Areader's tip led to the Great Changes Annex in Studio City, which is an outlet for the chic Great Changes store in North Hollywood. The outlet acts as a clearance center for this fine store specializing in large-size apparel for women.
The stock is current, and you'll find such labels as Christina Max, Lorna Adams, OK Sam, Piccolino Plus, Better Half, Physical Attraction and Jeste marked 30% to 50% off the original retail prices.
The clientele in the parent store expect styles to be stocked in every size, so when the run is broken, the remaining sizes are shipped to the annex. There's no filler merchandise--all of it comes from the main store, which never holds sales.
A wonderful two-piece outfit by 2 Rare, a lined black rayon sheath with an \o7 au courant \f7 brocade swing jacket, which was originally $295, was discounted to $165. Store Manager Fawn Harris, in one of her benevolent moods, further marked it down to $125.
Actually, Harris (size 20) gets these benevolent moods quite often.
The May Co. has its 15-hour sales; Harris will impulsively stage a one-minute sale. "There's another 20% off on that dress you have in hand if you make up your mind in one minute," she'll say. It's a shopping experience that matches winning a hefty jackpot in Vegas. A good-looking blazer that originally retailed for $140 was tagged $80 at the annex and went for $60 in a one-minute sale.
The merchandise is of excellent quality. Lingerie from Gilligan-O'Malley, a high-end manufacturer, falls into the 30% to 50% off range. The selection is limited, but for those in the know, the pickings are good.
Sweaters by Bonnie Lee and Outlander, which can be found in the pricey boutiques for up to $165, sell for $30 to $70. A wonderful sweater coat that should cost $135 is $60.
You'll find an ample supply of accessories. Lovely swimwear from Cole, Serena and Fantasize was half off. A great gray fedora for $25 that was in the window went to a Size 4 who just dropped in because she couldn't resist it.
This is large-size apparel that is youthful and stylish and never falls into that depressing old-fat-lady image that too many manufacturers continue to pursue.
This outlet store is small, only about 650 square feet, but it's jammed with quality bargains and a wonderful \o7 joie de vivre. \f7 The styles would make any Size 6 wish that she could wear an 18. And every store we shop in should have a Fawn Harris to make it such a happy experience.
\o7 Great Changes Annex, 4383-G Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays. Call (818) 769-9205.
Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Thursday in Valley View. Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley View, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Letters will not be answered individually, but topics of general interest will be discussed in future columns.\f7