingline is having its annual blowout sale, with items by Joie, Vince, Tocca, Nanette Lepore, and others marked down as much as 90%. Yikes stripes. 1/26-1/30; 10-6; 261 W. 36th (7th and 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

By the way, I'm sorry if anyone went to the so-called "sample sale" at Loehmann's last weekend. It totally sucked. I did, however, discover that they have a ton of jelly kellys in an array of spring colors, for $40. Also, they just got a shipment of Nicole Miller sportswear and dresses, for $24.99 to $159.99 (originally $100-$715).

Leigh Bantivoglio’s lacy, girly lingerie is $10 and up, just in time for Valentine's Day. 1/29-1/30; 10-7; 648 Broadway (Bleecker St.) Rm. 301.

Downtown hipster store Johnson has shirts, skirts, jackets, and more for 10%-75% off. Through 2/28; 179 Orchard St.

Lucky fave Martin's cords, jackets, and jersey tops are under $100. Considering how well made these clothes are, that's an incredible bargain. 1/29-1/31; 9-7 weekdays, 1-7 Saturday; 206 E. 6th St.

Flight 001's travel bags are 33%-70% off ($5 to $100). Through 2/13; 11-8:30, noon-6 Sunday; 96 Greenwich Ave. (Jane and 12th Sts.).

Keith Haring wonderland Pop Shop has stationery, hats, rugs, T-shirts, and more for up to 60% off. Proceeds benefit children's and HIV/AIDS charities. Through 2/8; noon-7, noon-6 Sunday; 292 Lafayette (Prince and Houston Sts.).

Furs and shearlings are 50% off retail at Frederick Gelb. He has mink, sheared mink, shearling, and more, in all sizes (small to XXLarge). Through 2/7; 9-5 weekdays, 9-4 Saturday; 345 7th Avenue (29th and 30th Sts.), 19th fl.

Or if you're a strictly shearling girl, check out Shearling Selection. Their coats and jackets are up to 70% off retail--that's $500-$1,295 (formerly $995 to $3695). Call 212-268-3844 to make an appointment. Through 1/31; 224 W. 35th St. (7th and 8th Aves.), suite 200.

Loftworks is celebrating tax-free week with an additional 30%-50% off their regular prices (which are up to 80% off retail to begin with). Through 2/14; 100 Lafayette St. (one block south of Canal).

Bergdorf Goodman is having a Nina Ricci Trunk show, with a personal appearance by designer Lars Nilsson on Wednesday from 2-4. Otherwise, the show runs Tuesday through Thursday, 11-4 on the fourth floor. Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.
Weekend shopping
Century 21 is having a huge winter clearance sale, with prices up to 80% off of their regular prices, which are in turn 40%-70% off retail. Meaning, big-ass discounts. 22 Cortlandt (B'way and Church).

Winter coats from Theory, Paul & Joe, Marc Jacobs, and others are 50% off at Bop.

It's Last Call at Neiman Marcus. Items are up to 65% off.

While walking along 34th Street the other day, I noticed Zara and H&M seem to be having big clearance sales.

Don't forget, Loehmann's is having a mystery "sample sale" today through Sunday; Winter clearance sales are continuing at Alexander McQueen, Sigerson Morrison (50% off!), APC, La Petite Coquette, and practically every store in the city.

Have a good weekend!
News from all over
WWD: Couture reviews of Valentino and Ungaro; Givenchy; Gaultier and Chado Ralph Rucci; and a whole bunch o' designers.

FWD: Suddenly, Ferragamo is hip (I'll have to tell my mom); Golden Globes gowns; and a weird beauty tip.

lookonline.com: Hermes is producing a limited-edition Metrocard holder (today's item).

Daily Candy: Cool jewelry by Brooklyn-based designer Jono Pandolfi.
Spring has sprung, apparently
Judging by the number of e-mails I've received about "New Spring Arrivals," you'd never know that it's 20 degrees outside. So while it's maybe not so practical to buy some pastel miniskirts, sandals, and tank tops just yet, you can start planning your wardrobe for, oh, five months from now, when it finally begins to warm up. Some websites with new arrivals:
Neiman Marcus
Banana Republic
Get an extra 15% off a purchase of $75 or more at Language when you enter code SPRING at checkout. Also, advance warning: Language's famous warehouse sale starts next Tuesday (look for more info next week).

