Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I was bad at the Leifsdottir Sample Sale

If New York City is a Mecca of sample sales, you might say I'm a wayward lamb. I partake in sample sales about as often as I go to temple (that is: just for the High Holy Days). I've only been to a few sample sales since moving to NYC two and a half years ago, and it's generally just for the important things (so far, mostly jeans).

When I learned that Anthropologie's upscale wholesale brand, Leifsdottir, would have a sample sale this week, naturally I had to be there within an hour of its opening. NY Mag described the sale thusly: "Leather miniskirts are $180 (originally $448), lace dresses are $160 (originally $398), and silk ruffle tees are $72 (originally $178)."

Honestly, all that is somewhat out of my price range, but I went anyway blindly hoping that I'd see the room filled with stuff from the sale section of Leifsdottir's website, marked down still further.

God help me, that's basically what I saw.

Most of the stuff in the room was 60% off the retail price, with one section that was marked down 75%. The 60% off stuff seemed to be the clothes that are currently full price on Leifsdottir's website, and the 75% off goods seemed to be items that are on sale on the website. I didn't see anything for 80% off, and the sales associates didn't know whether items would be marked down further. The prices basically corresponded to the typical Leifsdottir "first cut" percentage on the nonsale items and "second cuts" on the sale items.

This was definitely a sample sale. I didn't see much above a size small, and most numbered sizes stopped at six. (I was able to score a size eight in the beautiful Ole dress - which I thought had been on sale, but is back up to full price online?). That said, there were a few non-sample-sized girls in the fitting room and they seemed to be having luck with items like the Andalusian Horse Dress (75% off - $74.50, which is over $100 cheaper than the online price!). Scroll down to the bottom to see shots of the sale room, where you can get a sense for the available merchandise.

I didn't see anything being restocked, but I was only there for an hour (on the first day, within an hour of opening) so I don't know how much merchandise is hiding in another room, waiting to replenish the showroom. There's only one mirror in the fitting room, so try to go during off-hours. I showed up at about noon and there was only one other person there, but at 1pm the lunch rush hit and it was hard to find reflection space.

Just a quick word on the sales associates: it felt like a little Anthro reunion in there, as some of the associates work for Anthro stores full time and chatted with customers they recognized. They checked on the folks in the fitting room at frequent intervals, bringing new sizes upon request. The space is very pretty and the scene generally lacked that cutthroat, tearing-at-hangers feel that I've seen at other sales. See, e.g.,

The entrance sets a nice tone.

I didn't expect to buy much, but in the end I walked away with three really lovely things:

Ole Dress. $328 online, $131.50 at the sample sale. I'm trying really hard to feel the appropriate amount of guilt about this purchase, but I've been pining for it on the website for a while, and it looked beautiful on me. This will be wonderful for spring and summer weddings. Seeing that it's full price online makes me feel a lot better about the purchase. (Note my boyfriend's reaction to this dress, via text message: "Fighting the winter at every turn eh?" Funny guy, that one.)

Volante Tunic. Regular price $358. On sale for $214.95 online. $89.50 at the sample sale. Ruffles are not usually my thing, but this looked shockingly flattering on me. It's a sweater-weight, so I can wear it now, and the bubbly details on the collar are super pretty. I was surprised to learn just now that this is a tunic. It's pretty long, and I'll be wearing it as a dress!

Picados Skirt. Regular price $148. On sale for $89.95 online. Purchased for $37. Holy cow, this skirt is absolutely gorgeous. This will be a new wardrobe staple.

Readers, please don't add up my total. I told you I was bad. On the plus side, though, I resisted (BARELY) the flamente dress (it is an extremely flattering cut, but the ruffles on the sleeves were a bit much for me), and the sales associate at checkout pointed out that my total came out to LESS than the regular price of the Ole dress.

...So I kind of saved money, right?

Leifsdottir Sample Sale
209 W 38 Street (between 7th and 8th) - 7th Floor
Wednesday through Friday, 11am-7pm

Shots of the Sale:

60% off.

This stuff is 60% off.

I wish I needed a coat/I wish these would actually keep me warm.

The Adalusian Horse Dress and the hairy cardigan are 75% off, but the Ole dress is 60%.

60% off. Sorry for the blurry photo---my hand was shaking both with excitement and with the weight of my purchases.

60% off.

Leather skirts.

I'd actually had my eye on this sweater for a while, but I looked like a bear when I tried it on.

The prettiest sample sale space of them all.

