Luckily (or not, whatever) for you, we live in the shadow of one of the world's greatest shopping malls: South Coast Plaza.
The largest (and, you know, best) mall in California, South Coast boasts the second-highest sales volume in the state, at $800 per square foot. Which is nice and all, but what's really important here is that its tenant lineup is quite impressive; while many high-end stores carefully pick locations, it isn't rare to see little ol' Costa Mesa listed next to New York, Milan, Tokyo and London in advertisements. Many stores at South Coast Plaza reportedly also enjoy the highest sales in the country for their respective lines—think Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Cartier, Harry Winston and Barney's New York Co-Op.
Hermés and Louboutin over your budget? There's something in there for everyone, including the overwhelming, newish Forever 21, which took over a giant chunk of Sears' first and second floors. A handful of new shops has opened up just in time for holiday shopping, but the highlight is the brand-new Longchamp boutique located on the second floor between the Jewel and Carousel courts.
South Coast Plaza, www.southcoastplaza.com.
A trip to Paris a few years back revealed a classic Longchamp leather-and-vinyl tote on the shoulders and lithe wrists of just about every gal I saw. Known for its Le Pliage line of foldable travel bags, available in a rainbow of colors and sizes, Longchamp has invaded stateside since. A simple, classic, elegant tote, the small Le Pliage bags start at $98. This 1,722-square-foot location is one of two California Longchamp boutique locations and exclusively features the label's ready-to-wear collection, so prepare yourself for an extra-large selection!
Here's your special holiday-hours guide to South Coast Plaza's annual extravaganza. Avoid shopping on weekends, go on your lunch break, there's a reindeer carousel, Santa and Santa's Express Train in the Crate and Barrel wing for the kidlets, and if it really comes down to it? Valet might just be worth it.
SOUTH COAST PLAZA HOLIDAY HOURS
Dec. 1-3: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 4: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dec. 5-10: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 11: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dec. 12-17: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 18: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 19-23: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve): 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dec. 25 (Christmas Day): CLOSED
Dec. 26: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Dec. 27-30: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve): 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Jan. 1 (New Year's Day): 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Follow me on Twitter: @VickieChang!
This column appeared in print as "SCP Survival Guide!"