Vintage/Thrift/Consignment Shopping -- You're in college, so by definition you can't blow huge bucks on cool threads. For real deals on retro, retro-looking and restructured clothes, check out Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587), Viva Las Vintage (1829 Magazine St., 569-8482), Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St. 891-7443), Turncoats Clothing Exchange (1926 Magazine St., 299-9004), Trashy Diva (829 Chartres St., 581-4555), Miss Claudia's Vintage Clothing and Costumes (4204 Magazine St., 897-6310), and Pinky and Blue Boy (4415 Magazine St., 895-2574). You can find more classic, elegant couture at On The Other Hand (8204 Oak St., 861-0159) and New To You Designer Consignment (2311 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 838-0029). If you don't mind digging for diamonds in the rough, check out Bloomin' Deals (4645 Freret St., 897-9128) and Thrift City (4125 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-0736).
Dressing For Interesting Parties -- Uptown Costume & Dancewear (4326 Magazine St., 895-7969) specializes in elaborate costuming from wigs to shoes; Funky Monkey also has costumes, as does Miss Claudia's. For glam evening wear, some stops include Chatta Box (4114 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-1527), Yvonne LaFleur (8131 Hampson St., 866-9666), Red Carpet (3425 Magazine St. 281-4610) or Just for a Day (4312 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5711). Guys can find chic formalwear at Rubenstein Bros. (102 St. Charles Ave., 581-6666) and Perlis (6070 Magazine St., 895-8661).
Mall Crawls -- You don't have to defend your love of the mall to us: We understand the convenience, the air-conditioned comfort, and the guilty pleasure of the food court. The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., 522-9200) has a Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers and other exclusive shops. Other noteworthy malls are the lively, scenic Riverwalk Marketplace (1 Poydras St., 522-1555) and the ginormous Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-8000).
Magazine Street -- You'll have to split this 6-mile buyer's paradise into sections, because no one (and we've tried) can hit every store in one day. So go back frequently to explore the many clothing boutiques (Mimi, Style Lab for Men, Spring, Frock Candy, Wish, Il Negozio, Fairy, All American Jeans, Ah-ha, Hemline, House of Lounge, Jean Therapy, Bagatelle), funky clothes stores (Winky's, Ichabod's), shoe stores (Shoe Nami, Shoefty, Ele, Feet First), jewelry designers (Sabai, Mignon Faget, Dominique Giordano, Mary Viola Walker, Ruby Ann Bertram-Harker), gifts and fun stuff (Big Life Toys, Neophobia, The Bead Shop) art galleries (Carol Robinson Gallery, Cole Pratt Gallery, Lionel Milton Gallery, Katherine Slingluff Photo Designs) and places to buy antiques, furniture, books and music. We haven't even mentioned all the eateries, bars, tattoo parlors, salons and spas along the way. Plan on wearing out a few pairs of shoes. Don't worry ... you can buy more.
WHAT YOU'LL BE TESTED ON
While it's important to know the clothing stores around here, you must also be aware of other necessities and where to find them. For instance:
Record/CD Stores -- You're in college; clearly, you have audial needs. Mushroom (1037 Broadway St., 866-6065) is all about indie rock, punk, alternative and used CDs. Huge music superstores include the Virgin Megastore (620 Decatur St., 671-8100) and Tower Records (408 N. Peters St., 529-4411). For local music, the place is the Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 586-1094). Rap and hip-hop fans shouldn't miss Odyssey Records and Tapes (1012 Canal St., 523-3506), while Magic Bus Records and CDs (631 Toulouse St., 523-3727) has a great vibe and used records and CDs of every genre.
Specialty Groceries -- Cafeteria food? Yuck. Ramen noodles? Double yuck. When you are craving exotic, hard-to-find, or good-for-you groceries, hit Whole Foods Market (5600 Magazine St., 899-9119; 3400 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Metairie, 888-8225) or Eve's Market (4601 Freret St., 891-4015) for organic and vegetarian grub. There's also Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 899-7411; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300) and Chez Nous Charcuterie (5701 Magazine St., 899-7303) for gourmet goodies. Those seeking specialty and ethnic groceries can try Kosher Cajun Deli (3520 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 888-2010; kosher); Asian Gourmet Market (3239 Williams Blvd., Metairie, 466-0077; Asian), or Mona's Cafe (3901 Banks St., 482-7743; Middle Eastern).
Computer/Techno Help -- We'll skip the horror stories about your hard drive crashing the night before a huge paper is due. Just trust us when we say you might want to keep this information handy. Not everyone has a computer geek living on their floor, so Rent-A-Nerd (454-6373) is a handy, rentable guy who does maintenance and repairs. If you just need parts or accessories -- or you're ready to just chuck your whole system and start over -- hit Best Buy (1601 Westbank Expwy., Harvey, 364-0411; 6205 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-0172), Circuit City (4945 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 348-2279; 2421 Veterans Memorial Blvd.. Kenner, 467-3339; 6011 Bullard Ave., 245-6366), or Office Depot (1429 St. Charles Ave., 561-8846; 1500 Westbank Expwy., Harvey, 368-9731; 755 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-6661; 9851 I-10 Service Road, 243-2127).