The holiday shopping madness is over, but the real shopping season has just begun! This week, Buy Curious braved the crowds (and the gale-force winds) to track down the best post-holiday sales in the East Bay. Needless to say, almost every store has slashed their prices, and we found discounts so astounding that we almost don't want to tell you about them! Does "half-off" mean anything to you? Then, Buy Clueless tackles two very serious issues: precious metals and blue jeans. Read on for your weekly dose of style ...
Who: Coco Poovey, 35, visiting from Orange County
Occupation: film producer Spotted: College Ave. at Manila Ave., Oakland Wearing: Chloe sweater coat, Prada sweater with suede elbow patches, Taverniti jeans, Tod's riding boots, Chloe purse, and Chanel sunglasses. What inspired the look: "Comfort." Fashion inspiration: "Tom Ford. Everything he does is sexy and cool." Also, Kate Moss, who can "swill champagne gracefully." Fashion style: Practical. "Casual elegance with a flair for comfort," says her husband. Also: Sexy, glamorous, country club preppy. Favorite piece in her wardrobe: "I like to look at my [Oscar] de la Renta dress. I need to go to the Academy Awards but I haven't been invited yet." Poovey describes it as a frothy concoction of tulle, gold sequins, and metallic thread.
Currently into: "I love Gucci right now."
SHOP TALK No matter what your budget is, no one can turn down a sale. We headed to the Bay Street mall and checked out some Oakland boutiques to compile our Top Ten list of sales you can't miss. Now if only we could cash in those darn gift cards ...
#10: The Gap : up to 60 percent off Stock up on basics, shirts for dad, and cozy loungewear. Try long fitted sweaters, perfect for layering, for just $14.99. Where: 5690 Bay St., Emeryville, (510) 594-9500. Also online.
#8: Aerosoles : up to 60 percent off Check out warm, snuggly boots and flats perfect for the office, on clearance! If you haven't been in years, you'll be stunned by how hip this retailer has become. Where: 5643 Bay St., Emeryville, (510) 428-0626. Also online.
#7: Banana Republic: up to 50 percent off Almost all their merchandise is discounted, including suits, dresses, and sweaters. How about a wool/nylon-blend sweaters in an array of neutral tones for $33.99 (orig. $68)? Where: 5636 Bay St., Emeryville, (510) 428-0389. Also online.
#6: Iniam: 20 percent off The two-year-old Oakland boutique has discounted most of its merchandise, including this delicate Cynthia Steffe chiffon floral dress for $244 (orig. $305). Where: 5902 College Ave., Oakland (510) 597-1448
#5: Sefina Studio : 50 percent off and more The closet-sized Oakland boutique is clearing out their sportswear and lingerie for half off. We spotted cute, colorful undies from Cosabella and Mary Green. Plus this super pulled-together off-white pea coat from French Connection for just $99 (orig. $248).
Where: 5326 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 547-4779
#4: FIT: up to 40 percent off For the slightly more mature Rockridge mom, FIT stocks its shelves with comfortable, stylish, and low-key items. It's also one of the few East Bay stores that carries our favorite line, Diane von Furstenberg, and lucky for us, they've got quite a few pieces on sale. Try a DvF long chiffon dress for $196 (orig. $326), or a brown jersey wrap dress for $165 (orig. $275). This brown wool coat with floral embroidery from Rites was on sale for $299 (orig. $499). Where: 5707 College Ave., Oakland (510) 923-0784
#3: Viva Diva: 20 percent off dresses until New Year's Day A boutique for the young and trendy, Viva Diva is currently discounting its collection of dresses, just in time for your New Year's Eve bash. We spotted this red-hot Ella Moss dress for $135.20 (orig. $168) and this Rachel Pally kimono-style frock for $179.20 (orig. $224). On Monday, Jan. 11, Viva Diva will extend discounts to most of its merch, including jeans, sweaters, and dresses. Where: 5854 College Ave., Oakland (510) 594-8380
#2: August: 50-70 percent off Starting Tuesday, Jan. 2, this modern, Oakland boutique is having a massive sale off all its merchandise, including its entire denim collection. August specializes in unique styles from lesser-known designers and luxurious fabrics. Definitely one of our new favorite stores! (For stellar tips on shopping for jeans, be sure to read this scroll down to read this week's Buy Clueless.) Where: 5410 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 652-2711
#1: Twenty Two Shoes: 25-30 percent off; 50-60 percent off starting Tuesday, Jan. 2 One of the most buzzed about shoe stores in the East Bay has slashed its prices on its fabulous collection of shoes, including sparkly Repetto ballet flats and boots from its own collection. We found these fantastic black booties by Marc Jacobs on sale for $409 (orig. $585). Next week, they'll be $289!