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With only a few days left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the best windows of the year to the greatest promotional gimmicks. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.
What does a sale have to offer to make it onto the Best of 2008 list? Two words, friends: Good. Deals. That means no Hermés, despite the enthusiasm the September sale generated among scarf-crazed fans, and no Prada, even though one lucky reader did score a $3,300 sundress for $150 on the last day (OK, maybe we're just leaving that one out due to jealousy.) Below, our admittedly subjective picks for best sales; feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.
7.) Rogan in June: $80 jackets, $40 pants, and a very relaxed atmosphere made this Tribeca sale a winner for the menfolk.
6.) The Oak warehouse sale in July: A shoe-obsessive's paradise (Jeffrey Campbell and F-Troupe for $20), this one was oddly calm, but that just made the buying experience that much more pleasant.
5.) The Barneys Warehouse Sale, both in February and August: Some hardcore shoppers sniff at the crowds who show up on the first day of the warehouse sale, knowing that there are plenty of better ways to find bargains. But the sale is like a high school crush: Even when you think you've outgrown it, it will always hold a special place in your heart. The first of the year's two Warehouse Sales kicked off on Valentine's Day last February and rewarded those who waited outside in the cold with an awesome dress selection (and tons of Kate Moss for Topshop, for what that's worth.) In August, the waits were less cold but the selection was just as good, and the crowds were shockingly civilized.
4.) Earnest Sewn in September: $60 jeans, $60 Hunter wellies, $10 Havaianas—this sale in the Meatpacking District, held at the same time as the Hermes feeding frenzy, was low on frills but high on bargains.
3.) Foley & Corinna in September: Like DVF in June, this was both an excellent sale and a giant clusterfuck. The sight of bags started at $120 caused shoppers to foam at the wallet, but if you made it out alive, you'd probably scored big.
2.) Diane von Furstenberg in June: The weather was hot, the atmosphere was frenzied, the lines were out of control, but though it might have been grueling, it was hugely worth it. Blame the crowds on Sex in the City, which supposedly introduced DVF to a whole new audience, or just blame the awesome prices.
1.) Steven Alan in November: Held in Alan's Tribeca store, which just expanded its downstairs showrooms, this sale felt like a giant pop-up department store. Nattily dressed men, including at least one in a cape, turned out in scores for button-downs, and the women's pickings weren't too shabby either.