November 2017 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Hierarchy of Sample Sales and Black Friday 101

Not all sales are created equal. People always ask me how do I know which ones are the "good" ones but you have to understand - I've been sample sale-ing for over 20 years now. I probably hit my first NYC sample sale back when I was studying at F.I.T. After a while you develop an instinct for where to shop and when the deals are gonna be epic.

When you first discover sample sales, it can be overwhelming. You have to fight the urge to shop every sale and you can get yourself into real financial trouble. Luckily over the years I've honed my editing skills and while I still make a mistake or two, these days I tend to under-buy and error in the side of caution. I'm still kicking myself for not buying more $50 Tamara Mellon heels or clothing at her first couple NYC sales (read about them here and here) or more $99 furs from Elizabeth and James - they haven't had another sale like that one since.

These days the term sample sale is often misused. A true sample sale is when a brand or manufacturer sells off their previous season's samples. Real samples (often one of a kind pieces made for the runway or garments made to show to buyers) are often the best deals at any sample sale. It drives me nuts when a sale consists of stock merchandise for moderate discounts - and you can often find better deals at end of season department store sales. I always look for pieces that nobody else has (as they were never produced - like these white Rebecca Minkoff booties) for killer prices.

My favorite sales are almost always always run by the brand themselves in their showroom or a rented space. When you cut out the middle man you often get the best deals. One of my all time favorites is Jimmy Choo. The brand runs their own sale in Metropolitan Pavilion 1-2x a year and on the last day they slash prices and you can walk away with $2,000 heels for $100, $50 men's shoes, and bags and wallets for as little as $30. When discounts hit 90% or better, you're speaking my language. I know I picked up a Lockett bag at the last sale but when I saw this lil white stunner for $150 I couldn't resist.

From head to toe:

  • Sunglasses: Wildfox, gifted in Fashion Week swag bag
  • Dress: H&M, $29.99 - get it now for 20% off and free shipping with code 1662 - click here
  • Bag: Jimmy Choo, sample sale, $150 (over 90% off!)
  • Socks: Forever 21, $2.90
  • Boots: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale $30 (not sure if these were ever produced) 

This round of pics is by my amazing 12 year old son, Akiva. He's getting pretty good, right?

You can shop my style here:

Other sales are run by companies that buy end of season goods and samples and sell them at discounted prices. Some of these companies work directly with the brands to sell - so they don't have to do it themselves. These are the middle men. They can often be hit or miss. Companies like Clothingline (look for their blowout sales!), 260 Sample Sale (not as good as they used to be), Jen X (on the expensive side but their Balenciaga sale makes it all worth it!), Shelly and Renee (I always skip because they aren't cheap enough for me) and Global Fashions (mostly slightly damaged and not well priced) all fall into this category.

And then there are the sample sale sites. Always check to see if a listing is sponsored because if they were paid to list it. you don't know how authentic their review is. At this point I'm lucky enough to  have a crew of bloggers and readers who share when something amazing happens. IMHO the site Chicmi has the most comprehensive listings right now - and they don't just cover NYC sales. Before I hit the City I'll check in there - plus I check a few of my fellow bargainistas' Instagram feeds (and stories) for updates and a peek inside the sales. Shout out to my girls LakeishaDinara and Mushkie!

And now on to Black Friday/Cyber Monday!

I have to confess that I don't really do too much for Black Friday anymore. Back in the day I used to wait for hours in the middle of the night (in the freezing cold!) to get the best deals. These days thank goodness so much of it is online! Typically when I shop I'm not much of an online girl (better deals are almost always in-store unless we are talking about a rare online glitch) but for the next few days I'm happy to shop in my PJs.

Nordstrom Rack is the on only sale that will get me out of bed in the morning. Take 30% off all red tag clearance and in past years they have had 50% off clearance dresses. Fingers crossed for some refurbished Louboutins!*

*ETA no extra discounts on dresses this year and not a single Loub in sight. Booo.

Kohls always offers extra Kohls cash this weekend ($15 for every $50 you spend) so stacked with deals and rebates it's always a win. For this and the rest of my picks you can just shop online and skip the in-store madness.

