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Stylist Sarah McManus Talks Closets and Shopping Sprees

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We're dedicating this week to the kind of fantastical shopping that most of us only get to experience in dreams. Taking a page from casino parlance, we'll be talking a lot about "whales," those big spenders who feel perfectly comfortable dropping tens of thousands of dollars every night on roulette, or, in our case, on Cartier, caviar facials, and Chanel. Welcome to Whale Week 2013.

While most know Sarah McManus as the blogger behind Boston Stylista, her daytime gig is actually styling. A so-called "lifelong affair with the perfect chignon and luscious red manicure" was inherited from her savvy Italian nonna, pulling Sarah into the world of wardrobe consulting. We wanted to know: Where would this outfit chameleon go on her dream shopping day? But more importantly, we discovered her favorite closet in the Back Bay.

Most extravagant item you've had the pleasure to work with?
The most fabulous luxury item I have had the pleasure of working was an insane vintage Chanel suit. It was black and stunning. I actually used the blazer in many outfits.

Take me on a virtual shopping spree. Which stores would you visit? Which spas?
On my shopping journeys, I love going to Neiman Marcus because of the new CUSP section that carries all my favorite designers. Holiday on Charles Street carries such unique finds and I especially adore their dresses. When I am on Newbury, I am sure to stop by Crush Boutique because of the extraordinary tops and jackets. The store itself is really cute. I always find my jewelry at M. Flynn in the South End. Not only do the owners design their own line, but they carry Doloris Petunia and Lulu Frost, two of my favorites.

G2O has an amazing Deep Hydration facial that is perfect for these winter months. Then I would head over to Emerge for a relaxing Aromatherapy Massage that detoxifies and uplifts your state of mind. To finish off my beauty routine, I love going to Avanti Salon for a moisturizing gloss that will take my locks back to silky and healthy.

Describe the biggest closet you've ever been in.
The biggest closet I have ever been in was in Back Bay. It was a walk-in that had drawers built in and even a whole section for jewelry. At the center was a beautiful vanity to sit down and get ready. The wallpaper was an intricate design in hot pink! It was definitely a moment when I walked inside.

Have you encountered any collectors obsessed with a particular designer or style?
Many collectors look for those classic brands like Prada, YSL, and Chanel. I have seen many of these collections in my day. They look for pieces to travel through the times and stay current. Staple items like the LBD and bags that make a statement are something I encounter a lot.

· 38 Essential Boston Shopping Experiences, Winter 2013 [Racked Boston]
· Ten Spa Destinations to Pamper Your Face [Racked Boston
· Boston Stylista [Official Site]
· All Whale Week coverage [Racked Boston]