Clothes Shopping around the world

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We asked you to tell us places (outside of North America and the Caribbean) where you couldn’t resist buying an article of clothing — high-priced or bargain, fashionable or practical. In addition to describing the garment, we wanted you to pinpoint where you got the item, about how much it cost and when you were there. Clothes-buying shopping tips were encouraged. Following are replies received.

If you have anything to add, write to Clothes Shopping, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (please include the address at which you receive ITN).

On our last two visits to Chile, in March ’04 and March ’05, our cruise ship stopped at PUERTO MONTT. We found marvelous sweaters at wonderful prices at the craft shops in Angelmo, a district a few hundred yards from the landing used by the ship’s tenders bringing passengers ashore.

Go through the terminal building and across a parking lot with taxis, and turn left at the first street you come to. Go perhaps 200 yards, the street will make a gentle right turn, and start up a gradual slope. The approximately 20 small shops are on the left side of the street, and most of them have wool sweaters for sale.

My wife, Virginia, bought a multicolored llama wool jacket for $15 that was greatly admired by anyone who saw it. (At that price, she chose not to dicker.) I bought an alpaca wool sweater-jacket, navy blue and black with fine wooden buttons, for $21. We believe these will last us for years and years.

Prices were quoted in dollars; I don’t believe any of the shops took credit cards, but we didn’t try. The other side of the street has a few mom-and-pop restaurants — nothing fancy, just good plain food.

The taxi drivers there quoted prices in dollars, at what seemed to us to be reasonable fares (no meters).

Another note — the city tour offered by Holland America Line makes Angelmo the last stop, and it’s an easy walk back to the landing.

A.A. SCHAUFELBERGER

Fripp Island, SC

One of my favorite shops for clothes in many cities of EUROPE and ASIA is Kookai (locations listed at www.kookai.com). We have been to the Kookai shops in Paris, London, Prague, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

While some of their styles are a bit to seriously avant-garde, many of the selections are classic, with a European edge, and fairly to above-average priced. Expect to pay what you normally would spend in an American department store after the first markdown of an item. In Hong Kong, as the dollar exchange rate is better than that for the euro, the prices are a little lower.

I’ve bought T-shirts, shoes, sweaters, skirts, dresses, a blouse and accessories at Kookai. What I like most are the fabrics and the quality. Everything wears well and lasts forever!

If the destination you’re in has more than one Kookai store, try both. The merchandise is different at each one and changes quite often as well. A Kookai sale is heaven.

• If you travel with teenagers and are heading to HONG KONG, don’t miss Giordano (www.giordano.com)! There are outlets on just about every corner of the island as well as on the Kowloon side. They have jeans, T-shirts, khakis, shirts, socks, jackets, sweaters, jewelry, accessories, etc., and the prices are rock bottom for terrific quality.

While the style is similar to that of Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle (in other words, don’t go there looking for a unique style), their styles are perfect for 12- to 25-year-olds. Some of the stores have children’s departments, and others have more adult-geared styles. Men and women alike can find something of interest to wear from Giordano. When they have sale bins, a soft cotton T-shirt (similar to those at The Gap) will sell for US$1-$3.

• Also in HONG KONG, I like the Ladies Market (Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon) in Kowloon at night. They have stalls selling handmade woven and patchwork skirts and blouses in silk and cotton. You can bargain, but the “designer” from whom I bought items in spring ‘05 was generally set on selling her skirts or blouses for US$20 each. One of the cotton patchwork skirts looks exactly the same as one I saw at Neiman Marcus for $175.

DEBBIE BREZINSKY

Lombard, IL

So many places, so many clothes! Where to start?

• How about in KOBLENZ, Germany, where in June ’05 a friend and I found some marvelous crop pants in an outdoor market in a commercial area near the river? They cost €5 (about $6), came in a variety of colors, had lots of pockets and zips and were made of an easy-wash/dry synthetic fabric.

• Or how about India, where in December ’04 I had a shalwar chemise (or salwar kameez, a longish tunic top and coordinating silk trousers) made by a JAIPUR tailor for the equivalent of about $60?

• Then there was the cool and comfortable cotton top and pants that I bought near ANGKOR WAT, Cambodia, in a tented market complex near one of the temples, in February ’05.

I was pleased at my bargained price of $11 until a friend bought a comparable outfit at the Russian market in Phnom Penh for $6!

Another Cambodian bargain was my rafting sandals, a market purchase for $7, which I have been wearing every day all summer and which still are the most comfortable walking sandals I have ever owned!