I think their lingerie is crap, but I know a lot of people like it, so I'm listing this: Victoria's Secret's Semi-Annual Sale ends Sunday. Select collection bras and panties are 25%-50% off; clearance bras start at $9.99 and panties at $2.99. Plus, get free shipping when you spend $100 or more.

I'm intrigued: Loehmann's is having its first-ever "designer sample sale" at the 7th Avenue location only, Friday through Sunday. Designers include Oscar De La Renta, Moschino, Marni, Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Costume National, Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf, Dolce & Gabbana, Pierrot, Hussein Chalayan, Jil Sander, and more. I'll definitely be checking this out. 7th Avenue between 16th and 17th.

Find Outlet is having a crazy sale: Most items are an additional 30%-50% off (in addition to the usual 50% or so off retail), and some items have red dots; buy two items with red dots, and get an additional 25% off of one of them. Whew! 361 W. 17th (8th and 9th) and 229 Mott (Prince and Spring).

Buy two Somme Institute products at Beauty.com and get a free box of Transport Pads (a $48 value). I have no idea what those are, exactly, but, hey, they're free!

Take 20% off your order at Art.com when you enter code ILOVEART, now through 1/28.

The Company Store is having a sheet sale, of up to 40% off. They've got everything from cozy flannels to luxurious 340-count sateen.

Save 5% (hey, every little bit helps) at Citymoda.com when you enter code MODASP at checkout, now through 2/15. They have new bags by Gucci, Balenciaga, Tod's, and more.
America's next top model?
Ladies, if you're a size 4, are at least 5' 6'', and live in the NYC area, you could model for super-hip downtown label Built by Wendy's February fashion show. If you're interested, e-mail your picture to info@builtbywendy.com.

Speaking of which, has everyone been watching America's Next Top Model? I loved the first installment, so you bet your bippy I'm watching this season. I'm rooting for Shandi. I just want to take her awkward, geeky, lanky limbs in my arms and give her a big hug.
On the web
Hint's new Shop Tart column has Y3, Missoni, VPL, and more.

Style.com has couture reviews, tennis-inspired fashions, and iconic costume designers.

Daily Candy, seemingly on a footwear kick of late, has colorful shoes from Ashley Dearborn.

In the papers (again)
NYDN: An analysis of Martha Stewart's trial wardrobe. The writer quotes one "jury consultant and former federal prosecutor" Walter Becker, who says that perhaps Martha shouldn't be carrying Hermes bags because, "If she puts up a barrier, like ... wearing a bag that no one else can afford, it may hurt that bonding process. She should try to put across the image that she's not greedy and she lives like a normal person." Um, hello, she's trying to prove that she didn't sell her stock under an insider-trading tip, not that she's a "normal person." Of course she's not normal--she's the head of a multimedia empire and she's worth millions and millions (if not billions). Where does this guy want her to shop? Kmart?

NYT: Another couture review from Cathy Horyn.

Voice: Lynn Yaeger finds that $30 on Bleecker Street doesn't go very far.

WWD: Couture reviews for Chanel and Versace and Lacroix. Plus: I can't tell you how psyched I am about the new Soho Bloomingdale's, set to open April 24. Now, if Bergdorf's will open a downtown location, I'll really have no reason to go above 23rd street.
They ain't too smart
In this week's E! Fashion Police, Charlize Theron sprouts wings; Brad & Jen play it somber (but chic); Alicia Silverstone puts "Buttgirl" behind her; Amber Tamblyn wears a dress that's way too old for her (um, tea length? Come on!); Paris Hilton looks like a Kleenex box that exploded; Mandy Moore pulls off horizontal stripes (that bitch); Pink goes Swamp Thing; and Jennifer Beals, god bless her, still looks fantastic. Bonus if you can name the song I'm quoting in the headline.
My name is Cheryl, and I'm a fashion vicitm
Several years ago my mom bought me a very practical pair of Prada rubber boots. They've lasted me through rain, sleet, and snow in high style. However, the recent weather (i.e. four snowfalls so far this season) has taken its toll on my poor boots, which recently sprouted matching holes on the insoles. These little holes began to allow not only snow and rain but also cold air to reach my toes, which started to go numb. So I tried to patch up the holes with duct tape and superglue--to no avail. I invested in several pairs of wool socks--again, to no avail. I was beginning to lose hope, but I still kept wearing my beloved boots; after all, they were more practical in the snow than stillettos.

