Buy Curious: A Million Ways to Spend $100


This week, the (newly independent) gals of Buy Curious hit the streets to find out what Oakland folks would do with some extra cash in their pockets. Can you say "dresses," anyone? Plus, we've got the scoop on some amazing fashion events - from designer sales in SF to poolside shows in Oakland. We dish on the CoCo Times' high school fashion round-up. And we ponder the possibility of retractable heels. Savor it - it's Buy Curious!

newly independent) gals of Buy Curious hit the streets to find out what Oakland folks would do with some extra cash in their pockets. Can you say "dresses," anyone? Plus, we've got the scoop on some amazing fashion events - from designer sales in SF to poolside shows in Oakland. We dish on the CoCo Times' high school fashion round-up. And we ponder the possibility of retractable heels. Savor it - it's Buy Curious!


This week, we asked shoppers in Rockridge to imagine they were given $100 and had to spend it on something style-related. What would they buy, and where would they go to get it? (Note to selves: Seems nearly everyone we happened across was our age, and yet shopping or sipping coffee at 11 a.m. on a Friday. What are we doing wrong?!)

Colleen, 27 girl1.jpg Where: Zara What: "I'm really into dresses right now. My ideal? Well, I've been looking for a really cute green dress."

Brooke (right) & Sarah (left), both 29 girls2.jpg Where: Crossroads What: Brooke: "I've been wanting to buy a lot of dresses lately. I love t-shirt dresses. Sarah? She's been into '70s-ish, rayon-looking dresses." (Sarah nods.)

Zap, 10 & Eric, 29 fatherdaughter4.jpg< Where: Slash and Target What: Eric: "I'm in desperate need of pants. I'm planning to go there [Slash] later today, actually." The new or used section? "I'll do both." Zap: "Target! For toys and clothes! I like pretty much all the stuff there."

Sara, 29 girl3.jpg Where: Anthropologie What: She hesitates, noting that $100 won't get you very far at her favorite store. "I'd say pants. Their pants fit me really well, for some reason. Actually, I bought this belt [green leather] and these pants [lightweight beige slacks with flared hems] there. I got the belt for $50, and the pants were $50. So I guess you can buy a lot for $100!"

Gerry, 21 guy5.jpg< Where: H&M, Stussy What: Jerry really wanted to save his $100, but we explained that if he didn't spend it, he'd lose it. So he said he'd be on the lookout for cool t-shirts from these two chains.


Massive, Mouthwatering Design Festival in Hayes Valley capsule%20fair.jpg Don't even think about skipping the CAPSULE Design Festival, one of the best shopping events of the year as more than 140 innovative artists and designers of every stripe set up shop in Hayes Valley Park. Whether you have five bucks to spend or five hundred, there's no way you'll walk away unsatisfied! When: Sun., May 27, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Where: Octavia Street between Fell and Hayes, San Francisco **Can't make it? Bookmark this page, and whenever you're ripe for a procrastination activity at work, explore a Web site or two from the list of East Bay designers, below, all of whom will be setting up shop at Capsule. (Are any Oakland artisans NOT going!?!) OAKLAND: AC Clothing and Bags, the giant peach, the weekend store, KateBee, From Oakland with Love, haiku by sharon eisenhauer, sheeple industries, Dulce Lalita, Piximix, NOPAL, Euna Design, Siobhan van Winkel, Bridgland Studios, Yahzi Rose, Thea Izzi Jewelry, Lucky Skirt, HungryPandaClothing, aliart, Olga Sowle, Vanderkitten, doLai Designs, bren-again, INC, INHABITstructures, Feral Childe, Mariposa Baby, kris nations, omiiroo, Mediums to Masses, Lucky Space Monkey OTHER EAST BAY: Chavier Caamano, Divali Glass Jewelry, ANGELES / XAT2X Fine Tshirts, MOMOCA, BITCHGEAR, Lulu & Mac, Stoneybrook Clothing, SASH, Megami Moon, TMR Jewelry

