New stores galore 

Spice up your wardrobe for cheap at Accessory City.

SHOES PLUS: At Accessory City.
  • SHOES PLUS: At Accessory City.

No holidays or special events to provide a theme for this week’s column, so instead I bring you brief profiles of a couple of new-ish stores out west:

• Stores with “city” in their names evoke a certain image to me — big, of course, and loud and crowded, and a bit overwhelming, but probably cheap enough to make up for it. Accessory City on Bowman Road, in the former Just for Feet building, fits that like … a glove, of course. It’s a vast room full of handbags and luggage sets and costume jewelry and belts and shoes that’s just the kind of place you need when you’re completely bored with everything you own but also completely broke. Twenty bucks here is more than enough to buy yourself a little pick-me-up. The J Garden line of travel accessories is fun — patterns like polka dots and cherries, styles ranging from a small handbag to a pet carrier to a wheeled bag to a giant suitcase.

The only time I recognized any brand names was in the wallet section, where the choices included Kenneth Cole Reaction and Mundi, a line of wallets and organizers that I really liked — styles have names like My Big Fat Leather Wallet and Thinny Thin. Prices for both brands were well below the original retail. My favorite, though, was a no-name “opera wallet” ($10), a very small, very thin hard-case wallet that has just enough room inside for a couple of credit cards and a folded-up bill or two.

• Just across the street and down half a block from Accessory City is Austin’s, a decorative mall that replaced David Thomas Antiques last August. I hadn’t been in before, but it’s definitely worth a stop. Lots of antique furniture at good prices ($150 for a wooden rocker, $110 for an old post-office shelf, $400 for a tall, narrow corner cabinet with glass doors), plus plenty of modern-day accessories and the other usual random stuff you find in places where anyone can rent out a few square feet to sell whatever they feel like. Beanie Babies. A line of cookbooks with fun titles like “Eat, Bitch and Wine” and “Any Bitch can Cook.” Plastic Razorback tumblers. Etc.

Other news:

Midtowne will be getting a couple of new stores later this spring. Brighton Collectibles, an upscale accessories store, is scheduled to open in May. Brighton handbags are already available at Parisian, but the Collectibles store will carry the full line of purses, belts, shoes, wallets, luggage, etc. It’s not cheap — most handbags are in the $200-$300 range, and shoes start at $100. You can get a preview at www.brighton.com.

The other store is Justice, a clothing chain for girls age 7-14, set to open May 1. The chain is owned by the same parent company that owns Limited Too, but the Justice stores are more moderately priced — a company representative said prices are comparable to a store like J.C. Penney — and are generally located in open-air shopping centers instead of enclosed malls. The stores also host birthday parties, where girls can get makeovers, etc., and, of course, shop. The website is www.justicejustforgirls.com.

• Don’t forget the children’s consignment sales coming up: Rhea Lana’s at University Mall Feb. 28-March 3 (www.rhealana.com) and Duck Duck Goose at the State Fairgrounds March 1-3 (www.duckduckgoosesale.com).

Chameleon Art Glass is having a grand opening event at its new location (24907 Kent Lane in West Little Rock) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 24. There will be demos, a bead-making class, door prizes, and, of course, opportunities to buy things.

You got a better idea?



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