Recommended reading
While I Master Cleanse in preparation for Fashion Week (kidding!), here are some noteworthy stories to read.

There's no question that Scott Schuman, a.k.a. The Sartorialist, is a phenomenon; even Newsweek is onto him, with this story about the rise of "real people" as models. While I don't think "real people" are in danger of replacing models, I do think that it's an interesting phenomenon, in that it seems to be a reaction to the bland models and stylist-dictated fashion permeating our culture. Of course, most of the people The Sartorialist has been shooting lately have been fashion editors, but that may not be neither here nor there.

The Wall Street Journal is jumping on the it-bags-are-out bandwagon with this story, which notes that since women still need to carry purses, they're now opting for ones that are just as expensive but don't have all the designer logos and hardware and such.

Finally, if you are going to Fashion Week, Huffington Post's Claudia Cividino has 8 style tips for you. I concur with the one about shoes--so watch out for those madcap It Shoes clogging the front rows.

Look for my Fashion Week coverage, starting Saturday. (That's right, Saturday!)
Buy It: Express dress
I haven't been in an Express store in years, but after Fashionista posted last week about this Herve Leger knockoff (note the more real-body-friendly A-line skirt), I dropped in and found something even better: this Alaia knockoff. If you've ever seen an Alaia up close, you'll know that the rayon-blend knit is substantial enough to drape over your curves in a way that flatters your shape (instead of clinging and looking lumpy, as most knits have the tendency to do). This dress isn't of quite the same caliber, but it's not bad, and the ribbing at the waist is definitely slimming. You can wear it now with a turtleneck and tights, then rock it with some seriously sexy strappy sandals in the summer. Not bad for $79.50.
Pierre Hardy's capsule collection for the Gap has yet to hit the shelves, but already there's another masstige rumor: The Fashion Informer reports that everyone's favorite downtown design collective ThreeAsFour might design a line for the Gap. No details available yet, but stay posted...

Yesterday's Women's Wear Daily [subscription required] was packed with informative articles (on a sad side note, I learned that Active Endeavors has closed all of its Chicago stores to focus on its Internet business). And buried at the very end of this one about very-much-underappreciated designer Richard Chai finally getting major financial backing, was this little chestnut:

Chai's design touch may be found elsewhere next year should he become the next guest designer for Target's Go International initiative. Chai declined to comment.

Let me be the first to say that if this rumor is indeed true (which most of the Target rumors tend to be), I will be so incredibly psyched. Chai makes gorgeously constructed clothes that float about the wearer in an effortlessly chic manner, and while the thought of Target trying to reproduce his draping techniques makes me a bit nervous, if two good pieces come out of the collection, well, that will be enough for me. (If you can't wait, however, Chicago's excellent Jake has several Chai pieces for sale, including this stellar dress, which has been marked way down from its original price of $1795.) I will, of course, report any further details, should they arise.
The week in shopping
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Catriona MacKechnie has fancy designer lingerie (think Eres, Dior, and Sonia Rykiel) for 30-90% off. Bras are $8 and up, undies are $6 and up, camis are $17 and up, and bikinis are $11 and up. I'm there. 1/30-2/2; 10-8; 400 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

The pride of Fort Greene, Stuart & Wright has Steven Alan, APC, and other hipster labels for men and women for 30%-75% off. 1/30-2/3; 10-8, noon-6 Sun.; 85 Lafayette Ave. (at South Elliott Pl.), Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Luxe French fashion from Feraud is now an extra 25% off the super-marked-down prices. Through 1/30; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

For the man in your life, Rothman has suits on sale from Hugo Boss, John Varbatos, Burberry, Z Zegna and more. Through 2/10; 10-7, noon-6 Sun.; 200 Park Avenue South ( at 17th St.).

If fur is your thing, Giuliana Teso has coats and ready-to-wear for up to 95% off. No, that is not a typo. 1/29-1/31; 10-6:30, 10-5 Thurs.; 584 Broadway (Houston & Prince Sts.), 5th fl.

