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shopping, apparel, shoes

To me, Buenos Aires conjures images of sultry tango bars, glamorous Eva Peron and an overabundance of leather goods begging to be purchased. This thriving city overflows with incalculable culture and flair. Each of the Barrios, or neighborhoods, is a micro-city of its own, pulsing with distinct style. My favorite Barrios are trendy Palermo, sophisticated Recoleta and eclectic San Telmo, all abounding with fabulous shopping!




My shopper’s sixth-sense prickled with excitement at the possibilities awaiting me in every looming boutique. My first stop was Besha, a tiny gem tucked away on Armenia. Despite its small size, it’s filled with a multitude of belts, shoes, and handbags rivaling the likes of Gucci and Prada. Sybil Vane is a tempting shoe boutique where my credit card screamed to be released from the confines of my wallet. Decorated in boudoir-like fashion with Louis the XIV plush couches and rosebud-smattered wallpaper, it hosts a flurry of jewel-toned ballet flats, trendy-yet-basic d’orsay pumps, and buttery soft mary-janes. Doma, on El Salvador, is a posh leather shop carrying the supplest, most exquisite leather jackets to please even the most discriminating fashionista. Upon entering the expertly lit, mahogany space, I beheld each jacket with glee, inhaling the earthy scent of fresh leather until I spotted perfection; a black motorcycle jacket that clung to me like haute couture. I immediately whipped out my MasterCard with lightning speed.




When I imagine a shopping mall, I imagine Abercrombie clad teenagers, bad lighting,

and a faint smell of Cinnabon wafting through the air. Not so in style-obsessed Buenos Aires! The best mall is Patio Bullrich in Recoleta; its vaulted ceilings are painted with Sistine Chapel-like cherubs, while enigmatic murals eliminate empty wall space. Designer shops like Cacharel and Giorgio Armani peek around every corner and gold fixtures twinkle brightly in the flattering, theatrical lighting.


If finding to-die-for tango shoes in Buenos Aires is your mission, look no further than Comme il Faut on Arenales, whose spectacular styles adorn the feet of some of the most prestigious tango companies in the city. From the outside, it looks like an inconspicuous office building, but the inside is a shoe addict’s fantasy. Upon entering, you receive a personal shoe assistant who devotes herself to finding you the perfect pair. Choose from zebra print t-straps, deep purple suede peep toes, pink polka dot ankle straps – all with a sky high heel and comfortable enough to dance the night away!


San Telmo


This quirky Barrio, tucked away down cobbled alleyways, provides a feast for the senses on Sundays when the antique market is in full swing. The stalls snake through Plaza Dorrego, hawking wares like silver pocket watches, vintage seltzer bottles and dusty crystal chandeliers haloed with an air of faded glory. Amidst the hodgepodge of antiques, the market also offers an astounding selection of hidden nooks featuring emerging clothing designers. Buenos Aires’ fashion sense is modern and fresh; I found an ingenious gossamer creation possessing an endearingly deconstructed look that could be worn as either a skirt or dress.


Tips to remember when shopping in BA:


• Argentina offers tax-free shopping to foreign residents. A 17% refund is issued upon departure on items manufactured in Argentina. Be certain to inquire whether boutiques offer tax-free shopping, and obtain the paperwork when making your purchase. It’s like a 17% sale in every shop!


• Argentine women are tiny, and in general wear no more than a US size 8. If you do not fit within these confines, there is a slim to none chance you will be able to find any clothing to fit your curvy figure. Accessories on the other hand are more forgiving, and women of any size can enjoy shopping for these chic goods.


• Warning, most of the shops, and perhaps the entire beef obsessed country, may be unsavory for vegetarians.


Further Information

Travel tips: People in Buenos Aires love their dogs and are constantly walking them everywhere! No one seems to pick up after their little friends, so watch your step!
Must see/do at this place: A tango show is a MUST do for anyone visiting Buenos Aires. The sensual music and dancers set the mood for the city and it was an unforgettable experience.
You should avoid here: Avoid shopping on Ave. Florida. This main street is a tourist mecca, and the prices are pretty steep. Also, the leather goods are much more generic and not as fashionable.
Other helpful information: Thank you for your consideration!

Did you like this article? Then you'll like these: Winding the Way Through the Andes, Iguazu Falls, the Belly of the Beast, Caro Pepe, Estancias, Buenos Aires Club Life, Yerba Maté: The Drink & The Ritual, Argentine Beef, Welsh Tea in Patagonia, Sailing the Beagle Channel and Dinosaurs In Neuquén.

By Leslie Patrick
I am a 26 year old aspiring writer with a penchant for traveling. I adore shopping and am always looking for great new destinations in which to spend...
04 Dec 2007

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