If you happen to live in New York, the fashion capital this side of the world, you know that sample sales abound at particular seasons of the year. And if you are as devoted a fashionista as I, you would also know that there are certain sample sale protocols that must be adhered to.
1. Wear underpinnings that you wouldn't mind strange men seeing. I opt for black leggings (the closest thing to pants) and a camisole that women wear during the hot summer months. While gay men in fashion abound (and therefore wouldn't care if they saw you in your birthday suit), many women schlep their boyfriends/husbands to these sales.
2. Don't hog the one mirror in the room. If you're not actually wearing the garment in question, don't stand in front of it.
3. Provide some separation between your street clothes and the sold ones. Many a woman has embarrassingly eyed another woman's dress before the nasty "That's mine" response.
4. Go early. If you're a size 2, chances are that the goods will be gone by 5 pm (hey, this is New York). I was astounded by the hundred women that showed up to last season's Jimmy Choo sample sale one hour before it began. By the start time, there was a line down Fifth Avenue. I also snagged an incredible dress, a metallic blue and gray skirt, and a fuzzy brown pencil skirt at Peter Som by arriving early.
5. However, ask the saleswomen if new merchandise will arrive later on in the sale. Some designers will even further discount prices after each day of the sale.
6. Pick and choose your sample sales. You cannot go to each one, unless you don't have anywhere to be.
7. Don't buy it if you don't love it. If it's a size larger, you can always tailor it. If it's too small, forget it.
8. Lastly, preview the designer's runway show BEFORE you go. It helps to focus your shopping on certain items that may appear.