For the pregnant ladies in the hizzy, Cadeau Maternity is having a one-day sale, with fall and winter fashion for less than half price--many items are under $100. 1/31; 10-7; 254 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Houston Sts.).
Random notes
1. Get psyched, ladies. The Daryl K sample sale is this weekend. They've got summer, fall, and resort merchandise from 2007; tunics are $150, coats are $175, and tops are $80. Normally I don't get out of bed before noon on the weekend, but you can bet your skinny pants I'll be there (fairly) early on Saturday. 1/26-1/27; 9:30-7; 21 Bond St. (Lafayette & Bowery).

2. Get psyched for Fashion Week! Today I got my hair colored next to British model Lily Donaldson, who was getting her roots touched up (yes, we have the same colorist, apparently). She looked lovely, she was text-messaging the entire time, and her thighs are roughly the size of my upper arms. That is all.
Bags: to buy or to rent?
The final post of a three-part series on designer handbags.

As I've mentioned before, bags are expensive. When I graduated from college nearly eight years ago, my present to myself was a Gucci Jackie O bag, which was $500 and at the time seemed like a ridiculous amount of money. Now I have to talk myself out of buying a Marc Jacobs bag that's on sale for $900. Of course, most bags nowadays don't even make it to the sale table; if I had to guess an average price, I'd put it at $1,300. But even if you settle for a "contemporary" designer bag, it will still set you back at least $500--most Marc by Marc Jacobs bags are in the $400 range, and Botkier and Kooba bags run even more than that. So what happens when you want a new bag? You can save up for one (although if you save up like I do, bags will be double their original price by the time you come up with the cash); you can charge it and put yourself further into debt; or, nowadays, you can rent one.

A number of handbag-rental websites have sprung up in recent years, but the most widely recognized one is Bag Borrow or Steal (full disclosure: Bag Borrow or Steal is a Cheryl Shops supporter, but this is a purely editorial post). If you think about it, it's kind of a genius idea: You can rent a bag for a week, a month, or as long as you want; when you're tired of it, send it back and get a new one. If you're fickle, it's a godsend. If you're a bag addict, it's like crack. BBOS has everything from Coach and Rafe to Chloe and Balenciaga, plus jewelery too. If the bag you want it being borrowed by someone else, add it to your wait list, and they'll send it when it's available. It's like Netflix, but with handbags.

Unlike Netflix, however, the rental fees vary widely. You can either pay a membership fee ($60/year) and take a generous discount on rental fees, or you can choose to stay a "guest" and pay a bit more. The prices start at $30 a month for lower-end bags (think Perlina and BCBG) and skyrocket up to $385 a month ($491 for non-members--yikes!) for a bag like the Louis Vuitton Cabby GM. Which is made out of denim. You're also charged $10 for round-trip shipping on a bag, and it's suggested you shell out for insurance at $19 a week. So if you're a guest and you want that Cabby, it will set you back nearly $600 for a month's use; three months of renting is nearly equal to the cost of buying it on (four and a half if you're a member). Double yikes.

Renting a handbag, to me, seems akin to leasing a car, a practice that infuriates my dad, who was an accountant. New cars dramatically decrease in value within their first two or three years, and I think the same thing can be said for handbags. So why not do what smart people do with cars: Buy used! New York City is rife with consignment shops, from 7th Street in the East Village and the Ina empire in Soho to the snooty Upper East Side shops on Madison and Lexington where society gals and mistresses dump their unwanted stuff. eBay also has a lot of pre-owned bags for sale, but if you're an eBay neophyte, beware of any sellers with less than 100 positive feedbacks. For new bags at not-so-steep discounts, there's always Bluefly, but, more tellingly, Bag Borrow or Steal also has an outlet, featuring new and gently used bags for sale (not for rent) at up to 70% off. And if you ask me, that's where the real deals are.
Not so much: the daytime clutch
The second post of a three-part series on designer handbags.

