Worth the schlep? Foraging for fashion deals at an American Place store

If you’re anything like some of us around here, you’vre got an eye for designer fashion but a wallet that doesn’t stretch past the clearance racks.

We’d heard good things (and some not so good things) about American Place, a six-store chain stretching across South Brooklyn, not to be confused with the creepy doll store or the perv-owned t-shirt company. After seeing some stylish evidence firsthand, we decided to stop into the McDonald Avenue location, right outside the Avenue P train station on the F line.

American Place houses items from Marc Jacobs to Burberry to Versace, all marked down at least 40%. At first glance, it looks a bit shabby and abandoned, set amid McDonald Avenue’s unglamorous mechanic shops and lumber stores. When I visited on a weekday afternoon, not many people were passing through — all the easier for me to get to the good stuff. 

The American Place branch I visited has three floors for women’s, men’s and kid’s fashions and a partner store across the street for furniture and home goods (closed when I visited). Despite its many departments, the selection is significantly smaller than TJ Maxx or Century 21, and you might be forced to do a little digging to find your size.

My first discovery: a Freshine tunic (above) for $33.95. I’d never heard of them either, but I couldn’t resist this top. The metallic print is perfect for a night out or paired with a blazer to add some personality to an office outfit.

I did a little happy dance when I stumbled upon this artfully rumpled trench (above) from We The Free, discounted from $148 to $44. This piece is extremely versatile and with the warm weather finally here, it’s a great find for spring. BYO Buttons.

Guess Corset top

Everyone has that one crazy thing they buy when they go shopping and this one was mine. Just past the Jessica Simpson bags and Harajuku Lovers totes, was this Guess corset top for $39. You can liven up the right jacket and skirt with a bit of Sandy’s look from Grease.

DKNY cardigan

I also spied a J. Crew-ish, coral-embroidered DKNY cardigan, marked down from $95.20 to $29. A bright yet classic closet staple.

American Place Men's Suits

American Place also had a wide selection of clothes for men as well. Half of the bottom floor was filled with designer men’s suits at affordable prices, starting at $95.

I wrapped up my trip with a stop in the shoe department. I saw Stuart Weitzman pumps at $125 along with a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars for $36. Not such great bargains.

If you can get past the dreary location, you might find American Place is worth a visit. As with any discount store, you have to know what you’re looking for, and I left with a decent haul and a worthwhile new destination for my shopping shortlist. I’ll be back.