Clothes. Decent and Cheap.
Surely if you’ve been here for a while, you’ve noticed the price of clothes rising constantly. When I first came here five years ago, tops, skirts and dresses were reasonably priced for the quality of material and shelf life, however now this is getting out of hand. I’m not going to go off on a rant about the economy or inflation – or the fact that small designers are not getting rich off of these ever increasing prices, I’m just stating that prices are rising rapidly – and more rapidly than my own paycheck.
So for those of us on a budget, there are a few places to go to get clothes before bigger brands purchase them and put their nametags and pricetags on them. Chances are that you’ve heard of Once, the district where you can purchase everything from curtain fabrics to jewelry, underwear and articles of clothing in bulk for discounted prices. But Once is actually just part of the larger barrio called “Constitucion” that is expansive and if you don’t know where you’re going, and exactly what you’re looking for, you can easily get led astray.
However, there are several streets near the intersection of Nazca and Avellaneda where you can find great deals on clothes, shoes and underwear for adults and kids. It takes time to find what you’re looking for sometimes, but it’s totally worth it in my opinion. It’s a lot easier to go through than Once for me. The trick is to go early on a Saturday morning (we’re talking 8-9am). Catch breakfast at one of the cafes on Calle Moron or grab some fruits to go at one of the Korean Supermarkets in the area (that actually have a large selection of turnips, fyi) and start walking up and down the streets. By noon, it gets so crowded that you can barely move – with 5000 other (mostly) women perusing the stores looking for good bargains. Each store has a minimum number of articles of clothing that you must buy for them to sell it to you at the discounted bulk price, but usually you can find stores on Saturdays that have a minimum of 1-2 articles only.
Imagine camisole for 10 pesos, jeans for 70 pesos. Today I went there and found 3 shirts and 4 undergarments for a total of 73 pesos. I was too tired after that and went home before I could find some stretchy pants but if I have time next week, I’ll definitely go. It’s just perfect for me in that in between time right now where it’s getting uncomfortable to fit into my regular clothes, but I think maternity wear is going to be too big for me yet.
Last year, I went there and found a little in between seasons jacket for 40 pesos and the following week was walking on Honduras and saw the exact same jacket for 240 pesos, I kid you not. So you have to get there early and have patience and you can find the stuff you want without breaking your piggy bank.