There is no question that bags have become ridiculously expensive in the last year or two. Part of this increase in price can be attributed to the weak dollar (as well, as I explained the other day, as the fact that luxury conglomerates are all about the bottom line), but I think on some level, designers make their bags expensive just because they can. Also, they're becoming more and more impractical. Sure, it's big enough for your extra shoes, the Collected Works of William Shakespeare, a gallon of milk, and a small dog, but good luck finding your wallet or cell phone in the YSL Downtown bag. All of the latest Marc Jacobs bags have so much hardware, they're too heavy even before you put all of your stuff in them. And have you seen pictures of Katie Holmes and her giant Birkin? (Um, okay, if not, here it is, to the right.)

But the worst offender, if you ask me, is the daytime clutch. They might be smaller and more lightweight than the Monster Bags I mentioned above, but they're missing one key component: straps. In this day and age, a woman puts so much in her purse, carrying it like a football is just not a practical option. Not to mention the fact that loosely holding a clutch makes your more susceptible to a purse-snatching. Can you imagine riding the subway to work, trying to read a book with one hand, holding the subway pole with the other, and then trying to keep your clutch tucked under your arm? Or what about a day of shopping, both arms loaded up with shopping bags--where does your clutch go then? To me, it's obvious: in one of your shopping bags!

C'mon, handbag designers. Surely you can come up with a better way for us to spend $1,500 (which, by the way, is what the Marc Jacobs Hutton Clutch, pictured above, costs).
The death of the It Bag?
For the rest of this week, I'll be posting a three-part series on designer handbags. This is the first part.

I recently read Dana Thomas' excellent book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, and can't recommend it enough. The book doesn't exactly expose any groundbreaking information, but for me at least, it was arranged in a way that made me look at the whole picture...and seriously ponder my fashion addictions. Basically, luxury companies started in the 1800s and 1900s as small, family-owned businesses dedicated to providing the ultra-wealthy with luggage, jewelry, and, later, clothing. Starting in the 1980s, however, savvy businessmen like LVMH's Bernard Arnault began buying up these companies, forming global luxury conglomerates. And, like most large corporations, especially ones that are traded publicly, the focus gradually shifted from making high-quality products to boosting the bottom line. Enter marketing departments, charged with creating a desirable brand personality; mass-market-targeted merchandise, like business-card holders and key chains; and the ultimate in entry-level product, perfume and makeup. (Thomas touches upon this briefly, but, generally, most fashion houses either lose money or break even on clothing; it's accessories and, if applicable, fragrance and cosmetics that are the big moneymakers.) And, in most cases, production has shifted away from France and Italy; brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton of course still have factories in Italy and France, respectively, but many of their items are now manufactured in India, Croatia, and Serbia. And while Coach is the only company that freely admits to manufacturing its bags in China, Thomas all but calls Burberry, Vuitton, and Gucci on it--since Europe's labeling laws are a little less stringent than America's, 95% of a bag can be manufactured in say, China, but if the handles are added at the last minute back home, made in Italy it is! In other words, just because a handbag costs $1,200 doesn't mean ol' Gepetto stitched it by hand in Florence.

The strange thing is that none of this information really diminished my desire for a handbag; to the contrary, I began thinking about them more and more, and I even spent one frenzied morning searching for Hermes on eBay (lesson learned: I cannot afford an Hermes bag, even in canvas). Am I brainwashed from years of reading Vogue? Or am I an unapologetic conspicuous consumer? My stock answer is that I like beautiful things--it just so happens that fashion is more affordable than, say, fine art. I also like to say that, especially to New Yorkers, your handbag is like your car in that you use it to schlepp all your stuff, but it also has the habit of defining your personal style, whether you intend it to or not. Remember that episode of Sex & the City where Samantha goes ballistic over the Birkin? You can be dressed like a total slob, but it doesn't matter as long as you're carrying a $5,000 bag.

