Beauty + Style Editor
How to Be A Sample Sale Bitch
4 Fashion secrets to getting what you want to wear
-Lois Joy Johnson
Now that we’re all trained like a bunch of well-behaved Rottweilers to wait for THE SALE, no one with any common sense pays full-price anymore. Surely Bettys don’t do you!?
Fashion magazines rarely encourage you to wait till the first frisson of trenditis passes for obvious reasons. But patience is the ultimate fashion tip, whether you venture out to an actual store or shop online. Shopping for less on the web is actually easier than ever, although I’m not certain it will ever beat the thrill of immediate possession. If you haven’t visited the amazing Net-a-Porter discount site called theoutnet.com just brace yourself. You’ll find new clothes and accessories by hottie designers like Phillip Lim, Rachel Roy, and Nina Ricci for 50-60-70 % off! I buy my pricey Tom Ford sunglasses there and the return policy and process is painless.
If you live in or near New York, do subscribe to the Daily Candy Newsletter which lists sample sales – especially in its Weekend Guide which comes out on Thursdays. Thrillist.com is a free daily email with sample sale editions in cities like Washington D.C., Miami and Las Vegas.
For those of us who like the bloodthirsty challenge of an in-person sample sale here are my four rules to success:
1. Go right to the front of the line (and there will be a line). Ask the person with the clipboard to find your PR person or agent. “I know she called ahead.” You can claim to be a major (out-of-town) newscaster, from a foreign embassy, or the head of an indie film studio. Do not: pretend to work for Vogue (they know all those girls), say you are a personal shopper for Michelle Obama, or cut in line pretending you know someone. I tried this at a Dolce & Gabbana sample sale and my new “friend” bashed me with her big designer satchel and shoved me aside screaming “she cut the line! She cut the line!” I’m lucky I got out alive. Do not go meekly to the end of the line.
2. Dress to undress … fast! Wear a full-length bodyshaper bodysuit or control slip in black under a dress so you can strip down at the rack instead of in a communal dressing room. Keep your wallet in your hand, they make you check your coat and handbag- and wallets do vanish. Wear heels – you can fake how you’ll look in flats by taking them off easier than vice versa.
3. Hide “good” finds under ugly big things if you need to come back later or are carrying too much stuff. Do not trust a kindly looking sales assistant to “keep them for you.” She will immediately pass them to her sister, mother or neighbor who is standing behind you.
4. Be super-assertive. If you grab an item at the same moment as someone else, say “That will never fit you” or “That’s mine, I’m a stylist” and firmly walk away with the item in hand. It’s survival of the fittest here and stylists reign supreme. If a mediator is called in just rattle off names of celebs and models you “work” with – no one is going to check and even if they did there are thousands of stylists.
So now you have my ultimate sample sale fashion tips! GOOD LUCK and let me know if you find anything great!