Wednesday, 28 July 2010


It's my favourite day of the year.... The Stella McCartney sample sale! I count the sleeps to this momentous day because:
a) Her designs are always chic, cool, yet every-day-wearable
b) Everything is 75% off!
I still wear every carefully edited pick I've invested in over the years (yes, carefully edited - it's been a long time since I splurged on something avant garde and unwearable in the heat of the moment... I'm a seasoned pro!).

Here are my sample sale (or actually any sale) rules...

1) Get there early (I mean crack of dawn early). I have lots of friends who would rather wait for the initial crowds to die down but I know that when the steely shoppers go, the best stuff goes with them.

2) Don't bother pre-sale shopping on - chances are all the key catwalk favourites are long gone anyway so you just end up disappointed.
3) Don't go because you
need a specific item. Sample sales are the places you stumble across a gem, not the place to urgently find a dress for a party that night - don't add to the stress!
4) Dress the part - this means dress like you're supposed to be there (so the fashionistas don't give you snooty death stares) - I opted for Rag & Bone shorts and an American Apparel lace tank today. This also means wear the bare minimum so you can easily try on other clothes in the middle of the sale without exposing too many body parts!

5) Grab what you like the look of the moment you spy it - even if you're not sure you want it just yet (it won't be there when you go back).

6) Once you have your pile of finds, edit them ruthlessly - are you positive you'll wear it? you definitely don't have something similar at home already? will it work with your existing closet? Whittle your selection down to the absolute must-haves.

7) I veer towards wear-it-forever pieces (like a navy Stella dress I bought three seasons ago that's totally timeless) or current closet upgrades (I sent a cheap cardigan to the charity shop after I upgraded with a far better quailty and stylish cut Chloe version).

8) Set yourself a price limit in advance. Nothing ruins a sample sale high like shopping guilt.

9) Do one final recce before you leave - keep an eye out for other people's cast offs - one person's trash and all that...

10) If after all this, you still end up making a terrible purchase, eBay it!
Today I bought a tank in the same print as the dress above (to wear now with shorts and in winter with a blazer) and a blush ombre cardigan (my hue of the season and the kind of thing I
live in. Although I fully expect my beau to flip out after he created the 'no more cardigan' rule about six months ago!). Colour me smug.

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