But while the Birkin will undoubtedly always remain a classic (Hermes, Chanel, and Christian Louboutin are about the only three companies that come off looking good in Deluxe, which might have something to do with the fact that the latter two are privately held), the It Bag's days might be numbered. Beginning with the Fendi Baguette in the mid-'90s and spanning through the Vuitton Murakami, the Gucci horsebit hobo, the Balenciaga motorcycle bag, the Marc Jacobs Stam, and countless others, the must-have bag of the season has drained countless wallets, all in the name of keeping up with the Joneses. And I think everyone is getting tired. The L.A. Times' Monica Corcoran wrote an obituary for the It Bag last week on her excellent blog, All the Rage; the New York Times' Eric Wilson sounded the death knell back in November of last year. Between rampant knockoffs and counterfeits, the increasingly devalued dollar, and a looming recession, it's almost like the perfect storm.

Of course, now that we know that luxury conglomerates are just out to make money, the It Bag has to be supplanted by some other equally lucrative item. So what's next? Why, the It Shoe!
The Week in Shopping
If you missed Clothingline's Theory sample sale last month, you're in luck--pants are $70 and tops are $50-ish (see more details on the website). Through 1/26; 10-6, 10-7 Tues. & Thurs., 10-4 Sat.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

My favorite Brooklyn boutique, Bird, has such an exquisite selection of merch, it's like shopping there requires no thought at all. Earnest Sewn jeans are $49, 3.1 Phillip Lim sweaters are $119, and other awesome deals abound. 1/25-2/10; noon-8, noon-7 Sun.; 220 Smith St. (at Butler St.), Cobble Hill, 430 7th Ave. (at 14th St.), Park Slope, Brooklyn.

LES boutique Shop is taking 40% off Sass & Bide, L.A.M.B., and a bunch of other downtown-girl favorites. Through 1/31; noon-7; 105 Stanton St. (at Ludlow).

If you look closely, there are some major deals to be had at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sale; last weekend, MW and I found a gorgeous bed for 60% off. Through 1/27; 210 Lafayette St. (Spring & Broome Sts.), ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway (at 19th St.).

A range of clothing and accessories for men and women (everything from Blue Marlin to Vivienne Westwood) is on major sale at Caravan. Through 1/31; 2 Great Jones St. (Broadway & Lafayette), 128 E. 91st St. (Park & Lex).

Gorgeous shoes and clothes are up to 75% off at Zero+ Maria Cornejo. Through 1/27; 225 Mott St. (Prince & Spring Sts.), 807 Greenwich St. (at Jane St.).

Diane T, the pride of Court Street, has Marc by Marc Jacobs, Milly, and other hot contemporary designers for 30%-60% off. Through 2/20; 11-7:30, 11-6:30 Sat., 1-5:30 Sun. (closed Mon.); 174 Court St. (Bergen & Amity Sts.), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

Fancy trinkets from Judith Ripka are 50%-70% off. 1/23-1/26; 10-6 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 10-4 Fri., 10-3 Sat.; Carlton Hotel, 88 MAdison Ave. (at 28th St.), Seville Room.

Home accessories and furniture worthy of jetsetters are 20%-65% off at Armani Casa. Through 2/24; 11-7, noon-6 Sun., Monday by appointment only; 97 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).
Reality TV roundup
I am a sucker for the dramatic, headline-grabbing antics of high fashion, so of course I loved last night's Project Runway, one of the few episodes in the series' history in which the contestants were encouraged to go avant garde. (I know they're a sponsor of the show, but I could've done without the gratuitous Tres Semme namedropping however.) This is not going to be a popular statement, but I totally love Christian. He cracks me up, and the dress he and Chris created was exquisite; crazy hair and bratty attitude aside, he really is quite talented. I also loved Jilian and Victorya's ensemble--very Alexander McQueen. Rami used to be one of my favorites, but after the last two weeks--and especially after he unfairly, and undeservedly, ragged on Sweet Pea--I'm starting to rethink that. And while Ricky and Kit Pistol's dress was a hot mess, I think Kit unfairly took the fall. Ricky is good at crying and shaping bodices; can he do anything else? Don't cry for Kit, though--you can buy her accessories on her website, Shop Kit Pistol.