Saturday I hit a wall. I was running errands in the Village when a certain sense of doom began spreading through my body from my toes upward. Granted, this could have been frostbite. Anyway, as I was standing in line at Kiehl's, I noticed 80% of the women in the store were wearing Ugg boots. I shuddered. I made fun of our former intern Alexa for her two-month-long quest for a pair of Uggs (she finally found one, via telephone, at a store in Indiana); I made fun of all the Hollywood starlets for pairing their Uggs with miniskirts and short-shorts; I made fun of all the suckers shelling out $500 for a pair on eBay and those on the waitlist at Nordstrom, whose next shipment of Uggs will arrive...in July. As I left the store and made my way west, nearly every other woman was wearing a pair. And you know what? They looked warm as hell.

So, in the name of fashion journalism, I decided to investigate. I made a detour to 8th Street, aka "the street with 10,000 shoe stores." While all the stores were sold out of Uggs, almost all had some form of knockoff. These, of course, ranged in price from $198 to $70 (for some reason, they appeared to get cheaper the farther west I walked), and in style--from the plain beige ones, to a furry trim, to a woven stripe, to pink and dark brown and baby blue. At one store, I picked up a boot to see its price (of course it was unmarked) and got tag-teamed by two salespeople who then blocked the entrance to the store as they delivered their pitch "$198 but I give you better price!" "What your size, miss?" To which I pushed them out of the way and shouted, "I DON'T LIKE TO BE PRESSURED!" Then they laughed at me. Bastards. If I could remember the name of that obnoxious store, I would tell you not to go there, but I'm pretty sure that, like most of the shops on that block, it didn't have a name.

Finally, at Davidz (tacky, I know) on 6th Avenue (between 8th and Waverly), I found a pair of Emu boots at a price I could stomach ($70). What the hell, I thought. My toes are fucking freezing. I slipped my feet into them and my eyes welled up. At long last warmth. Then I stood up. Walking in them was like walking on pillows. Never have I worn a more comfortable pair of shoes. Then I yanked up the legs of my pants to take a look in the mirror. "Oh my god, they're so ugly!" I said. "But so trendy!" said my earnest, non-aggressive salesman. "But so warm!" would've been a better selling point, but it was a valiant effort on his part. I bought them.

MW spent a good 10 minutes making fun of them on Saturday night. But, ha! It snowed Sunday, so I busted them out for brunch. I saw people checking 'em out. My friend Sarah, in town for the long weekend, gushed over them and said she wanted a pair, even though she lives in San Diego, where the temperature rarely dips below 60 degrees. Best of all, my feet stayed toasty--and dry--the entire time. It is now Tuesday and I have yet to wear another pair of shoes. I wore my boots to the gym yesterday and brought my sneakers to change into in the locker room. I am even looking forward to the cold front this coming weekend, knowing that nothing can penetrate my mighty sheepskin boots.

I realize that my boots are ugly as sin and--even worse--ridiculously trendy. I am okay with that. It's a small price to pay for warm, dry feet.
Cool new website
Check out fashionweekdaily.com, the online home of The Daily, the fun fashion newspaper distributed during Fashion Week (which, by the way, starts February 6). I'll be linking to stories here on a regular basis--love the semi-snarky tone.
The week in shopping
Lulu Guinness' shoes, bags, scarves, socks, and such are 50% off. Afterward, reward yourself with a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, across the street. 394 Bleecker St.

While we're on the topic of footwear, Hollywould has all manner of shoes and boots for 65-85% off. 1/22-1/24; 11:30-7; 198 Elizabeth St., (Prince and Spring Sts).

A shout-out to the Upper East Siders: Nellie M. has fall and winter merchandise from Seven, Earl, AG, Joie, Rebecca Taylor, and more, for up to 60% off. Jelly bags are $59! 1309 Lexington Ave. (at 88th St.).

Attention busty gals: Shoshanna's strapless party frocks are $138 (were $350) and bikinis are $54 (were $118). Given the miraculous support that these garments provide, you should hightail it over to this sale. (Seriously, her bikinis are the the only ones that come by cup size, so your boobs don't ooze out the sides. If you are a size D or above, believe me, this is a godsend.) 1/21-1/23; 9-6; 231 W. 39th St., (7th and 8th Aves.), ste 1012.

