Summer Sales Season Starts

Say that one really fast! Yes, the summer sales season started this month. Last week as I walked down Bloor Street, I noticed pretty much every story with huge "SALE" signs in the window. Here's a taste of what's going down in the Bloor-Yorkville area.

OVER THE RAINBOW: Racks and racks of designer jeans including distressed white Sevens, tons of Miss Sixty, AG, and Chip & Pepper amongst others at 50% off. 30% off everything else in the store except new arrivals. I have a love/hate relationship with Over the Rainbow. Their service is lacking...or perhaps I should say, "what service?" However, their semi-annual sales are worth ditching the complaints. Next round of markdowns will be 50% off everything (except new arrivals). After that, it's the 70%off/$30 sale.

TNT BLU: Several racks of 50% off items including Seven for all Mankind, Adrian Goldschmied, Chip 7 Pepper, Citizens of Humanity, Julie Brown, and Juicy Couture. Again, wait a few weeks and the entire store will be 50% off. Wait until the end and it'll be 70% off entire store.

ZARA: The entire store is marked down in general from 30-60% off. A pair of turquoise linen pants for $25. Lots of knit tanks and tees for $20-30 down from $30-50. Pretty dresses to be had for $40-60 and heels for around $60.

HMV: While you're at it, pick up some good music. A huge selection of CDs priced at 2 for $25. I'm impressed this time. I rarely buy CDs, especially at HMV which I used to think was overpriced. However, I found a lot of good artists (both local, big name, and "indie") in this price range. Better than last summer's, if you took advantage of that one.

THE BODY SHOP: Up to 75% off, touts their sign. However, I was disappointed. Some lotions, soaps, and body sprays for $7-15, but I was not too impressed. The most popular scents and products aren't discounted (but they rarely are) and the selection of discount items is poor. It's worth checking out if you're passing by, though.

DANIER: 50% off most of the store. I would take a look at bags and accessories and if you're smart, get to a jacket or two before sizes run out. However, I'm always too wilted from the heat to even think about entering a leather store.

LULULEMON: Some of the larger sized Luon long tank and sports bras marked down (nothing big. $10-15 off, in general but considering Lululemon prices and their lack of significant sales, it's a good deal) but everything else still at full price. If you take larger sizes, you should drop in and take a look. The quality can't be beat and there is meat to the hype.

ARITZIA: 20% off most items in the store with selected items (general, the few that haven't sold well) for 30-50% off. Minnetonka mocassins for $32.50 and boots for $34.99. A steal considering regular retail of $65 and $140 respectively. They are extremely comfortable and a treat for tired feet. TNA tracksuits are $80 for the pants and $68 for the cropped. I don't remember these going down much further in past years. But no need to rush in for sizes. As Aritzia's most popular items, they're always well stocked.

In general, markdowns start mid-late June. By the end of July, serious deals can be had. I've bought designer jeans at 70% off (Diesel, True Religion, Seven for all Mankind, Notify, Miss Sixty, etc.) and plenty of Aritzia house brand (Talula and TNA) items at up to 80% off. I definitely don't need any new clothes or accessories, so I'm willing to wait for the last markdowns. While my sizes aren't always available, there's usually still plenty of selection left to treat myself. However, if you're looking for specific items or need to revive that wardrobe, this is the perfect time to go.

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