Bargain Shopping Filene Style

While doing some shopping yesterday near the metro center at one of the city’s two H&M stores I became a little fed up by the prices -- nearly $50 for most jeans, and $20 for most tanks and tops. While this may seem inexpensive to many from the D.C. area, it’s a little pricy to a lot of college-age students who are on a tight budget. Yes the clothes were cute, but I just can’t feel good about not getting a bargain, a discount, something, anything.

Anyway, I remembered a friend telling me that Filene’s Basement had some really good deals and a super cute juniors section. So I wondered up to the National Press Club building where the store is located at and shopped around.

Browsing the sunglass section, I was impressed. Tons of designer items for nothing! Nine West, Calvin Klein, and JLo shades, all for around $10-$15. Real designer brand products galore! The store, I’ve learned, is an outlet to higher end department stores. So products that don’t sell at Macy’s, for instance, are shipped off to Filene’s Basement where they are sold for a ridiculously discounted price.

My understanding is that every article is marked to show the incoming price and the date the article was first put on sale. Fourteen days later, if it hasn’t sold, it’s reduced 25 percent. An additional 14 days later, it is cut by 50 percent and yet 14 days more a discount of 75 percent off the original price is given. Two weeks after this, if it hasn’t sold, it goes to charity.

The ground-level floor holds every type of accessory you can imagine. Handbags from floor to ceiling, jewelry of every kind of stone, umbrellas, belts, glasses, perfumes, fill the shelves. Variety definitely isn’t limited.

The below-ground level has my favorite part however—clothes. While I spent most of my time in the juniors department checking out the summer dresses, jeans (around $20 to $30), and tops (around $12 to $18) I also saw lots of cute stuff in the petites department (wear-to-work style of clothing) , and of course the shoes. One thing that really caught my eye was the excess they had of each size. I always feel like when I’m shoe shopping my size always has the least amount of shoes (6-7 women.) Maybe I get there too late in the season, or maybe they distribute fewer of these sizes. The one thing I was disappointed in was the swimsuit section, which was pretty limited.

This particular Filene’s Basement was at 529 14th St. NW, but I know there are around 30 stores in the eastern U.S. For girls who like to shop and make their dollar go further, Filene’s Basement is an excellent place to do it. You’ll find the latest trends at a price that you can afford.

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