Shop Tailors Elegance to Fit a Tighter Budget


One look in the closet, ladies, might reveal that the gown you wore to last year's holiday gala just won't make it this time. Even if it could, who wants to show up in the same dress twice?

This attitude may explain why resale stores have such a large collection of elegant apparel. Thank heavens, because that one smashing dress can cost a small fortune new.

About 10 years ago, I attended the opening of what was then and still is one of L.A.'s most elegant resale stores. It's called The Address and specializes in evening glamour by the world's most revered designers.

A look through the racks reveals gowns that dreams are made of, like a Chanel silk organza with velvet trim leading to a bow in the back with pearl and gold buttons: Originally it was $3,800, but The Address has it marked at $795.

If that's a touch steep, there's a black Adolpho pantsuit with sequined pants and shell that cost someone $3,000 a year or so ago, but you can own the outfit for $348.95.

Perhaps the Gianni Versace green tunic with a black lace top and green satin trim for $298.95 will do the trick; someone shelled out $1,800 for it new. I also loved the little black crepe Valentino cocktail dress with velvet buttons going down the sleeves for $210, instead of the original $2,400.

Or maybe the hit of the party will be a very clingy Bob Mackie white jersey gown with crystal and pearl beads. It's yours for $195, while new it was $2,800.

One dazzling dress can make a holiday season a memorable one--and with resale that dream becomes more affordable.

The Address, 1116 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 394-1406. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Weekend Super Sale

When a store that regularly discounts heavily has a sale, bargain shoppers take heed. The Shoe Explosion has just received a huge shipment of designer shoes for the holidays, priced at 50% off. At its West Los Angeles location, the store has lots of high-heeled sandals in peau de soie, and names like Larry Stewart, Kenneth Cole, Ann Marino and many others. In its stores in the San Fernando and Antelope valleys, just about everything is $19.95 on some pretty fair labels, like Nine West, for example.

Shoe Explosion, 21516 Victory Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 992-0567; a new store in the Lancaster Factory Stores, off Avenue I, (805) 949-3227; and 2249 Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, (310) 478-2728.

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