The La Cosa, Calida, and Skimpies sale is still going on; fun cotton lingerie is up to 75% off. 1/19-1/23; 8:30-6:30; 180 Madison Ave. (at 34th St.), suite 302.

Williams-Sonoma stores have kitchenware, linens, and food items for up to 65% off.

This week is Makeup Masters week at Bergdorf's. There are a ton of events every day--in fact, so many that I'm not going to write them all down. For more information, call 212-872-2557. Or maybe just show up.

In the papers
WWD: Couture 2004: Galliano vs. Yamamoto; for lovers of the jelly kelly and chandelier earrings, spring accessories; a new Fornarina store in Vegas (NYC will get one toward the end of the year); and a new Rochas perfume, John Varvatos womenswear, and Rich Girls' Michael H in fashion scoops.

NYT: Cathy Horyn goes backstage at Dior; for the fellas, the suit is back.

NYP: Crazy women standing outside in the cold at the Manolo Blahnik sale; suggestions for the Golden Globes (airing this Sunday!); and Eurotrash come to NYC to shop 'cause it's cheaper than the EU.
Three-day weekend shopping
Because I--miraculously--have Monday off, I won't be posting. But here are enough sales to keep you busy until then.

Loehmann's has three-hour specials Sunday from 10-1 and Monday from 9-noon. Take an extra 10% off all regularly-priced merchandise; take 40% plus 10% (um, that would be 50%) off all clearance items.

Starting Sunday, Jill Stuart's girly clothes are 50 to 70 percent off. Yikes stripes! 100 Greene St.

Speaking of girly clothes, Dosa's camis and dresses are $10 to $200. 1/16-1/18; 11-6; 418 W. 15th St.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, take $20 off your order of $100 or more when you enter code C123633046215 at art.com.

Starting Monday, La Cosa, Calida, and Skimpies unmentionables are up to 75% off. This is always a good sale, so I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you need to stock up on La Cosa's superfine cotton tanks, tees, and undies. 1/19-1/23; 8:30-6:30; 180 Madison (at 34th), ste. 302.

Everyone's favorite lingerie store La Petite Coquette has Cosabella, La Perla, Aubade, and more on sale for $5 to $50, through the end of the month. 51 University Place (9th and 10th Sts.).

Aieee! Alexander McQueen's supersexy gothic clothes are 60% off! Run, run, run to 417 W. 14th (9th Ave. and Washington St.).

It seems like Bloomingdales.com is always having a 20% off sale. Not that I'm complaining. Enter code FF3PCB at checkout.

Get a free Amazing Grace salt scrub ($12.50 value) with any Philosophy purchase at beauty.com.

Have a good weekend!
Notes from all over
Sorry, kids, about the major lack of postings this week. I have been chained to my desk for 12 hours daily, trying to close the March issue. Finally, we have finished, and I'm going to try to do as little work today as possible. Now, onto all the fashion news from the past four days...

Two takes on Tom Ford's last menswear show for Gucci: WWD vs. NYT.

Store news from WWD: Michael Kors' Kors store in Soho to close January 24; the West Village's Hudson Street is the place for new designers to open boutiques. They also speculate as to the future of the former Garber's Hardware store at 8th Avenue and W. 4th Street. Now, if I may, I'm going to get up on my soapbox and bitch. Garber's Hardware has been around since the 1800s and is the oldest family-run store in the city. As far as hardware stores go, it is an incredibly pleasant place to shop--i.e. the people who work there are extremely helpful and never speak to me in a patronizing, "you dumb broad" way. It's crappy that such a small, friendly, family-run business was forced out by high rents (Garber's did relocate to Greenwich St. and Charles); as much as I love to shop (clearly, you all know this), I'm going to be really annoyed if Giorgio Armani or something like that moves in. And I'm going to be really upset if, like Soho, my beloved West Village turns into a designer strip mall. Okay, I'm done.

From NYT, the Gap's new designers, who, from what I can tell so far, are into cute '50s-style pastel sweaters and capri pants for spring. You can check out new arrivals at Gap.com.

