Setting: Bravely driving back to D.C. from A.C. in post-Turkey-Day I-95 traffic. Signs flash warnings of backups starting in Delaware (why? there's nothing to stop for?). So D.C. Celine whips out the road atlas she bought H two years ago and we navigate to 13 and 40. Driving down 40, past strip mall after strip mall, we start to pull up at a light. H is on his cell, conversing with someone...
D.C. Celine: C-MART! C-MART! (points frantically across the intersection to the left)
H says nothing as he attempts to get off the phone and make the turn without killing us.
We drive past the front door. Open to 6. Quick check of the dashboard clock. It's 4:30. Pleeeeeeeeeeeenty of time.
We pull into a spot.
H: Are you ready?
D.C. Celine: I don't know (but gets out of the car anyway).
We enter...and we're off. To the shoes I go, to the men's he goes. I get a cart, just in case.
Now. For the uninitiated (like me), C-Mart is Filene's and T.J. Maxx on crack. Grungier, bigger, but with cooler scores stashed in the racks, you have to come often and dig to get the best finds here. Thursdays = shipments arrive. (That means go on Thursday or Friday, people.) H was curious, so while he was scoping out (and buying) a bunch of 1/2 price cigars, he sleuthed around a bit. The cigar lady was chatty.
C-Mart buys through some of the regular channels, leftovers from Big Name Stores and such. But the coolest deals come through strange means. I just can't believe that there are enough of these to keep the store stocked, but apparently...insurance buyouts. So if Judy's Dress Shop has a car drive through its front window, and the insurance company writes them a Big Fat Check for the whole store (what supposedly happened for the big cigar shipment), they can't sell the remaining goods retail. So C-Mart buys them up and resells them to us.
Sadly, Katrina meant that the Saks goods from NoLA ended up in Maryland. There was a riot during that sale. Ladies lined up for a 10-person at a time swipe at the now-defunct purse department of NoLA Saks. Something went horribly wrong with the numbering system, and the riot police came in, shut the store down for two hours, and then they reopened. Strange.
It's not all super-high-end stuff. There's plenty of junk. But in between there are jewels, like violet satin Isaac sandals, and KORS wooden-soled platforms. There are Calvin Klein sequin shells (lots of them, for some bizzare reason), and Frye boots. There's a gorgeous Prada velvet pleated skirt that would've spiced up my wardrobe considerably, but even at $362 (down from $1000, I know, but $362 is still $362). There were Imitation of Christ Scarlett skinny jeans that I tried one more time. (I want to like this trend, especially with boots, but I just can't get there. Figured IoC might help. And if only they had one size bigger.)
And there are these amazing, gorgeous Sonia Rykel peep toe pumps that I hope, hope, hope someone else doesn't scoop up (there's another short trip north and back south again this weekend, so maybe, just mabye). I can't justify $345 (from $600+, but still). But they're hot, hot, hot.
(Pooey on Blogger...pictures to come in the next post.)