When I hit a sale, I come prepared. Getting ready for a sample sale is like preparing for battle. Earlier this week I attended back to back previews for Elizabeth & James and Oscar de la Renta. I love dressing up but I always keep things simple for NYC sample sales. I'm gonna break down my rules for you for sample sale success.
1. Always be first in line. I can't stress the importance of this rule enough. Waking up an hour earlier can make all the difference at some of these sales. For less popular sales getting there a half hour early is usually enough but when it's a big name you want to be there 1-2 hours early. The first hour of the sale is when all the best/cheap stuff gets snapped up.
2. Be prepared. I always have a giant tote bag stuffed in my purse to lug home my spoils of war. If it's going to rain I have a tiny umbrella and a couple plastic garbage bags to protect the goods. I also do my due diligence. When a sale is announced I immediately google past sale reports so get an idea of pricing and selection. Then I look online at lookbooks for current and past season collections to create a wishlist. I also check to see if they've had markdowns historically and show up for those days too. It also can't hurt to ask if they'll be replenishing.
3. Don't overdress. I have a uniform. I like slip dresses because I can pop a dress on top of it or try on pants or skirts under it. I'm just not one of those girls who strips down to her panties publicly. Some gals wear the leggings and tank top ensemble but I'm more of a dress girl. In the winter I'll wear Spanx tights under my dress which I'll remove if needed - or it will help suck me in as needed LOL. This also means no makeup - it's just gonna shmear all over the clothing when you're trying it on in a hurry. If I'm wearing lipstick I wipe it off before I go in. No jewelry either - it can get caught and snag the clothing you're trying on - or fall off and get lost. Shoes should slide off easily as well.
4. Check and double check! Sample sales are final sale so look everything over carefully. Sometimes a small damage or unfinished product isn't isn't a big deal if it's an easy fix or insanely cheap. It's also easy to get caught up in the moment and come home with something stupid. Made many a mistake back in the day. Now I'm a master editor and only buy what I love or can be passed along if I change my mind. I lie - I still make mistakes from time to time.
5. Bring a buddy. Some sales don't have mirrors or dressing rooms. You're gonna need someone whose opinion you trust to be your eyes. Plus a buddy can help you snap up all the cheap samples and then you can edit together. I have a sample sale team at this point - we pass along the pieces that don't work for us and make sure nobody makes any huge fashion mistakes. If I'm solo at a sale I usually make friends in line or the dressing room. Shopping is always better with friends.
From head to toe:
- Sunglasses: Moschino, Century 21, $60 (free with rewards!)
- Lipstick: Uslu Airlines Lipstick in BIR, Net a Porter sale, $1 (retail $25)
- Coat: Altuzarra for Target trenchcoat, Target, $45 (50% off - some things can't wait for 70%)
- Dress: American Apparel, $7.50, Nordstrom Rack
- Bag: Balenciaga Velo, Nordstrom Rack
- Pom Pom: Adrienne Landau, free from her fashion week presentation (retail $45)
- Sneakers: Converse, Nordstrom Rack, $7.50
You can shop my look here. My trench has long been sold out (special collab with Target) but you can probably still find one on eBay. I can't tell you how many men (not even women LOL) have stopped me to ask where I got it.
And now for what you've really been waiting for. My recent E&J and H&M scores! Let's start with my Brixton dress that retailed for $695 and I got the sample for $50. It's currently on sale in size 0 & 2 for $347 at Neiman Marcus. Should be fun for a party with a killer pair of heels and a sparkly clutch. I can also wear it as a blazer.
For some reason I was on the fence about $495 zip cardigan for some reason. I LOVE the colors but the fit isn't the best plus it has a tiny hole. But there was something about it and for $30 it was worth a try.
Last but not least is this fur trimmed sweater jacket. I can't seem to find it online so it's possible it was never produced. I really wanted more furs but they didn't have any good samples and I didn't want to shell out $300 for a non-sample fur. It's a little crazy but it could be crazy good or crazy awful. I have a few months to think about it before fur season. And yes, I think one sleeve may be longer than the other. This is what I mean about checking and double checking. When it's on you don't see that issue thou.
As a bonus, they gave out these totes to take home your finds with purchases over $200. I spent less but still came home with two. The price sheet had them listed as $10 each. Lucky me.
I've also been stalking the H&M sale racks. Scored this $70 caftan for $15. Could be a fun summer dress.
I also scored this olive green dress for $15 from $60. Just looked like an interesting piece. It's funny that I have so much designer clothing but I keep wearing my cheap H&M stuff.
BTW today is the Edie Parker sample sale! If you're in the City be sure to pop by for a $300-500 (retail $1,000-1,700) discounted clutch :)
4/15-16, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-4pm.
The Arthur Loomis Room at Marriott East Side Hotel, 525 Lexington Ave btwn 48th & 49th sts
This week on Instagram for #freebiefriday I'm giving away these Jessica Simpson size 10 sandals that retailed for $89. Head to Insta to enter and see if you won last week's giveaway :)
On a final note I wanted to congratulate my friend Shira, of A Sequin Love Affair who was nominated by Redbook as one of their Real Women Style Awards finalists. She was actually my photographer this week - thanks, Shira! Please take a moment to vote for here here. You can vote for her every hour - just sayin...
Have a great weekend!