Yesterday, Daily Candy had sample sales; Wednesday they featured Sarah James shoes, by appointment only.

Style.com has Erno Lazlo's No. 3-9 cream and pearls picked by Candy Pratts Price.

Finally, from the NYP: the best winter parkas.
...Or bust
Clearly, the fur discussion was a no-go. Thanks, Mina, for being the only brave soul who commented. Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Fur sure?
In the spirit of fostering community, I'd like to have a discussion. Today I got an e-mail from a reader who was offended by my post that said January is an excellent time to buy a fur. Her argument was that it's never a good time to buy a fur (i.e. wearing fur is cruel and etc.). I had mentioned it simply because furs tend to go way on sale in January, so if you're going to buy one, you might as well get a hefty discount; since my blog is about shopping, I thought it was an event worth noting. Now, I told said reader that I believe wearing fur (or not wearing fur) is a personal choice, and because this is my blog, my postings will reflect that view.

Here's where you guys come in. Ever notice the little "Comments" link at the bottom of my posts? This is your time to comment. Let's have a discussion. Are fur coats for beautiful animals only? Or are they incredibly stylish, luxurious, and warm? Is the fur trade inhumane? Or is it an important, multibillion-dollar industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide? Are organizations like PETA threatening to civil liberties or are they effective and worthy? As Linda Richman would say, discuss.
Luxury sales
It's Last Call at Neiman Marcus, meaning fall/winter merchandise is up to 65% off.

Eccentric catalog Vivre is having its first-ever end-of-season sale. Now through January 15, items are up to 60% off.

I can't walk in Christian Louboutins, but if you can, head to his store on the Upper East side, where his red-soled shoes are 50% off through the end of the month. 941 Madison (74th and 75th).

Ashford is having a Brand New Year Sale. While you're there, enter to win an Hermes Kelly bag--no two-year wait!
Sex & the City & stuff
WWD reports (second item) on that pink Oscar de la Renta frock and upcoming episodes (semi-spoiler alert--no major information is given away, but if you want to know absolutely nothing about the last episode, don't read this). Also HBO's official site has The Look, nifty little slideshows where you can see the girls' outfits and read about who designed them.
The week in shopping
Sigerson Morrison's crazy sale continues, as this week everything is marked down by 40%. Next week is 50% off, then 60% off, then on January 30, it all goes 70% off. Since there are usually lines around the block for the final portion of this sale, pray that the weather warms up. (Btw, I checked out the sale on Saturday, and they still have a lot of shoes left.) 28 Prince St. (Mott and Elizabeth).

MoMA Design Store has marked down select merchandise 20%-50%, now through January 19. 44 W. 53rd (5th and 6th) and 81 Spring (Crosby).

Shoe-Inn is still happening, with footwear from Marc Jacobs, Sigerson Morrison, Michael Kors, and more. Shoes are $35-$100; boots are $50-$100. Has anyone been to this yet? Is it worth going? Leave a comment and let me know. Through 1/14; 9-6:45; 560 7th Avenue (at 40th St.), 2nd fl.

Loftworks' designer merchandise (from Juicy, Diesel, Alexander McQueen, and others) is an extra 20%-50% off already reduced prices. Through 1/25; 100 Lafayette St. (White and Walker), ste. 304.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, Bergdorf Goodman is having trunk shows for Charles Alexander (10-6 on the fourth floor) and Stella McCartney (11-7 on the third floor).

January is an excellent time to buy a fur, so check out Pologeorgis Furs' sample sale. They have minks, shearlings, and other fun stuff. Call 212-563-2250 to make an appointment. 1/14-1/21; 9:30-5:30; 143 W. 29th (6th and 7th), 8th fl.

Through the end of January, Alice Temperley's girly collection is 40% off. 453 Broome St. (Greene and Mercer) 2nd fl.

If you're a member (and you should be), take an additional 20% off at Girlshop's Me Spree. Since most of the website is already on sale, this means a nice, fat discount. Woo-hoo!
In the papers
NYT: Cathy Horyn spills some Parisian beauty secrets.

NYP: How to dress to get ahead at work, plus guinea pigs; life as a size 12 in a size 2 world; Shopaholic Lauren Moffatt hits the Upper East Side thrift shops; knitters' paradise Knit New York; and the new "it" bag.

