Stuff at night
November 7 - November 20, 2006

Back Bay on a budget


The Words “Back Bay” and “budget” go together like stripes and plaids, like milk and orange juice, like a bottle of cough syrup and a fifth of vermouth. In other words, they don’t. Famed for its intricate architecture and high-end boutiques, Back Bay is one of the places to shop, wine, and dine if you’re wealthy. It’s also one of the places to stroll forlornly if you’re broke.

Don’t worry, daahlings. No need to stoop to fast-food restaurants and 10-minute walk-in haircuts to live within your means. If you’ve got Champagne taste but a box-of-wine budget, there are some amazing deals to be found, even on the see-and-be-seen streets of the Back Bay. Whether it’s affordable style, sustenance, or culture you seek, you no longer have to venture beyond Newbury Street. Unless it’s to Boylston. Okay, Comm Ave, too. Here are our picks.

Why not show off that fancy new ’do with some fancy new clotshes? Well, kind of. Second Time Around (176 Newbury Street, Boston, 617.247.3504) is a narrow, cozy wonderland of consignment designer clothing. And this place ain’t your grandma’s vintage. Second Time Around features gorgeous and unique clothes, all in excellent condition and all from top labels. On a recent visit, we spied pieces by Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Miss Sixty, Armani, Prada, and BCBG — all priced at around a third of their original retail cost. Coach leather bags for under $100? Juicy Couture for $28? Yes, please. Sales tags are color-coded by arrival date, and the colors correspond to a discount percentage. The longer an item hangs on the racks, the deeper the discount.

So there you have it: you don’t need to be a Boston Brahmin to enjoy the fruits of the Back Bay — and you don’t even need to sacrifice style. Go ahead and strut down Newbury Street with pride. You have places to be — places that won’t break the bank.

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