Once in a while a bargain source is so good it must be shared, even on a limited basis. "Limited" means that this new source, a boutique outlet called Society, has asked me not to divulge the name of the top designer merchandise on its racks. Prices are considerably less than at regular retail boutiques and department stores, and the owners don't want to jeopardize their ability to get the merchandise.
This particular design house breaks its women's apparel into three lines and price levels. The most reasonable generally runs between $300 and $500 for a suit. At the next level, a suit would be $600 to $800. The top price for a suit starts at about $1,000. But at Society and Azita J., its sister store in West Los Angeles, those prices are 35% to 40% lower.
One sharp black double-breasted jacket that sells for $450 in other shops is $289, and silk dresses that are at a major New York department store for $288 are $119. Quite a few pieces are shipped from New York and are geared toward the New York consumer with more subdued designs and colors.
The inventory concentrates on a wardrobe for the professional woman with an emphasis on suits, jackets, skirts and pants. Some fine wool double-breasted plaid jackets were $210, instead of the $385 you'd pay in the department stores. Several stunning coat dresses that sell elsewhere for $399 were $169.
Saturday is the annual sale at Regal Rents, when tabletop items that have been rented during the last year are sold off. This sale is a must for those who love to swoop down on great buys in table linens, glassware, dishes and flatware.
Tablecloths, in a poly-cotton blend, are a steal--$3.95 for a 90-inch round, $4.95 for a 102-inch round and $5.95 for a 120-inch round. The array of colors includes blush, lavender, light blue, pink, raspberry and terra cotta. Cloth napkins are 25 cents.
Round, silver-plated trays will go for $1 and coffee pourers, also silver-plated, $1.25. Oval and rectangular-shaped trays are priced up to $5.95. A hodgepodge of silver-plated and stainless serving pieces are 25 cents.
In glassware, prices range from 25 cents for a punch cup to 75 cents for 8-ounce wine glasses. Dinner plates are 95 cents, and salad plates 75 cents. They come in white and pastels. Don't expect matched sets--most of the sale items are odds and ends.
Check out the two- and three-ply paper napkins. At $4.50 for a package of 100 dinner napkins, there won't be many left at the sale's end.
Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life! Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley Life!, 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. Geri Cook can be heard from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays on KIEV 870-AM.
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WHERE TO SHOP
Location: 16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, till 8 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
Cards: MasterCard and Visa.
Call: (818) 386-9448.
What: Regal Rents annual sale.
Location: 9925 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cards: American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
Call: (310) 204-3382.