Uptown shops are affordable and chic
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 15:09
Shopping can be as stressful as studying for an exam for a college student. Let’s face it, nothing is more painful than going to your favorite store and admiring all of the things you wish you had only to face the painful reality that nothing is in your price range.
All hope is not lost – if you look hard enough, the best deals are right under your nose. Four boutiques in Uptown New Orleans are making shopping fun again with their affordable prices and stylish selections. As sociology senior Camille Fiess puts it, “When I need some retail therapy, I can always count on Uptown shopping for a fun outfit that doesn’t break the bank.”
SWAP on Maple Street
￼Many have dreamed of seeing designer clothing marked down hundreds of dollars, but few have seen it happen until now. At Swap Boutique, you can find deeply discounted designer digs such as pieces by Tory Burch, Diane Von Furstenberg, Chloe and Gucci. Inventory at Swap is made up of about 40 percent of overstock from boutiques and 60 percent from local consigners. In other words, by doing consignment with boutiques and independent sellers, Swap is able to sell their merchandise at a much lower price than original retail value. Believe it or not, the deals get even better. On top of selling high-end items at a discount, after a month Swap begins to slash the prices down even further. “After one month, it goes to 20 percent off, after 45 days it goes to 40 percent off, and after 60 days it goes to 60 percent off,” Manager Caitlin Clifford said. It is in this way that Swap gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “too good to be true.”
GAE-TANA'S on Maple Street
It is nearly impossible to walk down Maple Street without gravitating to the fabulously chic boutique Gae-tana’s. Owned by Carolyn Billet and run by Billet and Jennifer Casey, clothing at Gae-tana’s represents the perfect combination of cozy California beach style with a classic feminine flair. Always up to date with the trends and marked at affordable prices, Gae-tana’s is a hot spot for college students who want to stay in style but are on a tight budget. Gae-tana’s carries a great selection of clothing, accessories and shoes including brands such as Matty M, Element, 7 For All Mankind, Sam Edel- man, Jeffrey Campbell and Dolce Vita. Almost everything in Gae-tana’s is under $100 with most pieces marked between $40 and $60. “I very much am concerned with the prices,” said Billet. “I have been since we opened. We have some high- end things, but we also have some very inexpensive things. I always wanted it to be so that you could come in, spend $12 and leave with something.”
BUFFALO EXCHANGE on Magazine Street
Rarely do you find a store where you can walk in with $100 and leave with five to ten fabulous new additions to your ward- robe, which is why Buffalo Exchange is thrift-store heaven. This buy-sell-trade boutique carries a wide variety of vintage and used clothing at a fraction of the original cost. Average prices range as low as $13 to $17. Not only is Buffalo Exchange a great place to buy vintage clothing, it also provides a ridiculously easy way to make some quick cash. Bring in any gently used clothing you want to sell and you can make either 30 percent of the selling price in cash or 50 percent in store credit. When describing the standards by which Buffalo Exchange bases their purchasing, store manager Denise Lyons said, “Overall, we buy current, classic, unique, vintage, one-of-a-kind, retro and trendy pieces that have been cleaned from the last time that they were worn. The items don’t have to be designer or name brand, but they should represent a currency in style within the last two years.”
BLINK on Magazine Street
When describing the merchandise at Blink NoLa, store manager Maggie Greenbaum says “classic but current and with an edge.” This could not be a more fitting description of the trendy clothing at one of the most affordable boutiques on Magazine Street. With new shipments of clothing coming in every week, there is never a shortage of the most in-style trends of the moment. Blink is the perfect haven for college students who love fashion but do not have the funds to dish out tons of cash on designer items. Prices at Blink range from about $29 to $49 for tops and $39 to $69 for dresses, and merchandise rarely exceeds $100. Blink carries chic but inexpensive lines such as Hello Mod, BLVD, Love Culture and Just USA. With their af-fordable price points and darling selection, Blink is one of the premier places for college students to shop.
Olivia Lueckemeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org