You probably remember her from her days in a bikini top, all taut, hungry, and competitive. But these days, Elisabeth Filarski (now Elisabeth Hasselbeck), who won fame by clawing her way close to the top ó and the bitter end ó of Survivor Australia, strategizes about matters other than foraging for food, undercutting competitors, and watching her alliesí backs. Today she has far craftier goals in mind: bargain hunting.
The former Newton resident, who studied studio art at Boston College and went on to design shoes for Puma, currently hosts the Style Networkís The Look for Less, in which she scours cities for shopping bargains and reports her findings.
We picked Elisabethís brain about her favorite scores on her home turf. She enthusiastically dished on her material-girl strategies, her local shopping routes, and the stores she visited to outfit her recent wedding to college sweetheart and Philadelphia Eagle Tim Hasselbeck.
On Boutique La Reine: " I went wedding-dress shopping in Boston, and I found a great dress at Boutique La Reine. I liked the material and I didnít like the cut. So we worked together on a new design. "
On Moxie: " I got a great bag from Moxie. Itís a Jane Fox bag, a huge white bag with hot-pink lining. Itís huuuge, but I can pack a bag! My life is in there. "
On Oop (in Providence): " They have lots of little knickknacks and accessories. Iíd love to have a store like that; itís a great inspiration to me. "
On Newbury Street: " Iím more of a boutique girl. When Iím in town, Iíll get on the T and do the whole strip. Iíll go in every single store on Newbury Street. And then JP Licks at the end. Yeah, I do ó every single store. Iím tired by the end, but I say, ĎOkay, this is my little city. Whatís happened since I left?í "
On Wish: " I love Wish. Theyíre greeeeat! Itís such a nice little store to pop into. Thereís always something unique in there. They donít carry a lot of the same products. They have four versions of one item. You can also call them and get information on a designer, if there was something in there that you liked. "
On DSW Shoe Warehouse: " I was in a crunch to get my wedding shoes. There was a Vera Wang shoe that I loved. It is just gorgeous, with a flower on the vamp. I looked around, at Neiman [Marcus] and Saks, searching for the perfect pair. Then one day, I went to DSW and there it was, the perfect pair! They were $49.50. It was a classic shape and design. I had just bought a pair of really expensive shoes, so I canít tell you the relief I felt. "
The Look For Less airs on the Style Network on Sundays at 9 p.m. Nina Willdorf can be reached at email@example.com.
Where to find it:
ē Boutique La Reine, 134 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 262-4210; 81-83 Boylston Street, Brookline, (617) 277-2926.
ē DSW Shoe Warehouse, 385 Washington Street, Boston, (617) 556-0052.
ē Moxie, 73 Charles Street, Boston, (617) 557-9971.
ē Oop, 297 Thayer Street, Providence, (401) 455-0844.
ē Wish, 49 Charles Street, Boston, (617) 227-4441.