Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Queen of the Bargain Bin

Continuing on my path to become a "real" New Yorker, I completed one of the (many) initiation rites necessary today: attending a sample sale. Before you start licking your lips and reaching for your credit card just yet-it was a J.Crew sample sale. Don't get me wrong-I love J. Crew more than anything, and everytime I go in to that beautiful store I get the urge to weep with joy while simultaneously purchasing every. single. item. However, when I relocated to the city, I (loudly and quite obnoxiously) told everyone how cool and "trendy" I was going to become. Yet here I am, parked in line for good ol' J. Crew. Old habits die hard? (Or they die soft-as in cashmere cardigans! Plaid dresses! Beach totes and bathing suits!)

During lunch break (which was, um, a little extended), Emily and I (see above photo) were surprised to find a line around the block just to get in the freakin' door. It looked like an audition for America's Next Top Model: Under 5'7 and Preppy! After the tenth or so person walked out holding GARBAGE BAGS full of clothing, we also doubted if there would be anything left for us (see above photo, inset). Alas, the catch to sample sales, as my ego quickly discovered, is that they are selling SAMPLE SIZES. Luckily J. Crew is my friend and samples at 6-8, or S/M. Work with me people! As long as we've got some stretch, we're ok. Also, it helps to keep the bank account in check when you know you have to completely steer clear of anything that would touch your bottom half, based on the small range of sizes. Tops and dresses it is!

Sample sales are also a bit like fumbling around in the dark. There are no dressing rooms, so one must hold an item up to the glaring florescent lights until they recognize something that could possibly make their Amazonian/pear shaped body look, in essence, smokin' hot. Once it meets initial approval, you must pass said item to your partner in crime (aka the friend you came with) while she secures the perimeter (meaning gets in line while you toss her items). One can then rendezvous with said partner, deciding which items to toss or keep while productively standing in line. And it's still kind of a crap shoot. But a totally worthwhile one, as my new purchases do, in fact, make me look smokin' hot.

To sum:
Gold, gauzy beach dress: $25
Cobalt cotton tank: $10
Using lunch break to sample sale: Priceless! (Ok, not really. The value is actually $35 if anyone's counting)


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