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The Six Most Excruciating Lines of the Year

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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. All this week and into the next, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, beginning with an old Racked favorite, Excruciating Lines. Other things we'll recap: Best Salesfloor Clusterf*cks, Top Promo Stunts, Worst Window Displays, Most Delayed Openings, and of course, the Top Ten New Stores of the Year. Shall we begin?

Where there's an epic sale, there is most likely an epic line that precedes it. Late or early, rain or shine, sweltering summer heat or frigid winter winds, Racked is in the trenches with the shoppers to give the play-by-play in our lineblogs. To recap the heights of what dedicated fashionistas will endure, here are the Top Six Most Excruciating Lines of 2009.

6.) Tory Burch: This sample sale in June wasn't excruciating for the majority of the shoppers, except for those special few involved in the line-cutting melee that resulted in the PO busting in on the scene. Let this be a lesson for any of you who consider cutting lines in the future.

5.) +J/Uniqlo: On the positive, shoppers in line were really friendly and there were plenty of laughs to be had. It's just that the line was neverending (90 minutes, by our count) and because staff would only admit small groups at a time, line-waiters outside were forced to watch smug shoppers exit the store with multiple bags stuffed with affordable Jil Sander designs. It was just cruel. Plus, you may think the ladies get ruthless for collabs, but this mostly-male line would give them a run for their money.

4.) Jimmy Choo for H&M: Not to anyone's surprise, neither rain nor cold (nor even the competing Upper West Side Apple store opening) would thwart a massive line for this uber-hyped collab. Crazed fans arrived at as early as 3am to camp out. We observed girls imbibing, mother-daughter bickering and bystanders mocking during the rain-drenched hour-long wait. And in the shoe line inside, the hysteria reached levels only matched by tween girls at a JoBros concert.

3.) Yves Saint Laurent: It's almost as if inclement weather should be expected at these highly anticipated sample sales, but this day was ridiculously wet. The line wrapped around the block and the first in the queue arrived at a very early 6am. There's always comfort to be had while eavesdropping on chatty line-goers with no filter, though.

2.) Prada: Isolated West Side location, frigid temperature, threat of rain and a small-capacity elevator (plus a very unfortunate bird poop incident) made this hour-and-a-half wait especially painful. To rub salt in the wound, the positively paltry handbag collection and disappointing selection inside made shoppers question their time investment.

1.) Jimmy Choo: If you thought Jimmy Choo for H&M was insanity, leave it to the original to top off the list. This past April, the one-day only Jimmy Choo sample sale resulted in an epic four-hour wait (the sale only lasts for six!) and a line wrapping an entire city block. Even the most dedicated Choo fans (including us) couldn't wait this one out. You broke us, Jimmy Choo.

Prada - Soho

575 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 212-334-8888 Visit Website

Jimmy Choo Fifth Avenue

716 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065 212-759-7078 Visit Website

Tory Burch Madison Avenue

797 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065 212-510-8371 Visit Website