By 10 a.m., I'd been to Kohl's, Rosedale Center, Cost Plus World Market, Patina, Bibelot (there was a line on Grand Ave.!) and Eco-tique. Total purchases: one book, not on sale; one gift set of Caribou coffee, 50 percent off; one pack of gift tags, 50 percent off; a bottle of Torani syrup (I like my almond steamers), for the amazing price of $4.19 and a string of light-up dreidels, 75 percent off at World Market (love that place!). The $99 portable DVD player at Kohl's gave me pause, but I pushed on since my true agenda was to see what others were buying for the Pioneer Press article I now need to write. Overall findings: the stores were busy, but not crazy, and the discounts are a bit steeper than they were before Christmas.
For more sale info, click Sales/Specials.

07veraholidayHadn’t been over to Kohl’s since the initial fuss about Vera Wang’s Simply Vera budget line, so I stopped by this week and unintentionally launched myself on another shopping goose chase. The good news: the second wave of Simply Vera looks as good (with a few notable exceptions, like the shapeless, scoop neck tops, which wouldn’t be flattering even on a pregnant person) as the first: silky print party tops, gray and black dresses that you know would get plenty of wear to work and beyond, and a long wrap style sweater – which happens to be exactly what I’ve been looking for. And of course, the Knollwood Mall Kohl’s had XLs only. So at 9:45 p.m. last night, I bounded into the Southtown store…and found the selection only slightly better: Ls, XLs and one M. Where are the smalls? This is exactly what happened with the first shipment – smalls disappeared instantly (guess small people shop more?). I know there are formulas for size runs and all that, but come on. If a size is gone at every store, that tells you that you need to order more!!!

It’s wonderful when work and personal shopping desires overlap. I rushed to Kohl’s early last week to scrutinize the new Simply Vera Vera Wang collection before writing a column on it for the Pioneer Press. Trying on a few things was research! I bought an extremely soft long sleeve crewneck – good for layering – on my way out, but I passed up the $138 short sleeve textured coat. It nagged at me all week, especially when I spotted it on models in two fall fashion magazines. I got back to the Rosedale Kohl’s on Saturday intending to commit, and much to my surprise, the entire collection was 30 percent off and my coat was gone. Gone! I know Kohl’s tends to discount everything, but really, why would you mark down such a high profile line in the very first week when the designer has appeared on Oprah? That’s Kohl’s. So, I went home for the receipt from the shirt – no way was I going to pay full price – and headed to the Southtown store where I got my price adjustment, but no coat. They, too, were out of just about everything in small sizes. I did score two cute shirts for my kid (if your little one likes Sesame Street, Kohl’s is the place), both on sale, of course. A shockingly competent customer service agent agreed to check the system for me to see if any store in town might have the coat. She found it in Burnsville. And like a fool, I immediately drove there at 8:30 on a Saturday night (yes, I do lead an exciting life), family in tow, to buy it. I’m not sure my desire to have the coat turned into a need to possess it. But now that I’ve got it home, I’m not so sure the coat looks as great on me as it did in all the magazines. Too much material up top and I think I’m too short waisted for the belt. Guess I’ll get to make another trip to Kohl’s this week – that’s more times than I’ve entered the store in the past year, so they should at least feel good about that.