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The Shirt Market Has Discounts Up Its Sleeve

I ran across The Shirt Market quite by chance, just strolling down a charming shaded plaza in Montrose. The whimsical window dressing first caught my eye and then the magic words “Manufacturer’s Outlet” pulled me into a most unusual shop.

Quality men’s shirts from a major manufacturer (the owners asked me not to reveal the label in print) that are carried in many of the better stores across the United States for double the prices are selling here at just a tad over wholesale.

Brace yourself for a most unusual decor. I call it “Early Meat Counter,” and it reaffirms the whimsy in the window. According to their flyer, “We are a manufacturer’s outlet. We chose the butcher shop decor as, originally, we were going to sell the shirts by the pound. However, due to bureaucratic red tape, the Department of Weights and Measures got into the picture, and that put an end to the concept of by the pound.” Too bad. It was a neat idea.

Dress shirts range in price from $14.99 to $19.99, and the sizes range from 14 1/2 32/33 to 17 1/2 34/35. They are 100% cottons and various cotton and polyester blends in solids or patterns. Adhering to the butcher shop concept, there is a “Pickle Barrel,” where some Salesmen’s Samples make super deals at $9.99.

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But it doesn’t stop at dress shirts. There are wonderful sport shirt designs in the oversize look in fashion right now. These are a 50-50 rayon-cotton blend, washable and sized from small to extra large. The retail price on these is $69 and up. But here, at this small outlet store, it’s $24.99 for short-sleeved and $29.99 for long.

There are also some excellent buys in ties, most of them silks, handmade in Italy, in some great designs and priced from $9.99 to $35, although on the day of our visit some mighty nice ones were tagged at $5.

If you love the ties, be sure and check out the socks. These are not the standard socks but in some very hot designs, and many match the designs of the ties. The price is $5, and they sell fast.

The manufacturer’s wife, Barbara Sawyer, runs this little treasure of an outlet store, and I promise you a pleasant and frugal shopping experience. The Shirt Market is a find.

THE SHIRT MARKET, 2207 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, (818) 248-0788. HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, or by appointment. MasterCard and Visa. Geri Cook’s Bargains column runs every Thursday in Valley View. Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley View, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth, CA 91311. Letters will not be answered individually, but topics of general interest will be discussed in future columns.


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