The season's springlike temperatures and can't-miss-it TV news left few of us inclined to shop for necessary gifts, let alone our own cold-weather wardrobes. But with sale season now in high gear, stores full of unsold winter merchandise can yield serious scores at sample-sale prices.
Barneys' best deals are on designer clothes. We can't print prices, but a ton of women's Helmut Lang, Prada, Dries Van Noten, and Costume National is 30 to 60 percent off. For men, most winter clothes, including jackets and coats from Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, and Hugo Boss, are also 30 to 60 percent off.
Bloomingdale's second floor has a wide selection of the store's private-label Sutton Studio cashmeres. The luxurious sweaters were $99 to $249; now they're 50 percent off. Marc Jacobs-esque waffle knits were $129; now they're down to $65. Men's private-label cashmeres are also half off, starting at $80.
Saks's ninth-floor Salon Z offers larger-size women with expensive taste designers like Dana Buchman, Emanuel by Emanuel Ungaro, and Anne Klein. Practically all winter styles are now on sale, and all Marina Rinaldi winter styles are 40 percent off, from $78 for a gray short-sleeve sweater (was $130) to $1,662 for a fur-trimmed leather coat (was $2,770).
Bergdorf's designer-shoe salon is clearing out all winter stock at 30 to 70 percent below regular prices. The best deals are at the in-store Manolo Blahnik boutique, where all last season's styles (including must-have stilettos) are 50 to 70 percent off, starting at $99. The men's store across the street has top-end winter duds at similar reductions: sport jackets that were $750 to $2,750 are now $449 to $1,649; dress shirts that were $75 to $325 are now $39 to $199.
Barneys, 660 Madison Ave., at 61st St. (826-8900); Bloomingdale's, Lexington Ave. at 59th St. (705-2000); Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., at 49th St. (753-4000); Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., at 57th St. (753-7300).
Picks of the Week
Michelle Roth & Co. sells bridalwear from top European and American designers. At the showroom sale, most samples and stock are reduced by 50 to 75 percent. Richard Glasgow beaded satin off-the-shoulder dress, was $3,200, now $950; Ron LoVece dress with lace trim, was $5,800, now $1,400. Sizes 4-14. 24 W. 57th St., Suite 203 (245-3390); A.E., M.C., V.; Fri.-Sat. 10-6; 1/8-1/9.
Norma Kamali is finally holding a sample sale of her chic swimwear, sportswear, evening attire, and athletic clothes. Prices are 40 to
75 percent off retail: Swimwear, was $150-$200, now $25-$85, evening dresses, were $2,500-$5,000, now $500-$1,500; puffy sleeping-bag coats, were $450-$650, now $150-$350. Women's sizes 4-14. 11 W. 56th St., third floor (957-9797); A.E., M.C., V., checks accepted; Mon.-Sat. 10-6; 1/9-1/16.
Ménage à Trois is clearing out all winter stock at half off, including suits and gowns: Hand-crocheted mohair sweaters are $188, silver silk camisoles are $160, and sumptuous gowns are $700. 799 Madison Ave., near 67th St., second floor (396-2514); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 8:30-6, Sat. 10-5; 1/4-1/18.
Scoop heralds 1999 with most fall and winter clothes and accessories reduced to $99 or less. Designers include Theory, Diane Von Furstenberg, William B., Urchin, and D&G. An embroidered Anna Sui shirt, was $42, now $19; Chaiken and Capone pleated skirts, were $335, now $99; D&G black stilettos, were $345, now $99. 1275 Third Ave., near 73rd St. (535-5577); 532 Broadway, near Spring St. (925-2886); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 11-8, Sun. 11-7; 1/7-1/17.
ALWAYS A DEAL
There's nothing like indoor gardening to ward off the midwinter blues. For star-quality results with minimal hassle, try the American Lung Association's amaryllis kit, which guarantees a great big showy red bloom within three weeks. The package costs $10.95 (plus $3 shipping) and includes a pot and soil. Proceeds benefit the organization's efforts to prevent lung disease. Order by March 23 (delivery takes about a week). Call 718-263-5656, ext. 15, for an order form.