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 Palo Alto store sells women'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 Palo Alto 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.
- Women's Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
Stanford Shopping Center: Upscale open air shopping center
Stanford Shopping Center is a collection of upscale boutiques and department stores. The center hosts four giants: Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. As these name implies, shopping trips here can drain your wallet very effectively.
These department stores are surrounded with a selection of specialty stores that cater the most areas of living: books, children, cosmetics, gifts, jewelry, clothing (almost half of the stores), shoes and so forth.
All the shops are on one floor -- or in fact, there are no floors at all, as the shops are located on alleys that grow trees and flowers. This is not your typical mall, but an elaborated version for places with good weather around the year.
There are also a wide variety of restaurants, but surprisingly enough only one fast food joint (McDonald's).
- Luxury Travel
Sony Style: Designed PCs and other electronics
Sony Style is the flagship store for Sony products. Stanford Shopping Center has a smallish Sony Style store near Neiman Marcus department store. The store sells the whole range of Sony gadgets, including (but not limited to) laptops, walkmans, TVs, DVD players, headphones and monitors.
The items are of high quality, as usual with Sony. This is also reflected in the pricetag. Be aware that Sony has traditionally followed its own paths with ports and other interoperability features. You may end up being vendor-locked to them. The positive flipside is that Sony's gadgets work very well together.
Apple Store Stanford Shopping Center: Mini Mac Store
Apple has a miniscule retail store in Stanford Shopping Center. Despite the size, the store hosts a wide variety of Apple computers, displays, iPODs and accessories.
The store is designed to resemble Apple hardware: stainless steel walls and white ceiling and floors. The items are placed spaciously so you are able to study them in relatively peaceful settings.
The staff is very helpful and you do not have to be a techie to get good service. There is also a small "Genius Bar" for solving your technical issues.
Fry's Electronics: All the nerdy stuff
If you are a computer freak like me and are visiting in Silicon Valley (or Texas), check out the local Fry's Electronics outlet. These huge stores are heaven for buying computers, gadgets and electronics. They sell also appliances, televisions, fridges and so forth, but you usually cannot fit those into a suitcase.
The prices are okay, maybe not the best in the Bay area. Cheap enough anyhow to make you spend too much and maybe buy something that you really do not need.
All stores have been designed to reflect some theme, such as wild west or ancient Egypt. The Palo Alto store is a western looking. The interiors are, to be perfectly honest, a bit tacky but funny.
Stanford Shopping Center: Shop till you Drop
When you think of the typical American mall, alot of images of older buildings with many different stores comes to mind. A simple hallway seperating very common looking inner "rooms" for the shops.
Stanford Shopping Center is hardly your ordinary mall. It has many high end shops, as well as plenty of restaurants and niche California spots.
If you are looking for lunch, or to pick up a new broach, I would highly recommend the Stanford Shopping Center
What to buy: Apple IPOD
Neiman Marcus Cookies
What to pay: $1 up to $10000
- Budget Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
Andronico's Market: Supermarket with a Hidden Deli
Normally, I would put this tip under a restaurant, but if you looked around this place long enough, you would not see the restaurant itself.
What you will see however is a group of people around lunch time lined up for a fresh deli sandwich. People from all over town come in and wait to get a deli sandwich here.
They have many different meats, cheeses and some great fresh baked breads here.
You can also utilize the whole market to get anything else you need with your sandwiches.
What to buy: Deli Sandwich made your way and some Maui Onion chips.
What to pay: 5.99 plus drink and chips.
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
140 stores: The Stanford Shopping Center
At the Stanford Shopping Center, there's just about everything you could ever want, all in one location, including Macy's, Neiman-Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Banana Republic, J. Crew and J. Jill, The Gap, Haagen Dazs, The Pottery Barn, Tommy Bahama, Godiva Chocolate, Crate & Barrel, and bebe. I liked the window display at Oilily, a children's shop with brightly colored, whimsical clothing.
The thing that impressed me the most about this shopping center was the family atmosphere. There were so many families --sometimes three generations on an outing together -- out and about and enjoying the sunshine. Giggling children swarmed around the frog fountain or pulled their parents toward shops selling toys, books, and ice cream. It gave my spirits a lift just walking around and watching all the people.
This is a very tourist-friendly shopping center. They offer services such as currency exchange and package shipping. If you're planning to visit, order a Preferred Traveler Package (savings booklet and shopping center directory) through their website. Information about the center is available in Japanese, French, German and Spanish.
Various shops and restaurants: A Walk on University Avenue
Take a walk down University Avenue and the neighboring streets. - there are all kinds of fascinating little businesses to hold your interest.
We saw a Thai restaurant, a used bookstore, a Swenson's ice cream parlor, a pizzeria amusingly named Pizza My Heart, a diner known locally for its milkshakes, a natural foods store, an independent theater running an old Cary Grant movie, a gourmet Italian market, and a florist that sold bamboo and other plants whose stems had been intricately twisted together. There was also a children's bookstore I'd like to visit sometime when it's open.
DOWNTOWN PALO ALTO: WHERE THE STUDENTS HANG OUT OFF CAMPUS
Downtown Palo Alto is the area of University Ave & its adjacent streets. There are some very interesting shops, boutiques, bookstores (new & used books), & restaurants here. Some of my favorite places: KIKI`S (a candy bar; www.kikiscandybar.com), PENINSULA BEAUTY (a beauty shop & salon; www.peninsulabeauty.com), UNIVERSITY ART ANNEX (whimsical gifts, greeting cards, Italian paper weights, beautiful eye masks, etc), & KING`S GALLERY (an antique furniture shop where one of the owners, Nazan, looks like Penelope Cruz!).
The downtown area is a great place to stroll around at night as well. There are always a lot of people around on University Ave so it`s not dangerous even if you are by yourself.
STANFORD SHOPPING CENTER: OUTDOOR SHOPPING
This is an open-air shopping center. They have all the shops that a regular shopping mall would have (The Gap, Macy`s, Cache, The Body Shop, Papyrus, Origins, Sephora, Pottery Barn, etc) but also some specialty shops (LaBelle Day Spa, SIgnatore, Oilily, PaperWhirl, etc).
What I love about this place is that it`s outdoors. I`ve been to many of the shops that they have featured here but there`s nothing like going into the shops from outdoors, compared to inside in a mall. I`m from Boston, MA & the only place that even tries to compare to here is Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. I wish there was a shopping place like this in Boston! With the weather so unpredictable there though, it`s unlikely. Boo...
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