Of course, just as at home, there are also those clothes purchases that were less successful! T-shirts that shrank or faded, the dress that looked better on the rack than on the body, the leather jeans (at an English charity shop!) that really weren’t me — no matter how great the price!

Still, clothes shopping when I travel is just one more way to get a different look at another culture.

DEE POUJADE

Portland, OR

A few of my favorite things. . . and where to find them:

• For loden cloth coats, central MUNICH, Germany. Although this woolen fabric — warm, lightweight and water resistant — is an Austrian specialty, it may be regarded as native to Bavaria.

I always found the largest selection of women’s loden cloth winter coats, usually made in Austria, at the shop Loden-Frey (Maffelstrasse 7-9; phone 089-21-03-90), right in the heart of Munich. It features a broader selection of colors and more fashionable styling than anywhere else. It is now four or five years since my last visit, but one durable coat is still with me after 20 years.

As to sizes, different manufacturers vary, and Southern Germans are built on a spacious frame! One must try on the garments to find the right fit.

• For men’s jackets, I shop in AUSTRIA or, again, at Loden-Frey in Munich. Bavarian-style jackets are, in fact, strikingly dressy and always attract comment. Europeans expect to pay more for clothing than Americans ordinarily do, but periodic sales make prices reasonable. And, naturally, prices fluctuate as the euro moves against the dollar.

• For shoes, Italy, of course! In MILAN there is a large selection in the vicinity of the Via Montenapoleone and adjacent streets. As an American with a wider foot than (apparently) a European woman, I was pleased to find here those lines which suited me. European shoes do not identify A, B, C widths; it’s necessary to establish the right size by trial and error and stay with the manufacturers who make the shoe for you.

• For slippers, anywhere in SPAIN or ENGLAND. Now virtually impossible to discover in the United States, soft leather slippers are still made in Spain. Spanish house slippers are also available in London at the department store John Lewis (phone 020 7629 7711 or visit www.johnlewis.com) on Oxford Street or Peter Jones (020 7730 3434 or www.peterjones.co.uk) in Sloane Square. They are cheaper in Spain than in England, and one must learn how English sizes relate to Spanish and, for that matter, American sizes.

Happy hunting!

S. KUDLICK

Cambridge, MA

When we travel to Europe, we try to add a few days in ITALY. I love shoes and have been known to purchase a pair or two during each visit. I bought shoes or boots in Rome, Florence, Palermo, Venice and Anacapri. I try to shop in places where few tourists shop.

• My husband loves to buy belts and wallets in the outdoor market in FLORENCE, but my favorite find is umbrellas. They are full size, made of shiny, silk-like fabric with vibrant-colored flowers. The handles are covered with the same fabric and then covered with clear protective plastic. I usually find them in outdoor stalls in FLORENCE and VENICE. I usually bargain and pay between $8 and $12 each. With careful maneuvering, they even fit in my suitcase.

I always get compliments on the umbrellas and am asked where I purchased them. They make a dreary New York day more pleasant when I am reminded of my many wonderful trips to Italy.

AMY ROMANO

Syosset, NY

Gloves on display in the shop R.J. Boettner — Vienna. Photo: Bevill

I would like to tell you about a wonderful glove shop I found in VIENNA, Austria: R.J. Boettner (6 Stephansplatz), across from the Stephansdom. The shop has been in the same location since the 1920s and currently is owned and operated by Ingrid Oesterreicher, the founder’s granddaughter.

I have been shopping there for the last four years, and it is always my first stop in Vienna when I begin to shop. If you’re looking for a gift for family or friends, well, everyone can use gloves.

R.J. Boettner’s has everything from the whimsical white gloves with red fingernails applied to the gloves to beautiful doeskin with the softest cashmere lining. The shop is rather small, but there are over a hundred drawers full of gloves, scarves and even umbrellas.

Prices can be as low as €16.50 (about $20) for woolen gloves with sequins and beading to €84.50 ($103) for a pair of soft suede gloves that zip down the back of the hand and have a row of crystals along the zipper. The store also carries children’s gloves and mittens.

The shop is open year-round. On my trip in October ’05 I purchased a dozen pairs of gloves for friends, family and coworkers. In May ”05 I purchased for myself a pair of very pale pink kidskin gloves with lines of white and pale green leather forming a plaid design. The attention to detailing is superb. One pair has different colors of leather between the fingers.

I once lost a single glove, one of my favorites, but I was able to replace the pair at this shop.

It is somehow heartwarming to know that in this world of denim and T-shirts, there is a place where an accessory like gloves is still important enough that this store has been around for 75 years!

