South Coast Plaza: South Coast Plaza
If you are looking for a one-stop shop for all of your goods and services needed for Christmas or any other time, I am pretty well assured that you would find it at South Coast Plaza. This is a mega-mall, and I personally know several people who actually come shopping from other parts of the country specifically for its ease of access to many higher end stores.
Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday 10am - 9pm
Saturday 10am - 8pm
Sunday 11am - 6:30pm
What to buy: Macy's
Crate and Barrel
and all the smaller retail shops.
What to pay: It will be expensive... there is a reason they call it "retail" pricing.
OC Marketplace-Costa Mesa: Go to a More Fancy Swap Meet
This is the best overall swap meet in the greater L.A. area, outside of the one held at outside of Pasadena's Rose Bowl. Despite the entrance fee (now $2) and the fight for parking at times, this is a pleasant outing for shopping. Come here around 8 AM to beat the crowd.
What to buy: Shop for clothing (most new and discounted), shoes, furniture, plants, gourmet breads and candies, electronics, CDs, toys and much, much more.
What to pay: There is such a variance. If not buying big items, like furniture, you may typically spend $30 here for a few items.
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza, Mission Viejo: Three Shopping Malls - I must be in heaven!!!
Within a short drive of Costa Mesa are at least five shopping malls - shoppers paradise!
My three favorites are South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and The Shops at Mission Viejo. South Coast Plaza and The Shops at Mission Viejo are both on the 405, Fashion Island is on PCH.
All three malls have the usual Department and High Street stores, but each one has it's own atmosphere and delights.
South Coast Plaza is the most upmarket, with stores like Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Chanel and La Perla to name but a few. There is a carousel for the children, and various events are organised in the mall throughout the year.
Fashion Island is an outside mall - you walk in the fresh air between the stores!! There is a fantastic Italian cafe/bar next to Macy's named Francoli Gourmet Emporium. There you can eat authentic Italian dishes, and select wine from the delicious wine list. Jenn_d and I find it a perfect place to refuel before continuing with our shopping!
The Shops at Mission Viejo is the furthest from Costa Mesa, and is always a good destination when you want an excuse to go for a drive!! (or is that a drive so you have an excuse to go shopping?!!)
TSE: Luxury Apparel and Accessories
In 1989, TSE the cashmere label, was founded by Augustine Tse, supporting an idea that this luxury yarn, up to that point, had been greatly under-utilized. This beautiful raw material had been used very one-dimensionally, was very classic and expensive, and was perceived to be reserved only for the elite. The objective of the company was to incorporate this incredible material into all aspects of one’s life and make it more accessible to a broader audience. It was this modern adaptation of the traditional commodity that forever changed the luxury cashmere business.
Today, TSE is both a wholesaler and a retailer with businesses that are comprised of a woven designer collection strongly supported with luxury knitwear of impeccable quality. The company stays true to its original philosophy, which is to continue to be a laboratory for ideas and innovations.
What to buy: TSE's South Coast Plaza store sells women's clothing, men's clothing, contemporary women’s clothing (the tsesay collection) as well as handbags and belts. What I like most about TSE is the versatility and depth of each season's collection. TSE carries ready-to-wear knit and woven items for day and evening which come in interesting prints, designs and fabrications. Without question TSE has become a more fashion forward brand, but it stays true to its classic core by stocking basic cashmere and wool knits all year round (as well as men's items during the holiday season). Just as important as the collections themselves, I have ALWAYS found the TSE store staff to be friendly, trust-worthy and knowledgeable.
The TSE store in Costa Mesa is the place to buy luxurious cashmere and wool knits in addition to winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves) in the Fall/Winter seasons. Their cashmere and wool winter coats, capes, dresses, skirts and pants are noteworthy. Here at TSE, the cashmere sweater, the garment known for its cache and comfort, is an art form. EVERYONE should own at least 1 basic crewneck, v-neck or cardigan sweater made of TSE's impeccably tailored and luxuriously soft cashmere. When the season change, TSE is also the place to purchase wonderful cotton, linen, silk dresses, skirts, blouses, light jackets in addition to other Resort and Spring luxury items. Their new handbag and belt lines complement the clothing each season by adding the element of color in different cashmere, leather, and patent leather combinations.
What to pay: TSE sells luxury items at a luxury price point, but their clothing is well worth the cost. The items that I have purchased from this store have lasted for years.
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
- Women's Travel
Nordstrom Rack: Shop Designer 4 Less, Pack Patience at Local Rack
Nordstrom Rack stores are all over the U.S but the Costa Mesa location is perhaps the best for overall fashion choice. Located at the Metrpointe plaza across the big South Coast Plaza mall (by Bear St/South Coast Dr), the Rack has been a popular destination, especially popular for womens fashion and shoes but also accessories, mens and childrens fashion.
This particular Rack features an exclusive designer womens' section of high end frocks, special occasion gowns and shoes by impressive brands like Oscar de la Renta, Armani and usually a big selection of St John apparel, among several others.
Doing a high volume business, the store stays busy throughout the year with very few slow days. Expect waiting a long line(queue) to check out (though the store is staffed fairly well and often the wait is quicker than customers would think). I don't recommend going here at peak times (weekends, midday) and if you are brave enough to enter here during Christmas, definitely say a prayer and pack your patience.
The much touted quality customer service standards for the major, full-line Nordstrom store extended itself at the discount Racks, including here.
Big Brand list- Womens/Designer Shop
BCBG Max Azria
What to pay: premium jeans (Sevens, True Religion, etc) range from about $60-$100, women/men
stylish outfits of casual wear (shirt/top)can be easily range under $50 (single items can be as low as about $8 dollars
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
The Bite Market and Royal Tea Treatery: Grab an Organic Bite
Come in the Bite Market, a darling little, all gluten-free and dairy-free shop combined with a tea house for everyone to try- whether you are strictly a gluten-free dieter or not! Originally started as "the Bite Maket" about 9 miles away northeast in old towne Orange, the newly redone food and health establishment is sure to please in its new surroundings. Now with more kitchen room to bake gluten-free cookies and a place to sit and munch, pastries and more, Bite Market is more towards a full scale food option on the upscale side (but not in the snotty way).
The shop owner, Bridget, has turned her own experience with food allergies and ailments brought along by gluten-rich and milk-based foods into a business that focuses on housing quality items in one place.
As an attractive locale to go, the tea house is decorated with elegant, cushy, bold pink couches and upholstered pink floral chairs and charming black and white with teal wall decor. A great place to come and visit especially for a girls get-together!
Bakery/Tea House/Shop Hours:
Monday: for special events
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday: for special events
What to buy: If visiting in town, grab one of the fresh take-out sandwiches that are available and an assortment of snacks from gluten-free friendly brands like Glutino, Pop Chips, Annie's and more.
The shop also sells beauty products (face/body) and gifts
What to pay: Bakery: $3-$6 for pastry. Tea house: $5-$10. About $20-$50 for a good variety of groceries.
- Women's Travel
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