12 Days of Sample Sale Heaven Women, men, kids - snap up stuff for the whole family at wholesale prices and below at Thread Lounge, a sample sale extravaganza. Designers include Marc Jacobs, Alice + Olivia, Margaret O'Leary, Erica Tanov, Diane von Furstenberg, and 70 or so other lusty labels. (Yep, 70!) When: Thurs., May 31 - Tues., June 12, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Where: 575 Sutter St., San Francisco
A GENerous Shopping Spree Gen Art, a national organization that showcases emerging fashion talent (as well as up-and-comers in film, art and music), hosts its first Bay Area shopping event, replete with an open bar, spa treatments and DJ. There's just something about combining post-work drinks with amazing, underpriced clothes and accessories that, well, works wonders for the soul (if not the savings account). At a Gen Art event in New York City a couple years back, Lauren bought a purse she still considers a staple (a super supple black leather shoulder bag with a ruched strap) for $75 from a young Parsons grad named Cammie Hill. Now, Hill's collection ranges in price from $150-$400 and boasts celeb fans like Halle Berry and Teri Hatcher. When: Thurs, May 31, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Where: The Galleria, 101 Henry Adams St., San Francisco map It'll cost you: $10. RSVP recommended. 21 and over only.

'Cause You Don't Have to Work the Next Day IMAGE.jpeg Even though temperatures this weekend in the Bay Area are predicted to linger in the 60s, we have a feeling this Oakland pool party will have plenty of stripping down. The "Love American Style Pool Party" promises all-day debauchery with bands, DJs, go-go dancers, models, and plenty of alcoholic beverages. The biggest draw is the promised appearance of Mickey Avalon, the nasty, white-boy Hollywood rapper who attracts the projectile panties of his female fans. Also appearing are Zion-I, Immigrant, and Every Move a Picture, among others. Organizers also promise a "Valley of the Dolls Poolside Fashion Show" by Bella Bling. We don't know what they've got in mind, but it's safe to say that showing up in a bikini would be appropriate attire. Face it: there's nothing sexier than partying near the Oakland airport. Where: Myst Ultra Lounge, 10 Hegenberger Rd., Oakland When: Sun. May 27, 1 p.m.-3 a.m. It'll cost you: $20 presale, $30 at the door

Designer Duds on the Cheap We usually don't like paying to shop, but - okay - twist our arm. The "Boutique Bonanza - San Francisco's Premier Sample Sale" will donate a portion of its proceeds to some noteworthy causes - the Center for Asian American Media (the folks who bring you the annual kick-ass San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) and the Adoptee Mentor Program. Check out discounted prices on Diane von Furstenberg, Ella Moss, Citizens of Humanity, Splendid, T-Bags, Tory Burch, and much more. When: Sat. May 26, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California St., San Francisco It'll cost you: $10 general admission, $20 for VIP (includes swag bag)

More Yummy Sales **Deliciouz in Walnut Creek alerts us to a 30 percent off sale all merchandise, this week only. When: Sat. & Sun., May 26 & 27 Where: Deliciouz, 1506 N. Main St., Walnut Creek

**Royalty Couture is having a spring closeout, with 25 to 50 percent off the entire store. Where: 2391 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

Blog Bliss The online fashion event site Top Button has a nice, up-to-date list of local sample sales and shopping events in the Bay Area. Check it out!


Taking Cues from BC? Seems we're not the only reporters who like to quiz young folks on their style choices. Check out this Contra Costa Times article from earlier in the week. Buy Curious is particular fond of Michael Flores, the California High junior who told the paper he digs Alexander McQueen and American Apparel. "I saw in magazines how their clothing made a statement. I really wanted to make a statement that shows I am comfortable with who I am," he said. We're not sure we love the statements made by American Apparel's questionably tasteful ads, but Flores' philosophy itself is right on. (Non-alcoholic) drinks on us if you ever want to stop by and chat with BC, Michael! For The Clever Shoe Fiend heels.jpg We were perusing, one of the best blogs on the Web, the other day, when we came across this post about shoes from Italy that feature retractable heels. Slip into a pair in 1 ½-inch heel mode and hightail it to BART, then crank the heel appeal up two inches when you arrive at your destination. Take your pick from 19 styles at Now if only they weren't a few hundred bucks a pop!

Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the hottest fashion trends, news, and sales in the East Bay and beyond. If you've got suggestions for shops or Web site to feature, comments on the blog, or a burning style question you'd like us to answer in our occasional column, Buy Clueless, send them our way! Write Kathleen and Lauren at BuyCurious[at]EastBayExpress[dot]com