23 September 2013

Shop & Give in Style: Planning for the District Sample Sale (or any charity warehouse sale)

Tomorrow's the big day. Fashionistas will line up around the block, then make the Filene's Running of the Brides look like a cake walk. Emily, KC, and another friend or two will elbow our way into The First Hour.

In getting ready, I looked back at all of my DSS posts from years past. Some years I'm solo (love the focused Solo Shop), some with friends (hel-LO Scarlet - winner of the very first DSS VIP ticket giveaway, travelinjames, and Chelsea). Some years I run into other friends, some not.

I, personally, go to shop. I know it's a lovely party. The DJ is always fab, the bites and sips tasty and local (Dolci Gelati is my personal favorite, by far). But that's all at The End. After The Shopping.

This year, I'm not quite as focused, but I wouldn't mind snagging a pair of trouser jeans, some more shoes (can never have enough. ever.), and a non-black cocktail dress. (I have a charity reception Friday night, and no idea what to wear. Style Dilemma may be coming later in the week to help myself out.) Emily's looking for a summer flowery dress to "grunge down" and go all Courtney on us. Carrie's looking for some shoes. KC hasn't fessed up her prey yet.

You have one night (and work day on which you will procrastinate your work and think only of shopping) to prepare. Here's my DSS prep advice from last year, with a few tweaks.

1) Double-check the list of stores. Some of my favorites won't be there this year, but I always find amazing accessories at Queen Bee. Last year, I scored unusual and deeply discounted pieces (a silver lambskin vest, a faux reptile sheath, and a Vivienne Westwood Anglomania tunic/dress) at Cupcake, Emily Grace, and Muleh.

2) Decide whether you're going to look for certain items, or shop with relative abandon. The variety of shops is broad enough that I can probably identify a couple of key pieces, and target my search. Or I can just keep my eyes out for things that catch my eye, and go for it. The latter, obviously, is a bit more dangerous.

3) Map it out. There isn’t a map online yet, but there will be in line (or at least there has been in previous years). So once you've finalized your strategy (and yes, it is actually important to have a strategy if you’re spending the $100 to shop the VIP hour vice socialize), figure out where to go first, and figure out especially where to go before the hoards hit. My first stop, I think, will be to see my online friends at Zoe Boutique!

4) Limit. I suppose this should have been the first item. It’s key to have a budgeted amount to spend.This is a great place to get deals on high quality pieces, but most of us can’t spend with abandon. So set one.

5) Check out the boutiques online. You don't need a list or anything that fancy, but have look at a couple of your likely stops and identify a couple of things you'll look for in your rounds. Most of the stores treat the DSS like an extended clearance sale, so if you look at the clearance or sale areas of their websites, you’re more likely to see those pieces on the racks at the DSS. A few places also bring fall or winter pieces, but those are either at full price or at only a small discount. Still, if you love a piece, why not?

6) Lastly, but also probably first, if you’re seriously shopping, like I will be, forgo the drinks and appetizers until after you’re done shopping. You might have to wait a little longer before you snag a cocktail, but you won’t have to juggle your champers whilst balancing on one foot putting the other into the proverbial glass slipper.

See you on the shop floor!

Follow us in our adventures tomorrow with the #DistrictSample hashtag on twitter and Instagram!


Emily Kate - Capital Style said...

Can. Not. Wait! Taking your advice and going to check out the shops online right now.

Heidi // Frantic But Fabulous said...

Oooh, very timely! I am a DSS virgin and have only gotten as far as thinking about what to wear for ease of removal in the changing room :) (Assuming there is one!)

DC Celine said...

Emily - can't wait to see what you're going to get!

Heidi - some shops have put up little tents & such, but much better to wear something you can quickly pull things over or under...which is my dilemma.