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VALLEY WEEKEND | BARGAINS

Perry's House Opens the Door to Savings

Though the store is off-putting from the outside and chaotic inside, the steep discounts on clothing make it worth a visit.

November 21, 1996|GERI COOK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Here's another example of looks being deceiving.

I've passed Perry's House of Bargains at least 100 times during the last couple of years and, though interested, decided it was just too tacky looking to be worthwhile. Well, the appearance is tacky but oh, my dears, there are some fabulous bargains here.

First, the women's apparel: I found some dressy suits by John Meyer, Kasper for A.L., Orlando Rossi and Emily priced around $120 or 60% off retail. The women's sweater rack offered some interesting one-of-a-kind deals with the French label Le Chois dominating.

Also from France: a Gean Charles de Castelbajac multicolored car coat that retails for around $500 for a dazzling $79. Some Brooks Brothers wool slacks were $35 instead of $98. Dramatic black capes and shawls, so perfect for our climate, were an affordable $45.

The inventory for men is mixed, but you'll be impressed with the rack of flannel shirts, many from Fred Segal, that were selling for $15, not the $45 and $55 they originally brought. Suits for young men (sizes 14-20) from Christian Dior that usually go for $179 move fast because Perry sells them for $59. Men's suits that usually sell in the $300 range are just half of that.

For children, particularly girls, there's a very large selection with names such as Jolie Sophie, Pretty In Pink, Just Ducky and Pop Kids filling the racks at $25 to $30--not the $69.95 on the original hanging tags.

Unfortunately, prices are not always marked, but that's excusable in this mom-and-pop store. Another problem is the housekeeping, but try to look past the chaos to find the treasures.

Two women customers, who were shopping while I was investigating, were regulars who have been coming to Perry's for years. One well-dressed woman had driven in from San Bernardino, and does so often.

"I wouldn't shop anywhere else," she told me. That's impressive since Perry does no advertising and all his business comes from word-of-mouth.

There's a huge shoe department in the back where leather shoes, mostly from Brazil, carry healthy discounts. Up front was a smattering of Italian shoes, all going for $29.95 in sizes 5 1/2 to 10.

At the checkout counter, you'll find accessories, evening bags, lingerie, socks, even some Samsonite luggage, all priced well below retail. This is not an easy store in which to shop; it requires time, diligence and know-how. But for the sharp bargain hunter, it's a worthwhile endeavor. Perry's House of Bargains, 8815 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 550-1292. Hours: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sunday; closed Saturdays but open for the holiday season starting Nov. 30. American Express, MasterCard, Visa. 6% discount on cash purchases over $50.

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WEEKEND SUPER SALES: At the opposite end of the shopping spectrum, here's a splendid bargain source where men can pamper themselves and save money at the same time. While shopping for upscale European clothing at discounted prices, he can get a manicure, pedicure, have his shoes shined and his car hand-washed. This store has recently relocated from West L.A. and is having a grand-opening sale through Sunday. Hundreds of Italian suits that regularly sell for $750 to $1,000 are on special for $399. Alandales, 8775 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 360-7600.

You can get set for the holidays with some excellent deals on cashmere sweaters for men and women at the annual pre-holiday William Kasper sale. No one-ply, flimsy knits here, just the good stuff. Figure about 40% off. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the DoubleTree Westwood Plaza, 10740 Wilshire Blvd, Westwood. (310) 475-8711.

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