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Inside and online



So here’s a hypothetical: Say there’s a huge snowstorm — like massive and “The Day After Tomorrow”-sized — but you really, really feel like shopping.

And all the local stores are closed.

Can I also add that you’re craving Thai food, but your favorite Thai place is also closed. I know, bleak. You need to get creative if you’re going to scratch that shopping itch. Solution: Head online.

I’ve been on the lookout for a great spring shoe lately. Yeah, it’s cold and snowy out right now, but in just a few months I am going to be a.) going to Italy and b.) attending a wedding.

The lovely, totally unique Loeffler Randall has its new spring shoes out, and I’ve fallen in love with the Vivan Lace-Up Wedge. In orange. I’m not really going for subtle with this sky-high, pale wooden wedge with orange suede that laces up in a cool herringbone pattern.

A little more subdued, I also love the Lila Twisted Mignon flat sandal that bundles subtly metallic straps for a laid-back yet pretty shoe. Perfect for the beach wedding I’m in this summer. (Yes, weddings abound.)

Plus — lucky you — the new looks from Loeffler Randall along with spring lines from Elizabeth and James and Argila are arriving at Heirloom Shoe (4415 N. Western; 605-0356), so check them out there.

In that same “thinking of spring” vein, I’ve been eyeing a dress at Anthropologie. It’s retro and a very pretty navy, with a pattern of tiny songbirds and a green satin sash around the waist. Basically, it’s fabulous in every possible way.

To go with it, the massive and cool statement rings by Cleo & Cat would keep the coveted dress from wandering into Twee-ville. Check out the “Drama” line for natural stones set in a matte gold polymer clay, or really go for it with the huge (and I mean seriously huge) pendant necklaces.

You need to get creative if you’re going to scratch that shopping itch.

I wrote a few months ago about my rediscovery of Avoca thanks to Kokopelli (12100 N. May; 748-5200). Avoca’s online home is like a trip to Ireland without leaving your couch. Or, in my case, the impetus needed to head over to to look up flights to Dublin.

I absolutely love — love! — the “Buttons” line of brightly patterned ceramics, including everything from teapots to butter dishes. Or, for something more traditional, check out the lambswool throws in pretty plaid and the swoon-worthy women’s knits in Avoca’s “Origin” line.

I’ve written before about my aversion to online shopping, but on some days — for example, when your big activity of the day includes playing in the snow — clicking around online for shopping ideas is pretty much amazing. What other weekday can you stay wrapped in a blanket, wading through Avoca’s online catalogue while catching up with the amazing “An Idiot Abroad” without feeling guilty? None.

Don’t forget your local stores — I encourage everyone to look online for ideas then stay local to do the actual buying — but I might just be an online shopping convert. I’m sure my bank account is already trembling in anticipation at the prospect.

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