I'm always on the hunt for cheap Crocs Sexi Flips. is offering 40% off sitewide (plus some doorbusters with additional discounts) and free shipping on orders over $24.99.

Amazon will be chock full of deals this weekend! I spotted some cute Aldo bags on sale for around $50 or less that are very Gucci inspired. Click here, here and here. I also love this little glittery cutie. When buying inexpensive bags the trick is to look for texture and embroidery to make it look luxe. For example the velvet or fabric bags will always look more expensive than the pleather verisons.

More Amazon finds from this year include my air fryer and Firestick. My husband got one for me and I've been using it nonstop. I saw several on sale for under $100 and I would highly recommend grabbing one. Even my kids throw in fresh cut potatoes and make their own healthy fries. And thanks to my Firestick I don't really watch cable anymore.

I always check for refurbished deals for this sale. My T5 camera is currently on sale (but out of stock) but you can still snag a T6 for a little over $200! And I have my eye on a 24mm lens. I have the 40mm (you get crisper images with a prime lens) and I love it but I hate stepping so far back to take a shot.

You've all heard me rave about Kidpik basics before - now take 50% off sitewide plus free shipping on orders over $50. Time to stock up on inexpensive basics for your girls!

My list could go on and on but basically anywhere you want to shop - pretty much has a deal right now. Needless to say, I'll be checking all week! This is definitely the best time to shop electronics. Clothing sales are always better at the end of December/early January.

As for sample sale picks for the week, there are a few new ones that have popped up! Golden Goose will be having a one day sale with discounts up to 75%. I know it's not as inexpensive as I'd like but I really want a pair of their sneakers. They have limited quantities so get there early. A.V. Max also announced their holiday sale which is where I always stock up on jewelry gifts for $5-25! Alice and Olivia usually has great samples if you can fit a 0-6, but for stock wait for the end for discounts.

Golden Goose
November 28, 12-5
ESP Showroom, 231 W 39th St, #715*

*ETA I was informed that they are limiting purchases to 1 per customer until 4pm.

A.V. Max
December 4-8, 10-4 (open till 7 on the 5th)
39 W 38th St, 10th Fl

Alice and Olivia
December 5-10
Tues 8-8, Wed 9-8, Th 10-8, Fri 9-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-4
260 5th Ave

Happy shopping! Hope you had a great Turkey Day!



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Urban Camouflage

I had randomly dropped into H&M the day before these pictures were taken and found this super cute oversized camouflage parka on sale for $30 from $69.99. It's actually still full price on-line. And better yet my tank dress was marked down to just $3! Score! I decided to pair it up with my 85% off Altuzarra bag that I picked up at their NYC sample sale and my new $30 Rebecca Minkoff sample boots. I can't find them online anywhere so it's possible they were never produced. If you don't already live the sample sale life, you don't know what you're missing. I'm totally spoiled by one of a kind designer pieces that I pick up for next to nothing.

I've actually wanted a pair of white booties for a while - they just freshen everything up. Plus they are so unexpected for fall. These are crazy comfortable and I figure if they ever get really dirty I can easily dye them black - just like my $50 Jimmy Choo sample sale bag.

What you don't know about these pictures is that I was probably running a fever and breaking out in sweats - but I didn't want to miss the Glow Recipe preview at Henri Bendel that morning and I was going stir crazy in my house after being under the weather for days. But the swag was so good - I shared on my stories a little while back and some of it appeared in this Insta post as well. I just couldn't say no to amazing K-Beauty products and a personalized makeup case. #yesplease

My look from head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana, Nordstrom Rack, $0.01
  • Coat: H&M, $30
  • Dress: H&M, $3
  • Bag: Altuzarra, sample sale, 85% off (Retailed for $3,000+)
  • Boots: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale, $30

You can shop my style here:

Thank you to Esther Santer for these photos. I ran into her at the event that day and we used her camera to shoot these. I did have my camera (we just popped in my SD card) but I wanted to experiment with using different cameras and lenses. I'm due for an upgrade so I'm doing my research. I'm torn between a new lens or a whole new camera altogether. I typically use my Canon T5 with a 40mm lens and it's super lightweight and takes decent pics - even on auto LOL. If anyone has a setup that they love please do share!

