10 Sample Sale Tips + Today’s Helmut Lang Booty

Kerry Pieri

Now that sites like Gilt, HauteLook and ideeli have continued to pop up like off-color cashmere at a department store sale, it’s easy to venture that you can forgo old school sample sales and stay in the warm confines of your Office Max chair. Not so fast lazy chicks, there are deals to be had that aren’t always offered to the masses.

I stopped by the Helmut Lang sale this morning, which is the variety of sample sale that’s very organized, non-chaotic and well priced. It’s not the kind of place you’re digging through 18 boxes for that one pair of jeans in your size (not that that kind is all bad per s).
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The sale

Here’s what I came away with:

Grey sweater, $150 (originally, $265)
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Denim and fur vest, $200 (originally, $655)
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Grey silk dress, $150 (orginally, $415)
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I would have tried to get an expert POV for some sample sale tips, but then I thought, I know more about sample sales than 99% of the population, as I’ve been frequenting them for about 7 years, no lie.

My tips:

1. Wear something that’s easy to throw clothes on top of and still be able to get a realistic idea of whether something fits you (like leggings and a tank as an outfit base). The line for the dressing room is the biggest time suck ever.

2. Or better yet know whether a certain brand fits you so you can skip the try-on all together!

3. If you see something you like, don’t him and haw, pick it up and take it with you because the bitch next to you saw you double take it and now she wants it. You don’t have to buy it, but carry it around until you make final decisions.

4. This may seem obvious, but it’s true only go to designer sales that you are a huge fan of. If you don’t love the stuff full price, you’re only going to buy it for the sake of the deal which never looks good on.

5. Only purchase something if it’s at least 50% off retail. Otherwise, you could probably get that price just about anywhere for the same item after Christmas. (I know I kind of bit it on that sweater, but to be fair I thought it was $100 until I got to the register).

6. Have an idea of what you want before you go. I knew for sure I was in the market for a grey long sweater, and there it was.

7. If there is a dress you died for at a boutique and it’s a sick deal but they only have it two sizes too big, get it anyway and go make friends with your tailor.

8. If it’s 2 sizes too small, shed a small tear and move on.

9. Of course you’re set up to impulse purchase at a live sale, but really and truly consider if you love something and if it’s “you” before you invest.

10. Don’t be afraid to walk away empty handed. I know that you skipped your lunch break, might be late for work or killed your feet a little walking nearly to the West Side Highway, but don’t buy something to make up for the journey. There will always be more. After all, Alexander Wang is next week.

Helmut Lang Sale Deets:
The Company Store:
139 5th Ave (Between 20th and 21st)
Floor 2
212.398.2777
Today until 8PM
Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-6PM

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