And because I love Bravo so much--well, and because of the writers' strike, there's nothing else on TV--I'm also watching Make Me A Supermodel. Hosted by Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford, the show features both male and female contestants competing to become a supermodel, but the twist is that viewers get to vote via text message who gets kicked off each week, a la American Idol. Yes, it sounds gimmicky, but after two episodes, I think I can vouch that it's far superior to America's Next Top Model. First of all, it's shot on film (as opposed to ANTM's video), which just makes it look classier. Secondly, the format is pretty staightforward: Every week, there's a photo shoot, a runway walk, and a body assessment (more on that later)--no "acting," no b.s. psychobabble, no nepotism. Okay, Tyson is a bit of a diva, but nowhere near as bad as Tyra Banks, and Niki balances him out in a good-cop-bad-cop way. And instead of washed-up old supermodels and "noted fashion photographers," the judges include the head of New York models and a top casting agent. As for the weekly measurements, yes, it's harsh, but so is the modeling industry--clients are way more outspoken and judgmental, and it's something models deal with on a daily basis; I'm actually surprised Tyra doesn't make more of a fuss about this on ANTM, but then again, it's not like any of the winners are actual working models. Which is a fate that hopefully won't fail the winner of Make Me A Supermodel--and at this point, I'm betting it's Jacki. Anyone else care to weigh in?
This week's big, big masstige news is that Isaac Mizrahi is leaving Target to become the designer for Liz Claiborne. This is good news for the fortysomething Claiborne customer--the formidable company has been lacking direction in recent years and was dropped from Macy's, which was a huge blow--but marks the end of an era for Target, since Mizrahi was the first designer to really kick off Target's mass-market/designer collaborations. Also, Mizrahi's line generates $300 million a year for Target; apparently Claiborne, having recently sold off C&C California and a lot of its other labels, has deeper pockets. But fret not, Target fans--the Isaac Mizrahi line will be in stores through the end of this year.

In other Target news, the latest rumored Go International designer is Scot Jonathan Saunders, who apparently recently had an outstanding line for Topshop. Target has yet to confirm, but these rumors are usually pretty accurate, so one would assume his collection would hit sometime in late summer, after Jovovich-Hawk and Rogan Gregory.

And speaking of Jovovich-Hawk, the latest word is that their Go International collection will hit Target stores on March 2 (my birthday!). Sally Jane Vintage posted a scan from this month's Harper's Bazaar with a little preview; as soon as more images are available, I'll post them here.

And, finally, in celebrity masstige news, Natalie Portman has designed a limited-edition collection of vegan shoes for Te Casan; they're now available for pre-order. I can commiserate with her plight--when it comes to ethical footwear, there's the frumpy MooShoes and the pricey Stella McCartney and not much in between. My opinon? You can get more stylish vegan shoes from the Abaete for Payless line--for much less.
Cheryl Shops at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
I am happy to report that I will once again be covering the Fall 2008 shows next month in Bryant Park. For longtime readers who are familiar with my coverage, I will be altering my review format to a shorter and more reader-friendly; hopefully this means I will be able to write up even more shows without going totally nuts. If you're a press representative and would like to send me an invite, please e-mail me. In the meantime, I need to start planning my Fashion Week wardrobe...
Website of the Week: The Moment
I've decided to resurrect my Website of the Week feature, and so 2008's first entry is The Moment, a new blog from T Magazine, the fashion/food/design/travel magazine that appears every so often in the Sunday New York Times. The fellow Times fashion blog, On the Runway, is written by the esteemed Cathy Horyn but is updated woefully infrequently, so The Moment is, I believe, aiming to supplement the gaps with multiple daily posts. It also helps that more than one staffer works on it--everyone from fashion writer Horacio Silva to nose Chandler Burr, and there's also a rotating cast of guest bloggers; this week, it's Milan artist Francisco Vezzoli. Topics range from the practical--daily blog roundups, fashion show reports--to the totally irreverent, like this hilarious post on how to ask for butt implants in Portuguese. I'm definitely interested to see how they'll cover the upcoming women's fall fashion shows; I'm guessing it will be with a little snark, a bit of whimsy, and a unique point of view, all of which makes The Moment definitely worth a daily read.
The week in shopping
Three days of pure bliss: the Big Drop warehouse sale has Development, Citizens of Humanity, Rebecca Taylor, and other stuff you're sure to love for ridiculous prices--think $49-$59 for jeans, $99 for dresses, and so on. 1/18-1/20; 10-8; 201 Mulberry St. (Kenmare & Spring Sts.).

