Buy Curious: November 3, 2006

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Welcome to the East Bay Express' new shopping and style report, Buy Curious! Every Friday, we'll post photos of the fashion fabulous of the East Bay, as well as news on store openings, closings, new items, and sales.

StyleFile #2 "I'm a firm believer in being comfortable. When you feel good, you look good!" Who: Amy Cools, 29 Spotted: 43rd and Telegraph (Temescal), inside her new boutique, Afterglow, where the clothing is sweatshop-free and crafted by up-and-coming California designers.

Wearing: Plaid wool skirt with ruffled hem and flower appliqué, which she stitched up a couple years back; brown ribbed tank over a striped three-quarter sleeve vintage tee; vintage gray wool knee socks, old-school brown suede walking shoes, vintage metal flower cuff. "Since it was raining this morning I was thinking of warm blankets, so I dressed like a pile of them!" Gigs: 1) Designer since age 18. You can pick up the sweet and sassy pieces from the fall collection of her line, AC Clothing and Bags, at Afterglow and six other shops around the Bay Area. 2) Store owner since August. Style Tip: Forget about "matching"-have fun mixing patterns and textures. "You can wear anything. You just have to do it with confidence!"

*Meet Amy Tonight *(Nov. 3rd)!* Afterglow joins Art Murmur with a reception for artist Emilia Lewis tonight from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Come by for a glass of wine and eye-catching (and tongue-tingling) cupcakes by culinary artist Maggie May Leung.

Where: 4233 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. (510) 654-751 Regular Store Hours: Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; By appt. Mon. and Tues.

SHOP TALK

Cheap House Stuff = More Money to Spend on Clothes! Or put Into Your 401K!

We all know that the cheapest way to stock up on basics for the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom is to pop a Xanax and head to Marshall's, Ross or T.J. Maxx. That's because medicated is the only way to deal with the hectic mess and endless line you'll endure to score half-price OXO Good Grips spatulas, Ralph Lauren towels, and hypoallergenic Laura Ashley pillows. Well, you can now toss that prescription. HomeGoods, the cleaner, friendlier, better-schooled stepsister of T.J. Maxx (they share the same parent company) has finally landed within reach. With wide aisles, clutter-free displays and everything from Sarabeth's scrumptious raspberry jam to shiny Simple Human garbage cans to full-on furniture (there's real wood here, folks) up for grabs at 20-60 percent less than what you'd pay at say, wallet-raping Bed Bath & Beyond. Your domestic utopia awaits.

When: Regular store hours are Mon.-Sat.: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Where: Green Valley Shopping Center, 590 Moraga Rd., Moraga. (925) 631-1150

Billion Dollar Babes Sample Sale

Okay, so you have to trek across the bay to scoop up deeply discounted duds by the likes of Alice and Olivia, Tree, Sass & Bide, and Eberjey. But it's a Saturday-you've got no excuses. Online RSVP recommended. (Hint: Get there early and spend your last few bucks on brunch at Dottie's True Blue Café a few blocks away.)

When: Sat., Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Regency Center, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco.

Join the Revolution

It's not exactly a war protest, but this massive sample sale of designer jeans and other casual garb-tagged for no clear reason "The Denim Revolution"-may be worth checking out the day after you hit the polls. Think of it as a reward for doing your civic duty. If you are in the mood to protest, our advice? If you top a size 4, skip those skinny jeans you've had your eye on. The über-trend may look cute on Kate and Sienna, but on us gorgeous creatures with ample booty and curvy calves? Bootleg is best.

When: Wed., Nov. 8: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs., Nov. 9: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 549-1000

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale for Women & Kids

On your to-do list for next week: Remind your boss Tuesday about that "doctor's appointment" you have Wednesday morning. Then wake up early and head to Nordstrom at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek or at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton. When you arrive at the office looking oh so fine, just tell her the truth: "I feel so much better now!"

When: Sale starts Wed., Nov. 8 at 7 a.m. See Nordstrom Web site for store addresses and more info.

Store Event: Dish

As Buy-Curious reported last week, Dish is launching its new house-ware section, coinciding with its ten-year anniversary, tonight at its Berkeley store. Don't miss it!

When: Tonight, Friday, Nov. 3 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Where: Dish, 2981 College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 540-4784.

Get Lucky at Erica Tanov

This Berkeley-based designer's silk tunics, wool jackets and velvet pants are so gorgeous (and so kind to our fingertips, which are as obsessed with her designs as our brains are) that we've contemplated swapping our writing gigs for banking jobs just so we can afford them. But now, thanks to Lucky Magazine, we don't have to. (Whew!) Throughout the month of November, mention Lucky at checkout and receive 20 percent off any one item.

When: Month of November Where: 1827 Fourth St., Berkeley. (510) 849-3331

Great Gifts

Since Ildi & Co. shut its doors, we've been dying for a place to find cute and unique vintage-inspired gifts. Luckily, we've found several acceptable alternatives to fill the void. Daisy's has a much-needed greeting card section, plus soaps, bedding, pajamas, and other goods. Maison d'Etre is quite reliable for those last-minute gifts: unique note-cards, pet- and baby-oriented gifts, plus picture frames. Like über-girly items? Juniper Tree has a near-overwhelming supply of soaps, jewelry, perfume, and loungewear. If photos are your thang, check out Rockridge Home's supply of sturdy, attractive, leather-bound albums.

Where: Daisy's, 1347 Park St., Alameda. (510) 522-6443. When: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.. http://DaisysonPark.com

Where: Maison d'Etre, 5640 College Ave., Oakland. (510) 658-2801. When: Mon.-Sat. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.. http://MaisondEtre.com

Where: Juniper Tree, 3303 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. (510) 444-4650. When: Daily 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Where: Rockridge Home, 5418 College Ave., Oakland. (510) 420-1928. When: Daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m. http://RockridgeHome.com

Online Store Opening: Piperlime

Gap Inc. announced the launch of its new online shoe retailer, Piperlime, just one day before reporting its October sales were down 3 percent. The online store ups the style quotient for the San Francisco company, featuring high-fashion brands like Charles David , Delman, Taryn Rose, and Hugo Boss. Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe - the woman behind Nicole Richie's Skeletor look and often the subject of taunts by blogger Perez Hilton -- is the site's first guest editor. Here's why we'll shop there: free shipping and returns.

When: Daily, 24-7 Where: http://Piperline.com

V&R + H&M = [happiness]

On Nov. 9, mega-retailer H&M will launch a new collection from Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf. The collection of 35 pieces for women and 25 pieces for men will be available in about 250 stores worldwide. If you haven't already visited the H&M near the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center in Walnut Creek, you must check it out. Don't forget to go upstairs!

When: Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m Where: H&M, 1450 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-2394.

Sale: Paul & Joe for Target

While we're on the topic of high style for cheap, Target is having a clearance sale on its Paul & Joe line. Check out this fab baseball-style leather jacket for just $70!

When: Going on now while supplies last. Where: www.target.com

We want to hear from you! Tips? Openings? Sales? New Items? Closings? Sales? Send them to us! and Kathleen Richards

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

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