READERS' PICK: Who hasn't shopped at the "Buff"? It continues to have a good vintage selection, as well as everything that's hip and trendy. The women's shoe selection gets better and better, and the latest accessories and chachka section in the front seems to keep expanding. The same with the men's clothing, which has grown from just one rack to about one third of the store. Where else are you going to go when you need a good deal on a last-minute outfit for tonight's rave or tomorrow's job interview? And let's not forget how many of us have scraped up the rent money by weeding out our closets and taking our chances at the buying counter. Long live the "Buff"!
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Savers, 290 W. Fort Lowell Road; 5845 E. Broadway Blvd. Are you becoming disenchanted with the prices at the "vintage" shops around town, but still don't have the nerve to wander through a thrift store? Well, give the vintage shops the finger and get down to either or both locations of Savers. Just like the advertisements say, Savers features used clothing in a department store setting. Organization is the name of the game at Savers. Whether you're young, old, male or female, Savers has something for you. And if you're into looking cool and retro, forget about searching through everything in the store before finding that gem of a T-shirt or pair of old Levi's cords, because Savers features a retro section for both sexes of all ages. Besides clothes, Savers has an entire section dedicated to kitchen appliances, Tupperware, glassware, knick-knacks for the garage, and even furniture. Plus, it features daily 50 percent-off specials that'll surely tickle your shopping bone.
LOOSE CHANGE: Madison's Boutique, 6900 E. Broadway Blvd. This is a great resale store for label snobs. Disregard the silk warm-up suits and matronly sequined dresses that are so popular down in Palm Beach. Your job is to find the haute couture treasures. Be patient and look through all the racks--you are guaranteed to find that Calvin Klein slipdress or Armani suit at an outrageous discount. Madison's also has a nice selection of costume and estate jewlery. And if you are willing to brave the PETA paint throwers, look behind the counter at the rack of beautiful furs--just what the Tucson woman needs for that one cold night in January.
LOOSE CHANGE: The Our Place Store, 66 E. Pennington St. For a long time Saks Sixth Ave. was our best kept secret, but now that it's expanded into its new stylish corner location at Pennington and Fifth and has more cool clothes than we could ever hope to hog ourselves, we'll spill the beans. It's still small and boutique-y feeling, with a new-accessories wall. There's always a groovy pair of shoes in your size and the prices beat every other second-hand store in town: Nearly everything is under $3. Every penny you spend here goes to support the Our Place day program for chronically mentally ill folks, so splurge. The store is so new it doesn't yet have a name, but rumor has it that it will either be called Cheap Frills or Rethreads.