Opening Ceremony's end-of-season sale has downtown-cool labels like Mayle, Alexander Herchcovitch, Acne Jeans, and Topshop. Hurry! Through 1/31; 11-8, noon-7 Sunday; 35 Howard St. (Broadway & Lafayette).

Fan-cee art books are up to 75% off at Taschen's warehouse sale. 1/18-1/20; 11-8, noon-7 Sun.; 107 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Krizia clothing for men and women and Stuart Weitzman shoes are up to 80% off retail prices--boots are $149 and shoes are $70-$85. 1/20-1/22; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St (8th & 9th Aves.).

Tracy Reese's girlie-riffic dresses, tops, andmore are 40%-60% off. Through 1/27; 11-7, 11-8 Thurs., noon-6 Sun.; 641 Hudson St. (Gansevoort & Horatio Sts.).

Soho boutiques Key and Poppy are holding a joint sale, with Mint, Mike & Chris, and Lauren Moffatt, plus vintage for $10 and up. Cash only. 1/17-1/21; noon-7; 41 Grand St. (at West Broadway).

Norma Kamali's '80s-revival looks ae half price. Through 2/1; 10-6 (closed Sun.); 11 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Designer loungewear--think Primp, Juicy, etc.--is 20%-50% off at Schvitz. Through 1/31; 11-8; 128 Thompson St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Stock up for Valentine's Day or replenish your wardrobe--Lingerie on Lex has Aubade, La Perla, and other fancy lingerie lines for up to 75% off. Through 11/31; 10-7 weekdays, 11-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 831 Lexington Ave. (63rd & 64th Sts.).

The Art of Shopping has trendy denim and tees for men and women--think Seven, Citizens, and the usual suspects. Through 1/20; 10:30-7; 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

eLuxury is offering a smattering of high-end samples, or, as they call it, a Beauty Bundle, yours with an $85 beauty purchase through 1/18.

Bergdorf's also has a fancy-filled sample collection, yours with a $200 beauty purchase.
While I was on my much-needed blogging break, the Loeffler Randall capsule collection hit Target's shelves (and their website). The stuff is pretty cute--chances are you've seen this woven bag everywhere, but I like the tote the best. The ballet flats aren't bad either. However, as awesome as the designs are, there's one problem, which I fretted about back in November: Everything is made of polyurethane and thus looks a bit cheap. There's also the problem of seeing every other girl on the street carrying the same bag, which is what I ran into with my Devi Kroell hobo.

My recommendation is to hit the sale section at, say, instead and score some real Loeffler Randall on markdown (like the Isadora pumps, pictured at left). True, you will pay up to ten times Target's prices, but it will be for actual leather, which will last a lot longer. And there's something to be said for not having sweaty feet.
Nominate me, please!
When asking you to click on my sponsor ads, I often invoke the Liz Phair lyric, "It's nice to be liked, but it's better by far to get paid." But I will admit that it is nice to be liked, so if you do, indeed, like me, please nominate Cheryl Shops for a 2008 Bloggy in the brand-new fashion category! You can nominate up to three blogs per category (everything from food to best writing), so go to town for all your favorites. Thanks for your support; in return, I will continue to post infinite ways for you to spend your hard-earned money. (Like by clicking on my ads!)
The week in shopping
Virtually every sotre in the city (and online) is currently having a sale, but here are some noteworthy ones.

