The fashionista in you doesn’t have to hide out during the recession. If you take the time to do some smart shopping, it’s still possible to dress up, keep prices down and have fun doing it. Here are three South Bay women’s boutiques that have great looks and even better prices. Bring a friend, or keep the secret to yourself.
Frou Frou, Redondo Beach
This little find in a Whole Foods shopping center will overwhelm you with its sheer volume of clothing. Check out the window displays for some great ideas on how to accessorize with jackets, scarves, belts and jewelry. You’ll find unique items that you just won’t see anywhere else: an array of feminine and romantic tops, trendy jackets, t-shirts with great graphics, jeans, tank tops in every color of the rainbow, maxi dresses and more. Some of the looks are more juniors oriented, but women of all ages shop here. There’s a small but cute selection of shoes, along with purses, scarves, belts, costume jewelry and sunglasses. Work at it and put together a complete outfit for under $130. New shipments come in almost daily. Check out the sale rack for real bargains. (310) 376-1585. 409 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach.
Varga, El Segundo
Inspired by pin-up girls from the past, Varga clothing is all feminine and faux vintage. This store, somewhat hidden toward the back of the Plaza El Segundo complex, is the second-largest in Varga’s group, which also operates in Santa Monica and Hollywood. It’s a great place to grab a sparkly top or dress for an evening out, without having to spend boutique prices. It’s all very girlish and fun, from the inexpensive jewelry pieces with great beads and stones to some frilly, pin up girl-style lingerie. Varga also carries a great line of vintage-look gift items and home décor. (310- 640-0700. 730-C Allied Way, El Segundo.
Mandarine, Manhattan Beach
Don’t be put off by the pricier boutiques along Manhattan Ave. in downtown Manhattan Beach. Mandarine is a rare find on the block. You can pull out something you like, and rest assured that it will be reasonably priced. Browse through simple, beachy tops, skirts and dresses, trendy jeans, plus shoes and accessories. (310) 546-1545. 329 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach.