Yesterday I attended the Fashion Girls for Japan sample sale at the Bowery Hotel in NYC, along with Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, Mariah of Quite Continental and Anne of Ritournelle Blog. Quite a cosmopolitan bunch we were, two Americans, One French Mademoiselle and a Brit chick. Now, Blog Reader, I have never attended a sample sale before – there is something about all that pushing and shoving around the racks that displeases me. I prefer to do my shopping online in the comfort of my own home, or preferably, as in my La Perla Lingerie experience, in store with a very helpful assistant(s?!) and a glass of champagne in hand. I’m a lazy shopper. Sometimes I just want the clothes to come and find me.
So. when I admitted my sample sale virginity to my companions I was met with much head shaking and tutting. It was clear. I needed to be educated, and fast. The sale was approaching.
It appears that there are sample sale “must dos”; sample sale “rules”, I was informed. I had to get with the programme. And quickly:
- Elbows out is fair game. Niceties are out the window;
- Get there early. This means queuing. Which means that supplies for queuing are required, coffee, energy bars etc;
- Do not overdo the coffee (see previous point) – leaving the line for the toilet is a no-no. You might not make it back in;
- Do your homework. Know your brands and make a bee-line for them;
- If in doubt grab and run, you can assess later;
- Walkie talkies come in handy. Team work is essential. Know each other’s sizes and grab not just for yourself but for the “team”;
- There is absolutely no room for being a prude. There are no changing rooms at sample sales. You WILL want to try on that heavily-reduced-but-still-a-wee-bit-too-expensive-if-it-doesn’t-fit-just-fine item and you will be doing so with aplomb in the middle of the changing room floor, not caring who or what is around you.
- Take no prisoners (I added this one for good measure).
Taking all these rules on board, we made it into the sale pretty early on and my companions bagged some wonderful bargains. I will leave it to my “team” to tell you about their finds. For me, it was really about being part of the sample sale experience as well as giving money for a cause – I found find this cute simple black dress by ‘Factory’ to take home with me, something for lounging around in. The sale continued on Sunday, it was for a very important cause and you can read more about it here.
The sample sale wasn’t crazy busy (I imagine the number of shoppers in the room with the clothes was capped) and there were some absolute bargains to be had if you got lucky or were first in the queue. Alexander Wang, DVF and Rag and Bone donated to the event. What do you think of sample sales Blog Reader, have I been missing out on these all along? Any “rules” to add to my list that work for you or are you (like I used to be) a sample sale virgin too?