The Best South America Stores for Professional Clothes

Buenos Aires 101 - Shopping, originally uploaded to Flickr by Tony Felix.Continuing our series of the best places to shop in other continents (we’ve done Europe and Asia so far), I thought we’d talk about where to shop in Central and South America today. I’ve heard Buenos Aires described as the Paris of the South (and Lynn Yaeger certainly had a fun time there in this 2008 Travel + Leisure article) — where else are the hot spots?  (Do you agree with this Trip Advisor article?)  The main questions:

– Which are the best cities for shopping for professional clothes?

– Are there specific stores (or brands) that one should keep an eye out for — either for professional clothes, shoes, bags, or jewelry (or other generally amazing stuff)?

– What else should women know before planning a trip to the general area?

– Any other reader favorite spots — great restaurants, bars, sights, or more?



  1. Jumping in to threadjack immediately.

    I got a job offer! Now I’m wondering if it’s possible to negotiate too much. They proposed a salary, which was lower than I wanted, and I proposed one that was 10k higher. We’ve met halfway (60k). Is it worth it to counteroffer again and see if I could move that up even a few thousand? I don’t want to be too pushy and annoy them into rescinding the offer (because it’s basically my dream job), but the job will entail moving to NYC and any little bit more would help. This job is in a different industry that tends to be lower paying than the one I’m in now, but the current 60k offering is about 5k less than i’m making in my current position, which is in a much less expensive city. I’ve already asked about signing bonuses/relocation/transport subsidies and they don’t do any of that, so I think the actual salary is the only thing up for discussion.

    My last salary negotiation was actually my only one– I was right out of college and it was a total lucky break, so I’m a little freaked out by the prospect of doing it again and am not sure what’s reasonable. I would love your advice!

  2. Anita (formerly S) :

    There is a nice jewelry store (whose name escapes me) in the Larcomar shopping center located in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. H. Stern, the Brazilian jeweler, also has a boutique in Miraflores.

  3. Jacqueline :

    Prune leather goods are beautiful! They’re based in Argentina, I believe.

  4. BA has some great shopping – check out the nicer malls like Galerias Pacifico or Patio Bullrich for upscale shops, and then Palermo Hollywood for boutiques. Prune has great purses, Paruolo has very nice boots & heels, and then various clothing shops. Keep in mind that clothing is frequently cut small, particularly pants. I was extremely slim when I first moved to BA, and generally wore L, rather than XS or S like I was used to in the US. So pants in particular can be a pain to find.

    Avenida Florida, the big pedestrian shopping street, is kind of a pain. Lots of guys standing outside stores trying to get you into their store, it’s chaotic & crowded, not very pretty, and you won’t necessarily find the higher end local designer stores there.

  5. In Brazil, I think the 2 best cities for professional clothes are São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. My favorite brazillian brands for professional clothes are Folic, TVZ, Shoulder and Allù. There is also a brand that designs only shirts called Dudalina, which is great, they are 100% cotton or silk.
    The prince ranges from $150 to $300.

  6. If you’re looking for cheap but cute and trendy accessories, Isadora in BA (and possibly other cities in Argentina, not sure) is awesome! The concept is like Claire’s but for grown-ups, and their sales are amazing. Obviously not the best place if you’re looking for a quality handbag, but great for more disposable-type accessories and there is some decent fake leather as well. They have tons of scarves which would coordinate well with professional ensembles.

  7. Business, Not Law :

    Just wanted to say that I was in BA/Argentina in general exactly a year ago and this post made me even more nostalgic (if that was even possible) and wanting to make a return trip right now (preferably yesterday). Sigh.

  8. I lived in BA in graduate school and loved shopping there. Agree with the ladies above who mentioned PRUNE, there bags are made from really nice leather. I also really liked Ted Bodin for starter work clothes.

  9. Loved Prune in B.A. I also liked the Los Robles leather goods stores and got a great pair of leather boots there.

  10. In BsAs, I love Maria Vazquez. There are stores all over – in many of the malls, in Palermo, and in Recoleta. Not all of her stuff is work appropriate, but it’s a good mix of clothes for work and clothes for fun if you’re selective.

    Palermo in general is wonderful for shopping.

    I agree with Hannita above, avoid Florida for shopping unless you are looking for cheap stuff.

  11. In Bogota, Colombia I love shopping in Centro Andino and Hacienda Sta Barbara great stores. Must see Velez for outstanding quality leather. Beautiful emerald jewerly. I bought a couple of pieces at the earport (small earrings + pendant) for a reasonable price.

    The most significant difference I noticed in business attire is that brighter colors and certainly bigger accessories than I would use here normally (BigLaw) are completely acceptable.

  12. In Argentina, Casa Lopez with stores as indicated , has terrific leather. I have blazer I got a couple of years ago which has held up very well. There is another name that I will get for you tomorrow–I got a full length pale grey shearling which was magnificent– and I got for only a couple of hundred dollars. I agree with the sizing. I think that the blazer may be an XL — and I wear, at my heaviest, a size 12.

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