KAREN BEVILL

Alexandria, VA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

We asked you to tell us places (outside of North America and the Caribbean) where you couldn’t resist buying an article of clothing — high-priced or bargain, fashionable or practical. In addition to describing the garment, we wanted you to pinpoint where you got the item, about how much it cost and when you were there. Clothes-buying shopping tips were encouraged. Following are replies received.

If you have anything to add, write to Clothes Shopping, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (please include the address at which you receive ITN).

On our last two visits to Chile, in March ’04 and March ’05, our cruise ship stopped at PUERTO MONTT. We found marvelous sweaters at wonderful prices at the craft shops in Angelmo, a district a few hundred yards from the landing used by the ship’s tenders bringing passengers ashore.

Go through the terminal building and across a parking lot with taxis, and turn left at the first street you come to. Go perhaps 200 yards, the street will make a gentle right turn, and start up a gradual slope. The approximately 20 small shops are on the left side of the street, and most of them have wool sweaters for sale.

My wife, Virginia, bought a multicolored llama wool jacket for $15 that was greatly admired by anyone who saw it. (At that price, she chose not to dicker.) I bought an alpaca wool sweater-jacket, navy blue and black with fine wooden buttons, for $21. We believe these will last us for years and years.

Prices were quoted in dollars; I don’t believe any of the shops took credit cards, but we didn’t try. The other side of the street has a few mom-and-pop restaurants — nothing fancy, just good plain food.

The taxi drivers there quoted prices in dollars, at what seemed to us to be reasonable fares (no meters).

Another note — the city tour offered by Holland America Line makes Angelmo the last stop, and it’s an easy walk back to the landing.

A.A. SCHAUFELBERGER

Fripp Island, SC

One of my favorite shops for clothes in many cities of EUROPE and ASIA is Kookai (locations listed at www.kookai.com). We have been to the Kookai shops in Paris, London, Prague, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

While some of their styles are a bit to seriously avant-garde, many of the selections are classic, with a European edge, and fairly to above-average priced. Expect to pay what you normally would spend in an American department store after the first markdown of an item. In Hong Kong, as the dollar exchange rate is better than that for the euro, the prices are a little lower.

I’ve bought T-shirts, shoes, sweaters, skirts, dresses, a blouse and accessories at Kookai. What I like most are the fabrics and the quality. Everything wears well and lasts forever!

If the destination you’re in has more than one Kookai store, try both. The merchandise is different at each one and changes quite often as well. A Kookai sale is heaven.

• If you travel with teenagers and are heading to HONG KONG, don’t miss Giordano (www.giordano.com)! There are outlets on just about every corner of the island as well as on the Kowloon side. They have jeans, T-shirts, khakis, shirts, socks, jackets, sweaters, jewelry, accessories, etc., and the prices are rock bottom for terrific quality.

While the style is similar to that of Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle (in other words, don’t go there looking for a unique style), their styles are perfect for 12- to 25-year-olds. Some of the stores have children’s departments, and others have more adult-geared styles. Men and women alike can find something of interest to wear from Giordano. When they have sale bins, a soft cotton T-shirt (similar to those at The Gap) will sell for US$1-$3.

• Also in HONG KONG, I like the Ladies Market (Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon) in Kowloon at night. They have stalls selling handmade woven and patchwork skirts and blouses in silk and cotton. You can bargain, but the “designer” from whom I bought items in spring ‘05 was generally set on selling her skirts or blouses for US$20 each. One of the cotton patchwork skirts looks exactly the same as one I saw at Neiman Marcus for $175.

DEBBIE BREZINSKY

Lombard, IL

So many places, so many clothes! Where to start?

• How about in KOBLENZ, Germany, where in June ’05 a friend and I found some marvelous crop pants in an outdoor market in a commercial area near the river? They cost €5 (about $6), came in a variety of colors, had lots of pockets and zips and were made of an easy-wash/dry synthetic fabric.

• Or how about India, where in December ’04 I had a shalwar chemise (or salwar kameez, a longish tunic top and coordinating silk trousers) made by a JAIPUR tailor for the equivalent of about $60?

• Then there was the cool and comfortable cotton top and pants that I bought near ANGKOR WAT, Cambodia, in a tented market complex near one of the temples, in February ’05.

I was pleased at my bargained price of $11 until a friend bought a comparable outfit at the Russian market in Phnom Penh for $6!

Another Cambodian bargain was my rafting sandals, a market purchase for $7, which I have been wearing every day all summer and which still are the most comfortable walking sandals I have ever owned!

