Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Girl's Guide to Fashion Bargains

My Guide to Tznius shopping is more for those "I desperately need a new outfit for wedding/date/trip and don't care how much it costs" occasions. Or in other words, a lot of the places mentioned are pretty expensive.

But how can a girl look stylish without breaking the bank?

Nothing compares with the satisfaction of finding a bargain. A female returning home with bags filled with clothes bought at half price is the modern equivalent of a triumphant Amazon huntress.

So where are the best deals?

Bargain Stores

Heavenly- (I think that's what it's called, I'll check next time I'm there) have a big selection of pretty skirts. All you need is the patience to carefully go through the racks. I've spotted some really good French labels there, which I remember from my last trip to Paris (doesn't that sound posh?) and even some Old Navy's.
(Prices:50-100 NIS for a skirt.
Location: In the Tachana Mercazit, enter and turn right, carry on till you spot a store on your left, on the corner, crammed full of skirts on racks.)

Shibolet is a store which imports suits and dresses from Europe. They often adjust the clothes before they sell them to make them more modest (lowering hems, adding sleeves etc) They definitely don't fit into the bargain category, but what I discovered this year is that they also have an annual sale around Elul time- Elul is not only a time for introspection and repentance, it's also a time for shopping for the Chagim- at Binyanei HaUma.
Even if you don't need clothes, go for the anthropological experience. Hundreds of Chareidi women browsing though endless racks of clothing at a frenzied pace. Tip: If you find an item there that you want to buy, hold onto it tight! If you put it down for a second, someone else will be sure to grab it.
(Prices:500 - 1500 NIS during the the year, 100-200 NIS at the Pre-Chagim sale.
Location: Rechov HaTurim, but wait for the annual sale in Binyanei HaUmah)

Outlet stores ("Odafim")

I love chains' outlet stores, because they usually have more of a selection than their regular stores. Instead of just this season's trends, they collect everything left over from the last few years. Unless you still care what the color of the season is, outlets win hand down.

The downside is that it's difficult to get to them...

My all time favorites are Mango Outlet stores (In Beer Sheva, Netanya, Haifa) – All their leftover skirts from across the world seem to make their way here. It's a Frum girl's paradise
Also there's the Outlet Mall in Hertzliya which has Honigman and Castro Outlets, and loads of other Outlets in random locations across the country.

So if there's an Israeli brand that you're into – Google where it's Outlet store is located, it could be worth a trip.

End of Season Sales ("Sof Onah")

An ironclad rule: Don't buy at the beginning of the season. Ever.

Ok, ok, if you fall absolutely in love with it, and you simply won’t survive the suspense, and the praying that it's still around in a few weeks time, then maybe you can get a special dispensation from the pope. But in general – Wait!

Winter stock hits the stores in September. It's still 30 degrees Celcius outside, and the malls are filled with coats and scarves. Do you really need this now? No!

By the time the first rains fall, and a chill hits the air, we're in November, the winter stock is old news, and is going on sale- Perfect timing!

Summer is tougher. You'll need to make do with last year's clothes for a few months. I know it's tough. Hold in there. Salvation will arrive by August at the latest, I guarantee.

So when exactly are the Sales? That's a tough question. There's no particular date (we aren't as organized as the French) but it does come in waves. So if you see "Sale" signs in one store window, odds are the others will be following soon. The good news is that sales are starting earlier and earlier each year. Soon the end of season sales will be before the season begins.

Of course, the problem with Israeli stores (e.g Castro, Renuar, Golf, Honigman etc.) is that they don't have real sales. They plaster their store windows with "Half Price!"- and only if you look very, very, carefully, you'll see underneath, in tiny letters - "off the second item".

Other popular ones are "buy 2, get 1 free"- like I'm going to find three things to buy there, davka during a sale when not much is left.

Worst of all is"10 % off the first item, 20% off the second, 30% off the third, etc." I mean, do the math, that works out to only a 20% discount if you buy three items all at the same price.

Basically, Israeli sales leave anyone who remembers percentages from elementary school entirely unimpressed.

International stores are a different matter. They actually do sometimes reduce prices by fifty percent. There the trick is going the very beginning of the sale, when there's still hope of finding stuff in your size. You're best off being a size 34-36, or 42-44. Sizes 38-40 are usually sold out even before the sale begins.

Basically. shopping for bargains is all about being in the right place at the right time. Good luck!

And now comes the best part- hearing what your favorite places for finding bargains are..?


  1. I've found surprising bargains at the Shouk Ramleh Lod fair every Wed., when they used to spread outside Center One, I highly recommend them, though now I no longer hunt for bargains, I hear they have moved somewhere else, like Talpiot.

  2. The sale items here are great, and the full price is less than many stores.