There is a crazy law here in Spain that you cannot advertise a sale outside of the months of January and July. The law has been much maligned, and this year transgressed, as shop owners vie for the last of the "expendable income" customers in the face of a seemingly never ending financial crisis.
The upside of this antiquated legal regime? Anticipation. Not to mention aggressive competition in the price slashing department, which in the last couple of weeks has translated into discounts of up to 70% on some truly irresistible trifles.
Like any other moderately style conscious girl on a budget, I am a sucker for a sale. Shopping gives me a tingle that even true love can't fully replace. So much so that, when my replacement VISA arrived this year in the giddy first days of sale season, I gave it a grateful little kiss.
Needless to say, despite best efforts to stay on cordial terms with my creditors, I sometimes over do it a little. Not unlike when it comes to eating, really. I am ashamed to say that what is pictured is only a fraction of my sale pirate's booty. It was all 70% off, though, which sort of makes it the fat free ice cream of the retail world. And you can eat all you want of that, right?
In case you too find it hard to resist the siren call of "up to 70% off" in the final days of sale season and aren't sure where to find the best places to shop in Barcelona, here is my "must hit" list. Click on the name of the store for more information and locations.
Coquette - whimsical jewellery, belts and designers like Chloe See and Barbara Bui in a beautiful bonbon of a store
Hoss Intropia - creative handbags, shoes and the loveliest day and evening dresses; designed by Spaniards
Mushi Mushi - pretty tops and bottoms, sassy lingerie and fashionable bike helmets
Sita Murt - elegant day and evening wear as well as a very respectable collection of hand bags designed by the Catalan Sita Murt
Cotelac - ingeniously constructed dresses and layering pieces in reputedly the only Spanish outpost of this French chain
Comptoir des Cotonniers - casual cotton separates with a French flair
TCN - teeny bathing suits and filmy cover ups of Spanish design
Como Agua de Mayo - drool-worthy shoes and accessories as well as a selection of women's separates
Capricho de Muñeca - hand-made wallets and handbags
Jour & Nuit - funky women's clothing in fashion mega-mall, L'Illa