September 25, 2006 08:31 PM

Someone in heaven has been listening to my prayers because Sweden’s uber-chic and inexpensive chain store H&M just opened up its first Los Angeles-area store in Pasadena. Local kids who had never once stepped into an H&M had clearly heard the buzz – a crowd of them slept over night in front of the store to be the first in on opening day. They weren’t disappointed and neither was I! My haul included two Pucci-style dresses ($39 each) and a sleek tweed skirt (only $29!). My buddy Amy went wild too. Her so-of-the-moment high-waisted jeans — $59 compared to similar pants at Miss Sixty for $300 — felt as exciting as sharing a dressing room with Garcelle Beauvais. I tried to go back for more yesterday, but the line to get in snaked around the block – all weekend long! Next occasion to camp out on their sidewalk all night: after having produced guest collections by Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Madonna, H&M is also introducing a collection by Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf on November 9 – watch out for the huge Hollywood launch party.

What’s been your best buy at H&M? Click here to find a store near you and then please share! Alison Gee

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Photo: Ted Soqui/Corbis

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