This past week and weekend were pretty eventful.
I happily said yes to a new relationship. (Get ready for a few meet the parents and date night outfit inspiration posts!). And, most importantly for you, went to the Dolce and Gabbana Sample Sale in midtown Manhattan.
On day 2 of the sale, I almost missed the place because I kept looking for a block-long line that wasn’t there! Once I found it, however, I was more than excited. It was time for me to get that D&G t-shirt I saw on the runway plus a new bag and sunglasses.
As I made my through the maze of size-categorized racks filled with multi-thousand dollar (retail) dresses, tops, suits and shoes, a few things came to mind. I was instantly reminded of the contradictions that come with designer closeouts.
They’re great because you get couture or otherwise top designer brands for much less than on 5th Avenue. (You know I hate paying retail!). But, there are a few pitfalls to know before you hit the next 2-hour line.
Here are the highs and lows of designer sample sales.
1. Don’t Think It’s All From the Runways.
The last few times I’ve gone to sample sales, this happened. I would sift through products from Kenneth Cole, Tory Burch, D&G or what have you, only to see classic pieces with little to no “wow” factor. All the good stuff with extravagant embroidery or beading were excessively overpriced (why pay $1800 for a mini skirt?) and held behind a counter. That’s if they were there at all.
You will definitely see fun skirts, wardrobe-friendly basics and a few glitzy pieces. But, rock-bottom prices don’t usually come with them.
The good thing was D&G had about 80 percent retail off by the time I got there! I just wasn’t willing to pay $1200 for a gorgeous, fuschia strapless dress that I would only wear once. It was just fun to look at!
2. The Inventory Isn’t Necessarily From This Season, Either.
Unfortunately, most sample sales are less than glamorous.
They get filled with products leftover from seasons prior instead of designer samples or one-of-a-kind pieces. That’s why the more I went through the racks, the more I saw striped jackets, a simple emerald dress and red work-ready look. You pay for the name and the fabric, not necessarily super trendy style. This is why true “sample” sales, sell out quickly! On that note….
3. Timing is everything.
There are several different companies and locations that hold sample sales nationwide. (My favorite is 260 Sample Sale!) Each one has their own rules and their own email list for upcoming events. There may be limits on what you can bring in and even how much you can purchase. Usually, only a wallet and your cell phone care allowed – the rest needs to be checked, if available. So, check the site and find these out ahead of time.
One more thing, not all of these sales restock. It’s best to go closer to the start date and spend some time going through the racks. If you leave something you love, you may not be able to find it again.
4. Long or Short, There Will Be Lines.
The line will tell you whether it’s a great sale or not worth your time.
At Dolce and Gabbana, there may not have been a line outside but there was definitely one as soon as you opened the doors. The spot had a healthy coat-check line. People waired to drop their things off as others came down the stairs with multiple branded D&G bags in tow.
5. More Discounts Come As it Gets Closer to the Last Day
This may seem a little contradictory to tip number three, but it’s true.
Most shopping events like this take place for just a few days and they want to move inventory quickly. For this reason, the same items that were there on day one may be another 20 percent off by day three. You can definitely wait for the price to drop, just keep in mind that you also risk someone else buying it. That’s when you play the odds and reflect on your budget. It’s still Designer and things are still pretty pricey.
If you get anything, I recommend something small and versatile. My favorite piece is a heart-shaped Mulberry pin I bought for £7 in England. It’s simple, can be used with almost anything and always makes me feel happier when I see it.
Now you have an idea about what to expect the next time you see your favorite brand at a sample sale.
So, let’s talk about what’s new on StylisticReaction!
On top of getting a little more personal and sharing my life with you guys – you deserve to know who you’re reading after all! – I’m setting a stricter blogging schedule.
It looks like most of you have time to read on Monday and Thursday. So, starting next week, those will be my new posting days! Special editions will be up on Saturdays, now and again. I’ll let you know about those ahead of time.
That’s it for now!
I hope you’re all having a great week and thank you so much for reading! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see your comments both here and on my Instagram. Please, also share this post if you liked it!