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Cutting Costs on Quality School Clothes

For Kids Only features specialty European labels with year-round discounts of 30% to 60%.


Everyone's doing back-to-school sales and specials this week, but there's one store in the Valley that offers these deals no matter the time of year.

I discovered For Kids Only when it opened in Los Angeles about 12 years ago, and its Valley location has been a bargain source for discriminating mothers and grandmothers for more than seven years.

The focus here is on high-end labels, many imported from Italy, France and other European countries. Usually, apparel of this quality is very dear, but with discounts always running from 30% to 60%, the best becomes affordable.

The shoe department is a perfect example. If you are one of those parents who believe that kids' shoes are not the place to economize, check this out: Shoes by Paola, a brand sold at specialty stores under a different name, usually run about $80 a pair, but For Kids Only sells the shoes for $40 and $50.

Chances are they will outlast most lower-priced brands that are highly advertised. You'll find several other Italian labels.

Some excellent buys can be found with the popular Iggywear label, particularly for boys. Micro-corduroy (a very narrow wale that's almost silky in weight) pants come in a pull-on style that kids prefer. They're tagged at $14.99 here, though elsewhere they sell for $32. Coordinating T-shirts and cardigans, in 100% cotton and flannel, are moving fast at $11.99, which is about half the going rate.

Girls in the preteen group love the skirts By Debra for $19.99 that come in either the mini or maxi length. (Knee length is out, mom.) Coordinates abound, like one lacy rayon design that comes in black or white. Instead of the usual $42 tag, figure on $16.99.

For those children who attend schools where variations of uniforms are the rule, figure a 30% to 40% reduction on navy or khaki pants and plenty of $11.99 polo shirts in white to complete the required outfit.

Those seeking top-quality labels not available at the major discounters will appreciate this inventory.

* For Kids Only, 18332 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, (818) 708-9543; and at 746 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, (213) 650-4885. Both stores: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Major credit cards accepted.

WEEKEND SUPER SALE: Once a year the Angels Attic, a museum for antique toys, dolls and miniatures, has what's called a De-Acquisition Sale. Museums must clear out merchandise just like the retailers, so at Angels Attic there will be a large selection of antique dolls, dollhouses, etc., available in the garden Saturday at prices cut by about 25%.

A portion of the proceeds go to the Brentwood Center for Educational Therapy. Admission to the sale is free. If you want to visit the museum in the restored Victorian home, which I recommend, there is an admission of $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for children under 12. Afternoon tea is served on the veranda; reservations requested.

* Angels Attic, 516 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 394-8331.

CORRECTION: The telephone number given for Tristen E., a men's apparel store featured in this column last week, was incorrect. The correct number is (310) 360-0942.

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