Even the fitting room couches were beautiful! (This photo is closely cropped to prevent appearing pervvy in the dressing room)

Other Stuff I Noticed:
(Not an exclusive list...just trying to gather the stuff that didn't make it to the photos. Accuracy may be limited by my recollection)

Tops (all of these are 75% off retail):
Andalusian Horse Blouse (in both fuscia and blue)
Bailaora Blouse (in both white and pink)

Alicante Denim Skirt (75% off) (why is Anthro still selling this one for almost $90??)

Dresses (don't remember the discounts here):


Kelly said...

I'm so jealous! I live in Los Angeles and called to see if I could get an item from the sample sale and the customer service rep shot me down. It was harsh. I don't feel so bad, though...I was able to score the andalusian horse dress for $77 through saks during the good friday sale, and I'll just keep trolling the website until stuff gets cut again. Hopefully that will be soon since their sale page is pretty large since many people still won't bite, even at sale prices.

Also, the Ole dress is gorgeous, and $130 seems pretty justifiable for such a pretty dress.

Jewish Girl said...

Oooh, great win with the horse dress! I loved the way that dress looked on *everyone* else, but it just didn't drape on me properly. The prices seemed to be equal to the standard "second cut" among Leifsdottir sale items, so hopefully your patience will pay off. I wonder if their sample sales ever move away from the east coast.

And thank you for helping me justify the Ole dress. hehe. It really took my breath away when I put it on, which is exactly what I think should happen if you pay more than $100 for an item of clothing.

roxy said...

Did you recall seeing the Firewing Blouse? I am so tempted this sale is horribly timed against my budget!

Jewish Girl said...

No, I don't remember seeing that blouse there. Take that with a grain of salt, because my eye was trained mostly on items I recognized from my own wishlist, and I hadn't spotted that blouse pre-sale.

My spending has been a little absurd as well, but I think things will settle down in January once Anthro ends this free shipping+weekly sale madness. Oh, and I guess I'm buying a few gifts for other people, too.

LittleMissSeamstress said...

I wish I live in NYC...Any kind of sale I go crazy. That Ole Dress is a hit! so classy and gorgeous!! I think you did good really good!(just don't add up your total lol)

Cool blog!


Jewish Girl said...

I'm the same way with sales! I love feeling like I'm getting a great piece at a good deal.

As for the Ole dress, "classy" is a great word to use for it! It's very timelessly pretty. I can't wait to wear it!

Jean said...

OMG! I was at the sample sale too! I went on the first day and the last day... everything was 75% off on the last day as there were "leftover". I was told by the associates that they were not restocking during the sample sale. I got the last Ole dress even though it's one size bigger for me but I couldn't resist it... it just looks so pretty! I guess I could get it tailored. Also got the Soleares Silk Blouse & Flamente dress @ 75% off! I was hoping I'd see the Summer Twilight dress... oh well... overall it's a good sample sale!

Jewish Girl said...

That's too funny! I actually went back on the last day, too, but I couldn't make it until almost 6:45 so all the Ole dresses were gone. (It made me feel a bit better to have missed out on the extra $50 savings) One of the sales associates told me that something about the seams on the Ole dress make it easy to bring in, so I'm sure you'll be fine. You can use the money you saved on the tailor! :-)

The Flamente dress is so pretty...I'm sure you'll get tons of compliments on it! I didn't see the Soleares blouse while I was there, but I looked it up on Google and it seems really versatile.

I almost caved on the last day and got the Bailaora blouse (80% off) but the fit of it was just a smidge off for the cost.

Jean said...

I went around 1:30pm and there was only one person there in the fitting room... there was only one Ole dress hanging there so I grabbed it! :p Yea, I guess I'll use the money I saved for tailoring!

The Soleares Silk Blouse was there the first day (when the sample sale first opened) but disappeared when I went back later that night. Didn't have the chance to check out a lot of stuff during my short lunch break. I wanted to get it when it went on sale @ Anthropologie but was sold out and never saw the pop-back in my size. Guess I was lucky! :)

I tried on a few blouses & knit tops but the fit just kind of odd... even at 75-80%, they're not worth it. Maybe at $10 a piece, I might just buy them! Hahahaha

Jewish Girl said...

Oh man, good work getting the last dress! I wish I could have waited on the Ole dress until later in the sale, but timing-wise it just wasn't possible. Do you have an occasion to wear it to?

Also, on an unrelated note: how do you calculate the shipping charges for the clothes you sell on your blog? I'm thinking of doing something similar but have no idea how to estimate shipping costs.

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