One of my absolute favorite things about fashion is its accessibility. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you love, there is always a way to make style a part of your life. In recent months, prices in BA have been rising steadily, yet there are still many fun boutiques and shops where a girl can find the clothes of her dreams-all at a great value.
When I’m shopping on a budget, my first stop is Hermana, a hole in the wall boutique on the corner of Serrano and Gorriti (Gorriti 5002). I first discovered this line at last year’s Feria Puro Diseño, and I was enthralled. Imagine colorful, funky printed tees, dresses, and skirts. The theme of the current collection, Jungle Queen, emphasizes safari fever. You can expect minis, cut off tees, tanks, and the classic Hermana skin-tight dress. Considering the ultra stylish product, the prices are incredible, and especially now as the season winds down and sales abound. Skirts and shirts can be found for 40 pesos, while dresses go up to 180. The majority of the items hover in the 60 peso range, which is nearly unbeatable when it comes to the youthful, daring style created by Hermana.
This section of Palermo SoHo seems to be a hotspot for budget shopping, as yet another hip boutique lies just half a block away. Amor Urbano (Serrano 1509) is more charmingly feminine than Hermana, offering silky dresses and shorts highlighted by the oh so classic tiered look. I tried on an adorable strapless number, and the price tag came to 45 pesos. In addition to the already low prices, this store is currently offering a discount if you pay in cash. Also, unlike most of the major stores, who have yet to release their new winter collections, Amor Urbano already has a decent selection of new clothes in stock. You’ll also find cute earrings and an adorable little tan purse perfect for club hopping. Amor Urbano has got it all for the girly girl, and most pieces cost anywhere from 40-65 pesos. Talk about a deal.
One of the rising trends in Buenos Aires is the debut of the multi-line boutique, stores that carry clothes by a wide variety of independent designers. Perhaps the mecca of the inexpensive multi designer boutique is El Mercadillo (Av. Cabildo 2331 or Jorge Luis Borges 1663). The great thing about this unique shop is that there are several locations citywide, including San Telmo, Palermo, and Belgrano, and each one offers selections by different designers. Prices are low because most of the names in the store are not well-known, which makes it even more fun to buy a piece at one of El Mercadillo’s boutiques. My personal fave is the Belgrano location, as it’s large and provides an abundance of choices. Undoubtedly some of the lines are a total dud, but if you look closely you can find some great pieces to add to your closet.
When I need a good pair of leather shoes and I’m hoping to keep the price down, my search always begins at Peplos (Costa Rica 4699). They offer some sandals and flats for as low as 150 pesos, and last winter I bought a sexy pair of camel riding boots for only 300 pesos. This price is basically unheard of for knee-high boots of that quality. I’ve been wearing them for about a year, and have not noticed a single sign of wear and tear. Every time I go out in my Peplos sky high open toe sandals, I hear the classic, “Where did you get those?” When you want a durable shoe that’s also stylish, Peplos is where it’s at.
As a well-known chain store, Complot has a more established reputation than any of the small boutiques mentioned so far, but its rock ‘n’ roll look never seems to go out of style. One of my favorite dresses in my slowly expanding closet is an 80 peso black stretchy dress I purchased a few months ago at Complot. The best feature is the criss crossing straps in the back that add just a hint of sexiness and sensuality. Here you’ll also find printed leggings, tees with some super cute sayings, and even a small selection of shoes and purses. At Complot, expect to put together some fun outfits at a great price.
If you’re after that special item from one of the major chain stores, head to the streets Aguirre and Loyola in up and coming Villa Crespo. In this area you’ll find the outlets of almost every major store in town, including Rapsodia, Paula Cahen D’Anvers, and Prune, among so many others. Although prices on clothes and accessories at these stores still run a bit higher considering the original prices, you can still find great deals on name brands. Nevertheless, beware of the allure of the outlets and look closely before you buy anything. Many of the pieces have been laying around for awhile, and can be stained or even torn in some places. Thus, my recommendation is to stop by the outlets on occasion, but don’t rely on them to fill up your
As usual in my beloved Buenos Aires, opportunity abounds. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate style. So get out there and enjoy a good shopping day without putting a strain on your wallet. Ladies, you deserve it.