If every Madison Avenue girl limited her shopping to Madison Avenue she would end up living in some far out place like Brooklyn. (Gasp!) That's where the high/low works itself in. No, I'm not talking about the mullet but rather matching chic low-priced clothing with high-end accessories.
This is where stores like Target, H&M and Zara come into play. What I like to do is buy a simple well cut dress and pair it with a great pair of shoes and a fantastic bag. That's in addition to well appointed jewelry, of course. The key is to be picky. It's very easy to fall into the trap of dressing like a 16-year-old with her mother's shoes. My advice is to keep it simple, try not to pick anything too trendy and remember to have fun.
One of my favorite "off-Madison" stores --Zara --is having their semi-annual sale. Most items are $10 off like, jeans, dresses and skirts. Other items are even reduced further. Tanks and t-shirts were previously $10 and are now $6 or $8. Tops originally $20 are now $6 to $10. For the children's collection - most clothes originally $20 are now reduced to $10.
I find these sales to be a bit "messy." The lines are long and the crowds are thick. The prices at Zara are so reasonable that I suggest that you spend the extra $10 and get first pick at the start of the season.