Are Brooklyn fashionistas dumping discount stores?

As our mothers, and more than likely our coupon-saving grandmothers, have taught us since we were able to choose the blue instead of yellow shoes for ourselves, discount shopping is the key to happiness.

Spending an afternoon at Payless on a lazy Sunday was heaven for any 6-12 year-old with an eye for style and a knack for irritating salespeople. However, as the years pass and our feet—along with our fashion sense, hopefully—grow, we tend to leave behind the money-saving notions instilled in us, choosing to adopt a more expensive taste.

The long-time clothing stores of our childhood, like Joyce Leslie, Mandee, Rainbow, and Strawberry, are still front runners in the realm of affordable fashion. In recent years however, multiple locations of these stores have closed down and seen a decline in clientele.

While online shopping has put a serious dent in the success of discount stores—among other businesses—such as these, can we expect them to last through the next few years of technological advances, added websites, and the ever-changing fashion needs of the consumer?

For some girls, the answer is definitely. “Rainbow! 2 for $20,” exclaimed Lindsey Ellefson, 21, while pointing a finger toward her black, beaded sandals. “The other day I walked into the Rainbow on Kings Highway because I had never been inside before, and I walked out with [these and] three pairs of pants.”

Girls like Lindsey are not alone. Most of us stick to our fashion guns and gravitate toward the same favorite, go-to stores we know, as opposed to bargain hunting elsewhere.

The truth is, there is an unspoken hierarchy within the well-known clothing store industry. College and high school shopper favorites like Forever 21 and H&M, are substituted for the more expensive likes of Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. The Joyce Leslie’s, Mandee’s, and Rainbows of the world, fall regretfully to the bottom although their longevity outweighs most of those at the top.

Online reviews for Joyce Leslie are almost unanimous in praising the store for quick purchases of bathing suits and lingerie. “Forget H&M if you are a female and need cute cheap underwear,” says user Jaclyn S from Los Angeles.

“I still love Mandee,” confesses college student Alyssa DeSantis. “I always go there last minute if I need a dress to go out.”

So take advantage of a good bargain hunt opportunity while it lasts. As seen in that episode of Lizzie McGuire when they go bargain hunting, it is sure to lift your spirits when you find yourself staring at a pile of brand new clothes and still have cash in your wallet.

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