Cheryl shops...Fifth Avenue
Yesterday I didn't have to work, so instead of doing something totally constructive, like laundry, I decided to go shopping on Fifth Avenue. I live downtown and work in Times Square, and rarely venture above, so I estimate it's been at least four or five months since I've been up there (so I apologize if any of what I say is old news). Overall, I was a bit disappointed; even though it's barely a week after Christmas, I felt like a lot of the merchandise was picked over. But such is the paradox within sale shopping: Shop early, get a better selection and pay more, or shop later and get slim pickings but at a greater discount. One more thing: Who are all these people who don't work during the day? Housewives? Tourists? Hookers? I couldn't believe how crowded the stores were.

My first stop was Saks. I saw no sale bags whatsoever on the first floor, which was disappointing, because usually you can find Miu Miu and Kate Spade and such. I skipped the American designers on the second floor. The third floor (fancy designers) had a big clearance rack, where I found some very nice tweed Alexander McQueen pieces (a skirt was in the mid-$200s) and some Balenciaga. On the other side of the floor was a rack with some Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Stella McCartney. All sale merchandise is at least 40% off; you get to take an additional 40% off previously marked-down items. On the fourth floor, shoes were marked down twice and the selection was still pretty good. The fifth floor had good shoes--Marc by Marc Jacobs, Belle by Sigerson Morrison, etc.--and sale racks throughout. The good news is that if you haven't had your fill of ponchos yet, there are a lot there. The bad news is that the ponchos are ugly as sin.

I then stopped at H&M, where I found an incredibly cute pair of gold metallic kitten-heel pumps for $20. Otherwise, there's a lot of black and red stuff, much of it marked down to ridiculously affordable prices. And I spotted several Karl Lagerfeld dresses still in stock.

Next was Gap's Love accessories store, which I wrote about here a few months ago. I was expecting exclusive stuff, but they just have all the bags and scarves that the regular stores carry, and the store is tiny. I was not impressed.

Then I went to Henri Bendel where, for the first time in history, I didn't have to run the cosmetics-counter gauntlet--I was only approched by two salespeople on the way in and none on the way out! (Maybe they only work in droves on the weekends?) There's some Juicy Couture on sale for 60% off on the second floor, but the racks are kind of a mess, so patience is required. I'm not the hugest fan of Bendel's because I find the layout very confusing, but since there were very few people shopping there, it wasn't a huge problem. I checked out "La Lingerie," their new lingerie section, which takes up the entire thrid floor and, well, totally kicks ass. There's a huge private label setion, lots of obscure (and expensive) Italian and French lines, and even lingerie from designers like John Galliano. The fourth floor is a bit of a mess, but there are racks and racks of sale merchandise with everything from C&C tees to Givenchy ready-to-wear. Everything is 60% off.

After a $2 bottle of water, I hit Bergdorf's, where Luella Bartley bags are on mega-sale (I believe they were 60% off, but I'm not entirely sure). They had a pretty good selection of designer shoes--Jimmy Choo, Prada, Marni, Marc Jacobs--but they were only marked down once, as were the shoes on the 5th floor (Marc by Marc, Sigerson Morrison, etc.). The 5th floor had a lot of sale clothing as well--Joie, Theory, Marc by Marc, DKNY, etc.--but, again, only one round of markdowns. My advice is to go back in a week or two for the real markdowns. As for the designer stuff, I didnt' check out the other floors because 1) Bergdorf's is under construction and it's a bit of a mess, and 2) to be honest, the store still intimidates me a bit.

Then I hit my favorite store, Barneys, where, again, I wasn't too thrilled. Although I guess that's a good sign for Barneys--the less sale merchandise they have, the better they're doing, right? Anyway, I tend to prefer the 18th Street Co-Op store, where I can almost always find something to buy.

Dragging ass, I hit Bloomingdale's, where there was very little sale merchandise to speak of (again, probably a good sign, especially since Bloomingdale's is owned by my parent company). There are some good shoe sales on the fourth floor, including Belle by Sigerson Morrision, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and more. I tried on an awesome pair of cork wedge sandals by, strangely enough, Anne Klein, but they didn't quite have my size. So I left Bloomie's empty-handed as well.

Five hours later, I headed home with my H&M shoes...and that's it, sadly. But it was a lovely day and I got a lot of exercise. Which, we all know, shopping is always good for.

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