And now to my NYC sample sale picks! Lots going on - but you really don't need to hit them all!

I was going to preview this sale the day I took my girls to check out the new American Girl Doll store in Rock Center but never had the chance. I usually grab some cute hair accessories and boutique-y pieces on the cheap.

The Best Kids Sample Sale
November 13-17, 10-5
34 West 33rd Street, Floors 3, 9 & 12

This stylists showroom sale has had some gems in the past. If you go PLMK what you find!

Mahna Mahna Showroom
November 15-17 & 20-21, 11-6
134 Spring St, #304

I heard that the preview wasn't all that impressive. No shoes and bags were eh. 

Marc Jacobs
November 15-19
W-Sat 9-8, Sun 10-5
150 Greene Street

I'm a HUGE Teri Jon fan and their dresses are my go-to when I need to be fancy. Sample dresses usually start at $75 which is a great deal considering they retail for $500-1,000 easy. You can read a past sale report here.

Teri Jon
November 19-20, 9:30-5
241 West 37th St, 2nd Fl

Happy shopping!



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Statements on Statements

I keep reading magazine articles about buying a single statement piece to transform your wardrobe. And I laugh. So what do you do when your whole closet screams statement? I'm a hard-core maximalist who believes more is more. Minimalism is just not my cup of tea. As far as I'm concerned, gimmie all the trends. And then put them all together. And repeat.

At the recent Nordstrom Rack opening in NYC I picked up these statement Prada sunglasses - I thought they were a fun twist on their classic Baroque style. I did end up returning them because they kept sliding off my face. My kids thought they were too weird but honestly the fit issue was my only problem with them. If you haven't already checked out the new Rack at 31st and 6th - it's three floors chock full of discounted designer merchandise. On my Insta stories from the grand opening preview I shared all the "deals" I spotted. Unfortunately the prices were high but the selection was pretty good. It's actually pretty close to the new Target. Midtown is totally getting a shopping upgrade! Speaking of the Rack, yesterday kicked off the latest Clear the Rack. Take 25% off all red ticket clearance in-store and online. I struck out at my local store but I'd love to hear about any amazing deals you score!

I collect statement shoes, coats, bags and sunnies and play around until I find the perfect combo. I love my medium Drew but kinda wish I found a smaller version. At 75% off it was too good of a deal to resist. I actually scored it a while back at a previous Clear the Rack. And I feel like I practically stole this jacket from Marshalls for just $25. When I found it I was on the hunt for an oversized denim for a while already. Such a lucky find! Don't even get me started about my Zadig boots - they are so insanely comfortable. Wishing I grabbed more at their showroom sample sale a while back when all their current season shoes were just $75! Their last sale was at 260 and prices and selection were just not the same.

I think the trick to wearing multiple statement pieces is keeping the colors more neutral. I usually do a color overload (or at least a pop) but I decided there was enough going on. As always, I'm breaking it down for you - bargainista style :)

From head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Prada, Nordstrom Rack, $99.97 (RV $365)
  • Jacket: Marshalls, $25
  • Dress: Topshop, $32, Nordstrom - on sale now at the Rack - linked below!
  • Bag: Chloe Medium Drew, Nordstrom Rack, $510 (RV $2,050)
  • Boots: Zadig et Voltaire, sample sale, $75 (RV $498) 

You can shop my style here:

Thank you to my girl Lakeisha for this round of photos - and standing out in the freezing cold with me. The weather here in NYC can go from hot to cold in a flash and that day started as denim jacket weather and made it's way to winter coats and umbrellas. How cute is her new Gucci bag? She got it right before the price increase - and used a cash back site to save a few hundred dollars. Color me impressed. Good Gucci is so hard to find at a discount these days. And it most definitely makes a statement!

What's your favorite statement piece in your wardrobe? Don't bother asking me - I have too many LOL

Sample sale season is in effect! Wooo! Jimmy Choo was last week and I killed it on the last day. I'm trying to figure out the best way to share my hauls. Do I continue to share bits and pieces as I wear them, go back to haul posts, or move it to YouTube? Would love to hear your thoughts.

