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Steven Alan Sample Sale: Same as It Ever Was

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If you've been to a Steven Alan sale before, then you'll know what to expect from the one that starts in Tribeca tomorrow morning. Alan has it down to a science: Racks and racks of his famous button-down shirts and assorted house-brand separates upstairs, other brands downstairs, reasonable but not rock-bottom prices, sweet-seeming salespeople. It's not new, but it works, and that's what matters.

Some tips for tomorrow: Keep in mind that the shirts are not priced as marked. The tags say they're $109 or $119, but the tags lie. In fact, all men's shirts are $68. Women's long-sleeved tops are $58; short-sleeved are $48. While there's a master price list floating around behind the checkout counter, not every staffer knows the price of every item, so it's helpful go to in forearmed. Men, since you're probably looking for shirts foremost, it might be good to have some patterns in mind if you're feeling extra-organized this evening.

Ladies, when you get in, make a beeline for the near end of the women's section on the right. Along the right wall you'll find a rack of samples, while more samples seem to be mixed in with the regular merchandise. Check the backs of the price tags; often the price is listed in red marker. We saw skirts for $35 and $58 and silk tops for $45 and $75. Pants were $75, while jackets ranged from $99 to $150. With the exception of jackets and a few dresses, everything we saw was under $100. If you're looking for shoes, by the way, start there: The selection upstairs was small but promising, with No.6 boots going for $150 and wood-heeled Fiorentini & Baker sandals for $55.

As always, the sale maintains a strict separation between upstairs and downstairs; be prepared to pay for and check anything you buy from the Steven Alan racks before you head into the basement. Down there, you'll find bags—black leather Jack Rabbit tots for $100, studded and tough-looking Olivia Harris by Joy Gryson purses for $255. Men can browse racks of Rogan and Gilded Age jeans ($30 to $80), the usual stock of Generic Man shoes, and a table full of ties by Bentley Cravats ($15 to $28.)

We thought the selection among the women's designers was less exciting than the Steven Alan options, but maybe we're just jaded. Standouts included Tsumori Chisato flat sandals ($275, but down from $670) and Costume National heels for $185. Sunshine & Shadow had asymmetrical dresses for $68, Veda leather ran around $200, and Rogan jeans ran $60 to $90 (with soft tees going for $25.) If you're going for basics, also peruse the Found denim for $50 and the A. Lawless tanks for $30. And if you want color and don't mind buying cashmere in May, check out the table of cute, bright, striped cashmere from Demylee (priced at up to $119.)

A few final things: This was the most crowded we've ever seen the friends and family preview, so the samples might all be gone by tomorrow. There's a mandatory bag check as always. And if you keep an eye out, you might just see Steven Alan himself, in which case you can compliment him on really knowing how to design a button-down shirt.
· Dealfeed: Steven Alan [Racked NY]

Steven Alan Annex Tribeca

103 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013 (212) 343-0692 Visit Website

Steven Alan Annex

87 Franklin Street, New York, NY