All Things Fashion Lex Thoughts

How to Shop at a Sample Sale 

If you live in or around a large city (especially New York City), you probably have had the lovely opportunity to attend a sample sale. I personally am not only a fan of a them, but a cheerleader. I have a great mix of high to low in my wardrobe and most of it is thanks to sample sales.

There are some girls who feel a little awkward saying that they purchased something at a sample sale. It’s something I’ll never understand. What is there to feel embarrassed about?

I found a Rachel Zoe tuxedo (two pieces) that would have retailed for at least $700 and got it for $70 at a sample sale. I’m not embarrassed by that. In fact, I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Admittedly, I might not be the regular human because I get an extreme thrill from saving. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of though. What is a doctor who graduated last in his class? A doctor. What is designer piece bought at an extreme discount? Designer.

Moral of story, go to that sample sale proudly fashionista. Also, pass on the info to at least one friend. It’s the right thing to do. Here’s how to get the best experience at a sample sale:

Be kind.

You catch more flies with honey as the old saying goes. Tensions are high during these sample sales. When there’s majorly discounted Alice + Olivia on the line you can, of course, see why. It is easy to have an every woman for herself attitude, but quite honestly a room full of mean people makes it miserable. So be nice, it won’t hurt you!

Analyze every item for damage or stains

Not all the glitters is gold (apologies for another cliché saying). When you find something you like run you fingers down the seams. Inspect for holes. Look out for stains that may not come out after a trip to dry cleaners.  Check for broken zippers. Things like missing buttons or small washable stains shouldn’t deter you from buying an item, but don’t waste your time on items that require significant repair.

Bottom line: You’re not going to get it fixed. It’s going to sit at the bottom of your closet until you eventually donate it to charity.

Buy your size.

Don’t buy something a size too small in hopes that you’ll eventually be able to fit into it. It will end up in the donation bag with that damaged piece that never got fixed. Each designer’s cut is different so be sure to utilize the fitting room if they have one.

Go for accessories

It’s beneficial to sprinkle in designer pieces into your wardrobe, but accessories go a longer way. Bags, shoes, etc will get more use without a doubt. So if you’re at a sample sale with accessories check those out before you even head to a clothing rack.

Choose unique pieces

Go for cool prints, silhouettes, and fabrics. You do not need to buy black trousers at a sample sale. Buy pieces that are eye catching. Even if you are getting a huge discount it doesn’t mean that the piece shouldn’t be special.

Skip Mid-Tier Sample Sales

In most cases, sales for lines that aren’t designer aren’t worth it. Typically the deals are just okay and the clothing isn’t much better. This is not a blanketed statement because I have been to great non-branded samples sales. Most are pretty disappointing though. Designer sample sales are where you get your money’s worth.

Have you been to sample sale? If so, what are YOUR rules?


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