WWD: The speculation over Tom Ford's replacement continues.
Calling all fashionistas
According to Gawker, The Daily, 7th on 6th's daily fashion newspaper distributed during fashion week, is launching a website with daily email newsletter. It goes live on January 19 at fashionweekdaily.com. Expect a full critique from yours truly.
More tidbits
Petit Bateau's comfy tees are 20%-40% off through the end of the month. 1094 Madison Ave., at 82nd St.

Banana Republic has taken even further markdowns on fall/winter merchandise. Check out this shearling scarf for $50!

Bloomingdale's annual January home sale starts today. (I'd suggest going to the store instead of the website.)

Century 21 is having a clearance sale of up to 75% off (that's in addition to the regular 40%-70% off). In other words, get out your claws, ladies. 22 Cortlandt St. (Broadway and Church).

Kirna Zabete, a store at which I aspire to pay full-price someday, is having a fall/winter sale...so that I can afford to shop there now. Clothes and accessores from Chloe, Gaultier, Rick Owens, and more are 30%-75% off. 96 Greene St. (Prince and Spring Sts.).

Get an extra 10% off sale merchandise at Karmaloop when you enter code CHILLIN10.
Ah, technology
I will freely admit that I worship at the altar of Apple. I got an iPod for Christmas (thanks, Santa!), and it is the coolest thing ever. I literally spent the whole plane ride to Honduras thinking, "This is so fucking cool!" Now, Apple gives us the iPod Mini, which appears to be even cooler. (Can I say cool again? Okay, cool!) It holds only 1,000 songs (my iPod holds 10,000), but it's smaller, it comes in five sherbert-like colors, and you can even strap it around your arm for when you're working out. I hate to say it, but I want one!
They don't make 'em like they used to
Slate's Karen Lehrman gives an argument on The Decline of Fashion Photography--and makes several very good points. (Bonus: Lots of cool pictures!)
One of my favorite girly boutiques, Shop, is having a sale of up to 75% off of clothes from Juicy, Mint, Eberjey, and others, now through February 1st. 1105 Stanton St. (corner of Orchard).

Speaking of girly boutiques, today's Daily Candy introduces us to Selma and Syd, featuring an ecletic mix of merchandise.

Madison, Wisconsin's finest, Bop, is having a "no diggity" sale. Check out these classy Kulson trousers. I like the way you work it!

Oriac has Christmas ornaments and other festive household items for up to 50% off.

Art.com has a special clearance gallery with items up to 70% off.

If your New Year's resolution was to get organized, hit the Container Store's annual Elfa sale. I have Elfa organizers in my closet, and I highly recommend them.
In this week's installment of E! Fashion Police, Carson Kressley looks...gay; Julia Roberts wears what looks like a Mongolian lamb bathrobe; Ellen DeGeneres has the black tuxedo look down pat; Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger look mismatched together but individually quite good; Kelly Osbourne is about to burst, as is Ben Affleck (I'm glad to know celebrities gain weight around the holidays, too); I think Charlize Theron is stealing my clothes (hmm, wait, Gucci and Celine? Then again, maybe not); and Neve Campbell plays peekaboo.
I heart Lynn Yaeger
Her column this week is just the perfect example of why. First of all, she starts with a negative Wal-Mart reference (if you want an earful, ask me about Wal-Mart and how evil it is), then goes on to critique the merchandise on Nolita's Mulberry Street. And although she defends Ralph Lauren, she (thankfully) criticizes the housewares store Saigoniste, which, although it has very cool, funky, affordable merchandise, happens to have very racist little signs throughout the store. What would we do without Lynn, fighting injustices in the fashion world?

Also, in last week's Voice, Lynn provides eight bargain-shopping rules.
In the papers
WWD: Esprit is moving into the Emporio Armani store on lower 5th Avenue; once again, down and shearling are winter-coat winners.

NYT: Speaking of coats, girls are crazy about fur--conservatively. Plus: two new documentaries on Yves Saint Laurent.

NYP: Fashion resolutions.
The week in shopping (a day late)
For shoe fanatics, the 8th annual Shoe-Inn is usually a zoo, but with some patience, you can find great deals. This year's sale features Marc Jacobs, Sigerson Morrison, Via Spiga, Cynthia Rowley, DKNY, Pucci, and more. Shoes are $35-$100; boots are $50-$100; booties are $50-$75. Since I need a new pair of brown boots, I'll definitely be checking this out (probably Wednesday). 1/7-1/14; 9-6:45 weekdays, 10-5 weekends; 560 7th Ave. (corner of 40th), 2nd floor.

