Best of Jersey: Good Buys

Where to find a great deal on clothing in New Jersey.

BOUTIQUE Point Pleasant Beach’s Sunshine Daydream offers great gifts for that fashionable teen in your life, one-of-a-kind costume pieces for you, and jewelry that only looks like it cost a fortune.

KIDS’ STORE Bibi’s Babywear in Chatham sells everything for the stylish toddler-to-be, from delicate christening outfits imported from Ireland to unique birth announcements to cashmere booties. Practical? No. Fabulous? Absolutely.

TOY STORE New York magazine once named Just Kidding Around the “best toy store in New York.” Considering it’s in Montclair, that’s pretty high praise.

BOOK STORE Margot Sagel’s lovely Watchung Booksellers, also in Montclair, serves as a refreshing change in a Barnes & Noble world, with weekly readings by local authors, poetry readings, and book clubs for aficionados of every genre. Into science fiction? Pull up a chair! The warm and inviting space reminds us of the best of small-town life.

SOUVENIRS Ralph Grassi grew up adoring the now-vanishing kitsch that was baby-boomer Wildwood, particularly the one-of-a-kind amusement rides on legendary Hunt’s Pier. In tribute, he sells custom-made reproductions of some of these attractions, such as the Golden Nugget Mine Ride and the Pirate Ship, through his Web site, funchase.com. You can almost smell the cotton candy.

OUTLETS With its dizzying array of more than 100 off-price emporiums, located in a crazy quilt of concrete in the shadow of the Meadowlands, the Secaucus Outlets come together to form the state’s cathedral of retailing. Charge!

MALL The Quarter at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City isn’t a mall, but rather a shopping plaza with the feel of a walk-through Disney theme-park ride. It’s due for some stiff competition, though, when the imposing Forum Shops at Caesars opens this spring on the site of the old Ocean One shopping mall.

SHOP THAT BELONGS ON MADISON AVENUE For the woman whose wardrobe contains names like Juicy, Paper Denim & Cloth, and True Religion, Zoe in Princeton is a cute and recently expanded boutique that sells only the latest and trendiest.

COUTURIER Gracious, solicitous, and velly, velly French, South Orange’s Stéphan Lesaint has brought authentic Paris dressmaking to Garden State gals sharp enough to find their way to his gabled Victorian. Slip on one of his creations and you’re ready for the runway.

FURNITURE Nobody gets all their stuff from just one place, so here’s an alphabetical rundown: Bograd’s, in Riverdale, from its main showroom to its French and antique shops, has something to tempt everyone—and its pieces will figure into the ninth episode of The Sopranos. Greenbaum Interiors, in business for more than 50 years, has expanded its flagship showroom in Paterson to 100,000 square feet. And with locations in Asbury Park and Eatontown, Motif Home Furnishings offers chic pieces that only look expensive.

ART GALLERY Featuring gorgeous, intriguing works, many by local artists, the tiny, intimate Lambertville Gallery of Fine Art sells heirloom-worthy yet reasonably priced works.

STOCK Sure, it’s an august blue chip almost as old as the exchange, but Johnson & Johnson, the experts tell us, is also undervalued at the moment. How many parts of your portfolio fit that bill?

OFF-SEASON SHORE SPOT
Tony Stone Harbor’s retail hub, 96th Street, hosts a wonderful Thanksgiving Week, when all the stores serve refreshments and post sales. They do it again on New Year’s Day. It’s like First Night for shoppers.

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