I like to shop as much as the next woman. Probably more. But the places I’ve lived over my lifetime (Ohio and Arizona) aren’t exactly known as fashion meccas of the world. Both states have some awesome malls, but designers don’t typically bring their stuff on the road for special sales. However, I’m lucky enough to spend some time in NYC this summer and got to experience my very first sample sale today.
And take a guess on the designer? None other than my beloved Tory Burch. A co-worker gave me a heads up that it was going on while I am in the Big Apple (thank you Christi!!) and I was able to arrange for childcare so I could check out the bargains on my own. #momdreamday
After our nanny showed up, I took the subway down to Chelsea and found the address on 18th Street. It wasn’t hard to find because there were about 75 women lined up outside. There were no signs or reference to the sale at all, but it was very obvious something big was going on. The sale opened at 9 am and I arrived around 9:30. The security guard at the front was letting in about 10 people at a time, so the line was moving, but not very quickly. After waiting in line for an hour, I finally got in the door. And immediately found myself in another line, waiting for the elevator.
There was a second where I was wondering where the heck they were taking us. It brought back some memories of designer knockoff purse shopping on Canal St. back in the early 2000’s. I quickly remembered I’m not in Chinatown and I’m no longer buying knockoffs. Thankfully, I can now afford to buy the real thing. #isupportdesigners #safetyinnumbers
After the elevator dropped me and my fellow shoppers off on the 5th floor, there was a table with several women checking everyone’s purses and bags. You were only allowed to bring a wallet and cell phone into the sale, and everything else had to be tagged and left outside. Finally, I was in and ready to find some bargains.
I made a bee line for the shoes since I’m looking to replace my gold Miller sandals that are on the brink of busting into pieces. What I found were tables of flip flops. A LOT of flip flops embellished with the signature TB logo. There were some heels and flats, but sadly, no leather sandals in my size which is really what I was looking for. If I was a size 5 or 6, I could have cleaned up house at that sale. Some amazing styles in the smaller sizes. So I did what everyone else around me was doing and tried on some flip flops. I grabbed a pair with bronze glitter straps, as well as a black pair for my mom and headed to the handbags.
Once I got to handbags, I realized the urgency of the situation. Everyone around me was hoarding stuff like crazy. There were people carrying around 6 or 7 bags in addition to shoes and piles of clothes. I realized if I was even considering an item, I better grab it and keep it close to my body. This quickly reminded me of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target sale a few months back.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new smaller cross-body bag for a while. I have a very cute luggage colored leather Michael Kors bag I use constantly, and I’m looking to put something else into the mix. I found this gold one lying on a random shoe table:
I initially wasn’t sure if it was too shiny, but I threw it over my shoulder and kept going. I then stumbled onto this beauty:
Hard to tell in this picture, but it has an adjustable chain that can either be used as a full cross-body or doubled up for a shorter length. I grabbed this one, too, and then remembered I have no clue how much anything costs. I wandered around until I found the price sheet located on the walls around the room.
Take a look at the pic above for the full rundown, but here are the highlights: rubber flip flops ($25), sandals ($65), heels/wedges ($115), clutches/small handbags ($115), large handbags ($175), dresses ($100-400), tunics ($75), swimwear ($25 per piece or $50 for one pieces), and jewelry ($35-65).
The greyish leather bag I had in my hand retails for $450. I knew if I was at all interested, I needed to hold on tight. I found a shopping bag to hold my goodies while I continued to look around.
There were A LOT of pants, mostly bright colors and wide leg. And no fitting rooms. This meant no one was looking at pants.
I kept looking through the clothes and found a very, very cute red and white tunic that I failed to photograph. I even tried it on over my tank top, but decided I wouldn’t get $75 worth of use out of it. I also spent quite a bit of time looking through baskets of swimsuits. I found a few matching sets, but remembered it is crazy to purchase a swimsuit without trying it on. The swimsuits were $50 for a set, so I gave up on that idea and kept going.
I came across this pink scarf that was too cute to pass up, especially for $35. The retail tag on it said $150, so that one went right into my shopping bag.
I headed over to the jewelry department even though I figured most of the good stuff was picked over since it was empty in that section of the room. There was a purplish leather wrap bracelet I might have considered, but I already have the same style in cognac at home, so I moved on.
There were a lot of cosmetic cases and tech accessories in very cute patterns that a lot of people were going crazy over. Nothing I needed, so I kept circling.
As things were getting picked over, employees were very quick to rearrange and make the displays look nice. The shelves in the middle of the store that were once filled with handbags were being replaced with black jelly flats. I tried on these exact shoes when I initially wandered into the shoe area, but decided they weren’t worth $85. Then I noticed they were putting up signs saying the jelly flats were now $30!! I found my size and headed to a corner to try them on again. The were surprisingly comfortable and very cute for $30. Perfect for kid’s swim class or a rainy day. And the shiny material made them look like patent leather on first glance, meaning I could totally pull these off for work. Since the Caroline ballet flats I already own hurt like crazy, I was pumped about the $30 jellies.
I walked around the room a few more times and decided to head to the register before I spent even more money. Even though my designer duds came packaged in an unmarked brown paper bag, I was so excited about my purchases.
My first sample sale was a huge success and a lot of fun. Even though I had to wait in line outside for an hour to get into the front door, it was pretty orderly and not too crowded inside. There were definitely a few people who had piles and piles of stuff which will likely end up on eBay this evening, but most people were just like me and excited about finding a good designer bargain. I didn’t need two new cross-body bags, flip flops, a scarf and jellies, but the prices were too good to pass up. I look at my purchases as the best New York souvenir in town. #torywin