Above the Fray: The High End For Less at IF's Basement Sale

Fans of cutting edge European designers need not spend a fortune to stock up this week. IF Boutique in Soho is in the midst of their semi-annual Basement Sale and their subterranean space is bursting with menswear and womenswear from Dries van Noten, Maison Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garcons and others. The sale runs through Saturday, August 22.

Racks are organized by label and are full of Spring/Summer '09 pieces that run about 70% off retail as well as slightly older pieces—some of which are marked at 90% off. Prices are clearly marked, fitting rooms are available and the staff is very, very attentive (even to those only picking through sale racks and ignoring the beautiful shop upstairs).

Men can choose from a variety of patchwork, printed and restructured dress shirts and oxfords from the Commes des Garcons/Watanabe family that retailed for around $500 and are now priced from $140 to $200. Gauzy, plaid shirt blazers from Y's are marked down 70% to $392. Facing off in one glorious corner: vividly printed wovens and basic suiting by Dries overlooking a large selection of Margiela basics and printed dress shirts and tanks—all of which are practically current and selling at 70% off retail. Classic Margiela shoes range from $160 to $260 and boots will run you about $400. A selection of wallets and ties are also available with prices starting as low as $40. Sizes available tend towards the larger but smaller sizes can be had for keen-eyed shoppers.

Womenswear selections include a rack stuffed with fantastic Dries geometric print blouses and dresses with prices starting out at about $150. Watanabe leather-strapped sandals in bold warm-weather hues are priced at $200, from $487. Some zanier pieces include a lip-printed tee from Commes des Garcons that retailed for $492 and is now priced at $75—however, racks are full of basics and staples as well. Denim by Dries and Y's, more traditional tailored pieces by Commes des Garcons, gorgeous leather bags all under $200—basically, the kind of items that someone who knows too much about fashion wouldn't be able to point to and tell you exactly how many seasons out of date you are with a diminishing eye roll (not that we would do that to you).—Frank Gargione

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