Of course, just as at home, there are also those clothes purchases that were less successful! T-shirts that shrank or faded, the dress that looked better on the rack than on the body, the leather jeans (at an English charity shop!) that really weren’t me — no matter how great the price!

Still, clothes shopping when I travel is just one more way to get a different look at another culture.

DEE POUJADE

Portland, OR

A few of my favorite things. . . and where to find them:

• For loden cloth coats, central MUNICH, Germany. Although this woolen fabric — warm, lightweight and water resistant — is an Austrian specialty, it may be regarded as native to Bavaria.

I always found the largest selection of women’s loden cloth winter coats, usually made in Austria, at the shop Loden-Frey (Maffelstrasse 7-9; phone 089-21-03-90), right in the heart of Munich. It features a broader selection of colors and more fashionable styling than anywhere else. It is now four or five years since my last visit, but one durable coat is still with me after 20 years.

As to sizes, different manufacturers vary, and Southern Germans are built on a spacious frame! One must try on the garments to find the right fit.

• For men’s jackets, I shop in AUSTRIA or, again, at Loden-Frey in Munich. Bavarian-style jackets are, in fact, strikingly dressy and always attract comment. Europeans expect to pay more for clothing than Americans ordinarily do, but periodic sales make prices reasonable. And, naturally, prices fluctuate as the euro moves against the dollar.

• For shoes, Italy, of course! In MILAN there is a large selection in the vicinity of the Via Montenapoleone and adjacent streets. As an American with a wider foot than (apparently) a European woman, I was pleased to find here those lines which suited me. European shoes do not identify A, B, C widths; it’s necessary to establish the right size by trial and error and stay with the manufacturers who make the shoe for you.

• For slippers, anywhere in SPAIN or ENGLAND. Now virtually impossible to discover in the United States, soft leather slippers are still made in Spain. Spanish house slippers are also available in London at the department store John Lewis (phone 020 7629 7711 or visit www.johnlewis.com) on Oxford Street or Peter Jones (020 7730 3434 or www.peterjones.co.uk) in Sloane Square. They are cheaper in Spain than in England, and one must learn how English sizes relate to Spanish and, for that matter, American sizes.

Happy hunting!

S. KUDLICK

Cambridge, MA

When we travel to Europe, we try to add a few days in ITALY. I love shoes and have been known to purchase a pair or two during each visit. I bought shoes or boots in Rome, Florence, Palermo, Venice and Anacapri. I try to shop in places where few tourists shop.

• My husband loves to buy belts and wallets in the outdoor market in FLORENCE, but my favorite find is umbrellas. They are full size, made of shiny, silk-like fabric with vibrant-colored flowers. The handles are covered with the same fabric and then covered with clear protective plastic. I usually find them in outdoor stalls in FLORENCE and VENICE. I usually bargain and pay between $8 and $12 each. With careful maneuvering, they even fit in my suitcase.

I always get compliments on the umbrellas and am asked where I purchased them. They make a dreary New York day more pleasant when I am reminded of my many wonderful trips to Italy.

AMY ROMANO

Syosset, NY

Gloves on display in the shop R.J. Boettner — Vienna. Photo: Bevill

I would like to tell you about a wonderful glove shop I found in VIENNA, Austria: R.J. Boettner (6 Stephansplatz), across from the Stephansdom. The shop has been in the same location since the 1920s and currently is owned and operated by Ingrid Oesterreicher, the founder’s granddaughter.

I have been shopping there for the last four years, and it is always my first stop in Vienna when I begin to shop. If you’re looking for a gift for family or friends, well, everyone can use gloves.

R.J. Boettner’s has everything from the whimsical white gloves with red fingernails applied to the gloves to beautiful doeskin with the softest cashmere lining. The shop is rather small, but there are over a hundred drawers full of gloves, scarves and even umbrellas.

Prices can be as low as €16.50 (about $20) for woolen gloves with sequins and beading to €84.50 ($103) for a pair of soft suede gloves that zip down the back of the hand and have a row of crystals along the zipper. The store also carries children’s gloves and mittens.

The shop is open year-round. On my trip in October ’05 I purchased a dozen pairs of gloves for friends, family and coworkers. In May ”05 I purchased for myself a pair of very pale pink kidskin gloves with lines of white and pale green leather forming a plaid design. The attention to detailing is superb. One pair has different colors of leather between the fingers.

I once lost a single glove, one of my favorites, but I was able to replace the pair at this shop.

It is somehow heartwarming to know that in this world of denim and T-shirts, there is a place where an accessory like gloves is still important enough that this store has been around for 75 years!

KAREN BEVILL

Alexandria, VA