The pursuit of goods to purchase in Vegas is, luckily, NOT a game of chance. All you need to know is what level of spender each hotel caters to and you’ll immediately grasp which treasures lay within their storied malls. You must actually ENTER the hotels in order to penetrate the realities behind their ingenious facades. In other words, New York New York may LOOK incredible, but once inside, you’ll experience serious Manhattan seediness, circa 1979.

Therefore, high rollers should bank on Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio or, my favorite, the aptly named WYNN. They all contain the usual Madison Avenue suspects (Chanel/Louis Vuitton/Gaultier), but there is just SOMETHING about Wynn that’s special. If the Ferrari/Maserati dealership is a bit MUCH, you could focus on getting personally re-shod at SHOE-IN, which features such glitzy brands as Louboutin, Zanotti and the amazing Claudia Cluti. Then, clip-clop over to BLACK SATIN to get your butt gloriously gift-wrapped in undies for the holidays (2 Belles NYC: $31-$44) or for anytime else (La Perla/ Leigh Bentivoglio/ Myla). While you’re there, accessorize your naughty self by stocking up on La Mer creams, Annick Goutal fragrances, or a nifty bedside Kama Sutra.

Top: Jeans (HARD ROCK RETAIL STORE Window display). Inset: Lucchese Charlie Horse Night and Day Boots (COWBOY BOOTS: $259). Above: Lucchese Men's Boots (COWBOY BOOTS: prices vary with skins).

Feeling a little bit Rock and Roll? Head off-strip to the HARD ROCK Hotel and Casino (4455 Paradise Rd) and check out HARD ROCK RETAIL STORE for such coveted jeans as True Religion and 7 For All Mankind. For a more Vegas look, try sequin or leather embellished Antik Denim ($200 range) or the Italian Meltin’ Pot line ($80-$140). Other winners are the unique hand-finished studded and sequined t-shirts from Hard 8, (the best featuring headphones or turntable arms), Morphine Generation thermals and terrific pieces from LA-based “Vogue”-featured Sheri Bodell.

Feeling a little bit country? Access your inner Ralph Lauren, but dig deeper for the realness of COWBOY BOOTS (1080 E. Flamingo Road). Look sleek, not MOM, in high-waisted stretch denim Western Ethics jeans, held up by diamante-studded ponyskin belts (1/3 to 1/2 New York prices). Seriously tailored Roper shirts are a steal (a long-sleeved black and silver pinstripe runs $19.95), as are the Dale Evans-esque stone-encrusted and fringed Cripple Creak leather jackets ($339.95). However, the real draw here is the extensive collection of handmade Lucchese boots for both men and women. The range of skins (from shaved Stingray to Ostrich), toe-types and body-parts (did you want the alligator’s head, belly or back?) is BEYOND. These little numbers range in price from $259 to $1183 (Natural Alligator), so you’ll be happy to know that they have marvelous sales during holidays and RODEOS.

With a sales tax that’s a veritable “steal” at 7.75%, how can you lose? You know, not EVERYTHING that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas ...

1. Two Belles NYC holiday undies (BLACK SATIN: $31-$44).
2. Sheri Bodell wool knit top with studded cowl neck (HARD ROCK RETAIL STORE:
3. Hard 8 T-Shirts (HARD ROCK RETAIL STORE: prices vary with design).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/