It’s bourgeois or bust at Center City’s first Century 21

With the fervor of a coffee-fueled Black Friday shopping melee, Century 21 opened to the public Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Market Street’s Gallery-going masses streamed through the doors during lunch hour. Most of the people I saw were checking tags and perusing aisles. The others, well, they knew what they were looking for.

Fashionistas sifted through racks plucking Pucci dresses like they were going out of style — anything but. Stylishly dressed men made their way up the escalator, smiling gleefully as they topped out on the second floor.

You see, Century 21 (the department store, not the realtor) offers “65% off retail 100% of the time.’ Sure, it sounds good, but what does that really mean? It’s not like it’s the second coming of Forman Mills, promising to “stretch those bills” or anything.

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So, I checked it out this afternoon and came away with some overall insight. Here are some of the items that caught my eye:

Fox fur earmuffs for $50
Black, studded Calvin Klein handbag: MSRP $350, on sale for $170
$100 Ferragamo scarves
$100 Michael Kors glove sets
$100-or-less cocktail dresses
Beaded gowns
$25 leggings
$20 perfume gift sets
 $60 XOXO python jumper

The bright spots? Slippers, socks and underwear are very, very affordable. Also, the costume jewelry ― for the quality ― is pretty approachable with statement pieces for around $30, and earrings for $10.

Also, legwarmers. And the homegoods were very reasonable as well. Especially if you’re in the market for a shower gift. Candle holders, anyone?

While retail therapy can be just as healing as a trip to the psychologist, it shouldn’t be more expensive.

And when an impromptu outfit is the order of the day, it’s nice to go to Market Street and grab something new. Generally, a stop off at a neighboring retailer can nab you a complete outfit for under $50 — with the bag.

At Century 21, that average is more like $75 and up.

So if you’re on the hunt for a specific designer, you’ll get it at a discount. And if you’re looking for a statement piece, like a python jumper, the prices are affordable. While quality isn’t in question, selection for everyday staples seemed to leave me a bit wanting.

No judgments; I just figured you should know, before you go.

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