We have been living and working in the city now for a couple of months, and there have been a few "firsts" that we have definitely been taking advantage of and enjoying. Aside from devouring happy hour oysters and walking through central park on a weekly basis, we recently got a taste of what the city has to offer when it comes to sample sales! A couple of weeks ago, we dropped by 260 5th Avenue to experience our first sample sale, which was for JCrew and Madewell, stores we both love and wear on a regular basis. Although the process was time consuming and hectic, we definitely scored some sweet deals on the items we walked away with. We picked up everything from these two jackets, to the cutest pairs of heels at deeply discounted prices, and we are so excited to share some of experience with you guys!
1) Do your Research: We heard about this particular sample sample by word of mouth, which is usually the case in a bubble like NYC and with the amount of fashionistas on the streets and at our work. Following social media sites is probably the second best way to find these hidden, pop-up sales. It's really hard to predict what items will be on the racks, unlike when you regularly go shopping, and have an idea of what is in store based on online catalogues. Sample sales are so much fun because you really never know what treasures you may find! When you grab an item that you love from the racks and are waiting in line, consider googling what the relative price range your item is being sold for on the market. You can then decide if you think the deal is worth it so you don't give into the temptation of buying it just because the spirit in the room is high.
Check out 260 Sample Sale's Website and follow their Instagram page for minute-to-minute updates!
2) Be mentally prepared for chaos: Your first time at a sample sale may be overwhelming if you haven't done your research or prepared yourself for all the chaos and madness inside. Hey, everyone wants to score a deal as much as you do, and some are willing to go to great lengths and push people out of their way for the prize. We waited for about 45 minutes on line in the cold before we even got into the warehouse itself, and once we were in, we were immediately surrounded by racks of racks of clothes. We had to coat check our jackets and bags (probably for the sake of extra room to move around and for theft reasons) right when we walked in. Although the employees tried their best to organize as the shopping ensued, a couple of hours into the sale, everything was a jumbled and it was quite difficult to search for what we wanted even when we searched in specific racks for our sizes. If you are super overwhelmed by shopping craziness, try coming right when the sale starts so you get a few extra minutes with less crowds.
3) Go on the last few days: To get the best possible deals, go on the very last day or second to last day of the sale since the prices will mostly be slashes and you can walk away with items at dream prices. The day we went had an additional 50% everything, and we scored our jackets at a fraction of the original price. We both purchased our coats for $75+tax, and were originally $150 on the rack. They can be found on Jcrew's website for $199.99 and $350 (Jess and Mel's Respectively)
4) Bring a friend: At the J-crew/Madewell sample sale that we experienced, there were no dressing room available, so we relied on each other when it came to trying on clothes and seeing if the items we chose fit well. Have your friend take photos of you in the items so you can see what they look like on, and trust their opinion if it's a good friend who knows your body type of clothing preferences.
Have fun shopping everyone! Let us know about any sample sales you have been to and the sweet deals you scored!
Jessica & Melissa
Jess: Top - Forever 21 (similar), Jacket - JCrew, Jeans - Zara (similar-Hudson, similar- JBrand), Bag - Kate Spade (similar -tote) , Boots - Office
Mel: Sweater - Banana Republic (similar), Jacket - Jcrew, Bag - Italy, Jeans - White House Black Market, Boots - Zara (similar, similar, similar)