You might have to do some digging, but at the 11th Annual Shoe-Inn, you can score shoes from Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Frye, Kate Spade, and other coveted designers for $19-$149 (boots are $50-$199). Good luck and godspeed. Through 1/11; 9-7; 311 W. 34th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Don't miss Clothingline's two-day blowout sale, featuring Free People, AKA, Tocca, Mischen, Gustto, and others for super-cheap (see for details). 1/8-1/9; 10-7 Tue., 10-6 Wed.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

If jeans are your thing, hit National Jean Company for denim and cute tops to wear with them for up to 75% off. 1/10-1/13; 10-9, 10-8 Sat., 11-7 Sun.; 1375 3rd Ave. (at 78th St.).

When I was there last week, much of the good stuff was already gone, but A.P.C.'s fall/winter line is currently 50% off. Through 1/16; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 131 Mercer St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

While you're there, might as well go next door to Agent Provocateur, where sexy, sexy lingerie is up to 70% off. Through 1/24; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 133 Mercer St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Party-friendly frocks and footwear are $99 and under (and maybe over) at Hollywould's blowout sale. 1/10-1/13; 11:30-7, noon-5 Sun.; 198 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

If I were infinitely wealthy, I'd furnish my apartment at ABC Carpet & Home; hit the sale for savings of up to 75%, which still keeps most items out of my reach, but a girl can dream. Through 1/21; 888 and 881 Broadway (at 19th St.), 1055 Bronx River Ave. (at Bruckner Blvd., Bronx, and 400 Huyler St. (at Bruce Ct.), South Hackensack, NJ.

More up my alley is BoConcept, where all beds and mattresses are 20% off this month. Select bedroom accessories are up to 50% off. Through 1/27; see website for store hours and locations.

If you're the anti-Blackberry type, hand-pressed correspondence cards are on sale for $195 (normally $350 for 100) at Dempsey & Carroll. Through 1/31; 9-6 weekdays only; 136 E. 57th St. (Park & Lex), 4th fl.

Wink's fun selection of clothes and accessories from Alice + Olivia, Madison Marcus, Twinkle, and other contemporary designers is up to 50% off. Through 1/31; 11-7 Mon.-Tues., 11-8 Wed.-Sat., noon-7 Sun.; 155 Spring St. (Wooster & W. Broadway).

Big Drop has the brands you want: 3.1 Phillip Lim, True Religion, LaRok..oh, and most items are under $100. Need I say more? Through 1/31; 11-6; 1031 6th Ave. (at 38th St.).

Chuckies will help you satisfy your designer-shoe fix, with half-price footwear from Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, Dior, and other coveted brands. Through 1/15; 10-7 weekdays, 10:30-7:30 Sat., noon-6:30 Sun.; 1169 Madison Ave (at 86th St.).

If you have something in common with Nicole Kidman and Jamie-Lynn Spears, hit Destination Maternity and save up to 75% on maternity wear. Through 1/31; 10-8 weekdays, 10-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 575 Madison Ave. (at 57th St.).

Joseph's famous pants (and jackets and separates too) are a whopping 70%-90% off at this sale. Through 1/31; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 106 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Master of the white blouse Anne Fontaine has knitwear, jackets, and, yes, blouses for 30%-50% off. 1/9-1/23; 687 Madison Ave. (at 62nd St.), 610 5th Ave. (at 49th St.), 93 Greene St. (at Prince St.).

Apartment 48 is moving to the West Village, so until then they're selling items by John Robshaw, John Derian, and other designers for 50%-60% off. Through 1/31; 11-7, noon-7 Sun.; 48 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Fan-cee wedding dresses from Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, Angel Sanchez, and the like are up to 70% off at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier. 1/8-1/9; 11-8 Tue., 10-3 Wed.; call 212-319-6778 for an appointment; 110 E. 55th St. (Park & Lex).