Language has fall merchandise for up to 60% off, including this cool snake top, which is similar to stuff from Tom Ford's spring 2004 Gucci collection (which, you can guess, will be highly collectible). Alas, my brown Marc Jacobs lace-up boots are still only 20% off.

A.P.C. has men's and women's fall clothing for 30%-50% off, now through 2/3. 131 Mercer St. (Prince and Spring Sts.).

Wine.com is having a year-end sale, with some wines up to 40% off.

eLuxury.com has final markdowns, including the Marc Jacobs Lola bag for half price!

Clothingline still has Joie, Vince, et al, but they claim they got a new shipment of 23 boxes, and they seem to have reduced prices--some Joie items are up to 90% off.

At Loehmann's, clearance items are an additional 40% off, and some new arrivals are an additional 20% off.

Almost all fall/winter merchandise at Seven is 50% off. Designers include Imitation of Christ, Boudicca, and Veronique Branquinho. 180 Orchard (Houston and Stanton Sts.).

Built by Wendy's fall merchandise is 25%-40% off (excluding guitar straps and jewelry).

West Elm is having a "special pricing event." I guess that's how they say "sale" in Brooklyn.

The Conran Shop has marked more than 2,000 items down by as much as 50%. Of course, this still puts most items in the low four-figure range, but, hey, we can dream, can't we?

Groovy British website Net-a-Porter.com is having a winter sale. Check out this kickass Marni bag for 60% off!

Select fall/winter merchandise is up to 50% off at Banana Republic.

Kitchen items are up to 70% off at Chef's.

Sigerson Morrison's amazing bags and shoes are 30%-50% off through the 29th. Shoes, 28 Prince St. and bags, 242 Mott St.

For the fancy ladies, Bagutta Life has heavy hitters like Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana for a whopping 50%-70% off. Through 1/15; 76 Greene St.

Bodyhints, one of my favorite lingerie stores, is having a sale of 50%-70% off, and they have everything from cotton thongs to fancy embroidered push-up bras. 462 W. Broadway (Houston and Prince Sts.).

Jill Stuart's girly fall line is 30%-40% off through January 15. Bonus: Pumps and sandals are 50% off. 100 Greene St.

For the PETA lovers out there, Stella McCartney's entire fall/winter collection is 40% off, now through Sunday. 429 W. 14th St. (9th and Washington).

Likewise, neighbor Alexander McQueen's fall/winter line is also 40% off, now through January 31. Also get first-dibs on the popular spring skull silk scarves, ($160 for large, $75 for small). After seeing Pirates of the Carribbean last week, I'm definitely going to get one of those. 417 W. 14th St. (9th and Washington).

East Village hipster haunt Martin is taking 30%-50% off all fall merchandise. 206 E. Sixth St.

Finally, starting today is Saks' Finale sale. You can't really access it online for some reason, but head over to 49th and 5th for savings of up to 70%. Yikes stripes!
I'm back
After two weeks of not working, I must say I'm feeling quite relaxed. Yesterday it was 80 degrees and sunny in Honduras, and now here I am, back in NYC, where it's a positively balmy...38. Blah. Anyway, if you're looking for a new vacation spot, I'd highly recommend Roatan. It's in the Caribbean, off the northern coast of Honduras (it's technically part of Honduras), but unlike most of the other Caribbean islands, Roatan is very undeveloped and not touristy at all. Like, to reach our hotel (Luna Beach, where Temptation Island was filmed), we had to drive on a dirt road, then, when the road ended, on the beach. The beaches are beautiful, there's excellent snorkeling and diving (I went snorkeling and saw a bunch of tropical fish that we have in our aquarium at work!), and everything is dirt cheap--I had steak or lobster every night for dinner, usually for less than $12. Cheap and beautiful. Can you beat that?

So that's my plug for Roatan. While I'm plugging things, I bought this Juicy Couture tube dress and lived in it the entire vacation. It went from the beach to dinner to bars without a problem, and it's super-comfy. But enough about my vacation.

Onto the sales...