As for the next few weeks, there are a TON but I'm only gonna mention my faves. Be sure you're following me on Insta where I share sales as they pop up - both in my feed and stories.

LeHoarder approved NYC sample sales:

Just got word that L.K. Bennett has additional markdowns.  Read about my epic haul from several sales ago here. You're supposed to book at appointment for this one but at this point I'd just drop in.

L.K. Bennett
November 9, 10-7
595 Madison Avenue, 13th Fl

This Clothingline can get a little crazy but they just announced markdowns for today. Expect lots of crazy deals - sample sizes only thou.

Vince Camuto
November 9, 10-6
261 West 36th Street, 2nd Fl

I've actually never been to this kids' sale but with prices of $6-20 (girls? sizes infants thru 16) it's worth checking out!

Sugar Plum
November 9-10
Th 9:30-5, F 9:30-4
463 Seventh Avenue, Suite 602

The Botkier sale has been historically great for gifts! Lots of $30 bags...and some years they have $10 samples.

ETA 11/10 Prices went up and resellers got their hands in this one. May not be worth it...

November 9-12
Th-Sat 11-7, Sun 12-6
65 Greene Street

I usually pop in the kids' sale to score cheap hair accessories or cute pieces on the cheap for the girls. Note that they usually start previewing today (11/9) so if you're in the hood I would pop in and check it out.

The Best Kids Sample Sale
November 13-17, 10-5
34 West 33rd Street, Floors 3, 9 & 12

260 sales haven't been all that for a while but I need to mention MJ just in case. A few sales ago the shoe situation was epic. Last sale, not so much...but you never know...

Marc Jacobs
November 15-19
W-Sat 9-8, Sun 10-5
150 Greene Street

I'm a HUGE Teri Jon fan and their dresses are my go-to when I need to be fancy. Sample dresses usually start at $75 which is a great deal considering they retail for $500-1,000 easy. You can read a past sale report here.

Teri Jon
November 19-20, 9:30-5
241 West 37th St, 2nd Fl

Happy shopping!



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Zappos x Kamik, Mommy & Me Style!

Sponsored by Zappos

I teamed up with my friends at to step outside and share a little fall fun in our new Kamik boots! We took the kids for a family outing at a local farm to look at pumpkins and fall foliage. We spent a couple hours stomping around and exploring all mother nature had to offer. 

Zappos offers a huge selection of Kamik footwear and apparel - for men, women, and children. So much so that we all had a hard time choosing our favorites! The girls settled on these cute rain boots with a pop of pink, and Ella neeeded a matching puffer coat in black and pink. Zappos offers free shipping, easy returns or exchanges - which is every busy momma's dream. Luckily I ordered everyone's sizes correctly after reading all the customer reviews (so helpful!) and everyone loved their final picks! 

The girls are wearing the Stomp 2 in sizes 2 and 4 - I'd say they run true to size. The girls raved about how comfortable they were and happily ran around in them all day.  Come winter I'll probably add some boot socks for warmth when it's time to play outside in the snow. Ella's Leona jacket is a size 12 and it does run big. Most of her other winter coats are size 10 and just fit so I figured I'd size up for this so she could wear it for a while. I had to fold up the sleeves and my skinny minny will probably be able to wear this until early adulthood. In my book that makes it a great investment!

I chose the Evelyn boots for myself and I sized up to a 10 (I'm typically a US 9/40). They're super comfortable and are gonna be perfect for all the upcoming rain and snow coming our way. I actually also ordered super cute red Kamik Jennifer rain boots for myself (on sale!) and I bought ahead for Ella another pair of Scribble rain boots with hearts (both not pictured).

I couldn't leave my son out (plus he just outgrew his old boots) so I ordered him a pair of Kamik Fargo boots. He's wearing a men's 10 as they do run small (I sized him up - he's more of a 9/9.5). They're a little heavy but he can handle it.

Have you tried Kamik boots? So far we are loving all of ours. And I would definitely shop again with Zappos! Ordering was a breeze and a week later our boxes came beautifully packaged and all in one piece. So bring on the rain and snow - we're all ready for you!

Thank you to Zappos for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely our own.  


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