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Hunt for Discount Treasure : Loehmann's opened its clearance center seven months ago and offers clothing up to 70% off.

June 11, 1993|GERI COOK

Much has been written over the years about the Loehmann's operation. The Loehmann name itself has become synonymous with bargain shopping to such an extent that now they have more than 100 locations across the United States, with 15 in Southern California.

It was inevitable, I suppose, that with all these stores, they would come up with a clearance center, which opened seven months ago at their old stand in the Fairfax-Wilshire district. The minute I walked in to check out the markdowns, the old excitement of the treasure hunt set in.

Instinct drew me to the far left corner to racks that indicated 50%, then 60% and, at last . . . nirvana . . . "70% off ticketed price." A gorgeous, fully lined silk dress by Bill Blass in Size 8 was calling. The original price, it says on the tag, was $2,650, followed by markdowns to $995, then to $495. Now deduct 60% from that and the Bill Blass is yours for $200.

Here's an Anne Klein jacket. Starting price was $750, then down to $279 and $189. With 70% off the ticketed price, that brings the classic jacket in at $58. A Calvin Klein jacket also started out at $750 and is now $53.

I spotted a Pierre Balmain basic black wool dress for $44.39 and an Adrienne Vittadini jacket for $28. Can it be true?

This is what bargain shopping at Loehmann's was like 20 years ago. Sizes range from 2 to 20 with often just one-of-a-kind on the rack. A word of caution: Some pieces are shopworn, so examine each garment carefully.

In February last year, I wrote about Bailey's, a resale store for men. Recently, Bailey's added a new category of bargains that has long been needed--resale fashions for the larger woman.

Moving fast are new beaded gowns (retail $500) for $149 and designers like Ellen Tracy, Anne Klein and Tamotsu on the racks at greatly discounted prices.

A $600 Tamotsu suit was marked $169 and a lacy Ellen Tracy skirt ($250 originally) was a steal at $49. Since very few resale stores have anything at all for the over-Size 16 crowd, any zaftig bargain shopper should make note of this.

Maternity apparel is another category where the pickin's are slim. In this column last year, we wrote about Mom's the Word, a maternity discounter in Pasadena, as an excellent source for quality at heavily discounted prices. In May, it opened a Studio City location, which will be more convenient for the San Fernando Valley shopper. As an example of the inventory and prices in the new Valley store, we saw some palazzo jumpsuits, specially designed to flatter the pregnant figure, priced elsewhere at $90 to $120, tagged from $65 to $88 here. The labels must remain secret.

Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life. Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley Life, 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. Geri Cook can be heard from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturdays on KIEV 870-AM.


* Location: Loehmann's Clearance Center, 6220 3rd St., Los Angeles.

* Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

* Cards: Discover, MasterCard, Visa.

* Call: (213) 933-5675.

* Location: Bailey's Resale, 109 E. Union St., Pasadena.

* Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

* Cards: MasterCard, Visa.

* Call: (818) 449-0201.

* Location: Mom's the Word, 12422 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.

* Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

* Cards: MasterCard, Visa.

* Call: (818) 769-0650.

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