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Jil Sander's Soho sample sale is even better than last year's, and the queue outside only accentuates that point. After hour two of waiting, legs numbed below the knees, one mother-daughter duo behind us gave up entirely. Weak. Sauce. But just as line-dwellers started questioning their faith in the fashion gods, the doorman stepped aside and let some people in. Well, two people. And then two people came out. And then one person went in, and so on.
Once inside and up the elevator, you're met with a giant pile of shoes. You can tell it was once a very neat pile of shoes, or perhaps even two piles of shoes, but it turned to a weird, amorphous heap of women's flats, wedges, pumps, and sandals and men's dress shoes. That said, you'll find that 85% off ameliorates the pain of wading through the boxes. There are patent leather flats in black, brilliant pink, and green (originally $425, now $63.75), as well as pumps with patent leather soles (once $525, now $78.75.) Oxfords of assorted colors—even green and orange!—are $47.25, and there are two-tone platform pumps for under a hundred dollars. You'll have the most luck with sizing if you're in the 36 to 40 range, but there are some gems below and above that as well.
Look to either side of the room and you'll find women and men's ready-to-wear at 85% off. There are thin but brightly colored shifts for $134.25 marked down from $895, and a completely see-through draped sheath for only $33.75! Two standouts are a single long blue-and-white-striped sleeveless gown, which is $758.25 after markdown, and some fantastic billowy skirts in glowing colors for $401.25. Most of the other skirts are again ho-hum this year and are priced around $81.
In the outerwear department (the three racks to the right of the shoes), white double-breasted blazers are plentiful at $165 ($231.75 for the navy version), as are trenches. There's your standard black trench for $210 (down from $1400) and khaki for $284.25 (from $1895), but also a neon-yellow–lined viscose trench in blue or white for $456.75. The delicious white and camel colored hooded cashmere coat is an equally tasty $296.25 instead of $1975.
Down the middle of the room runs a long table with long and short-sleeved shirts, cardigans, and jeans of varying thickness and shades of neutral with the occasional pop of neon yellow. Shirts run anywhere from $33.75 to $119.25, cardigans go for $206.25, and the jeans are only $44.25.
The sale takes 80% off bags and leather accessories, which means gorgeous leather carry-on bags for $254.25 and a blue and white striped tote for $216.75. The bags that aren't guarded by a counter and a staff member range from $103.50 to $127.50. On the counter you'll find different clutches, wallets, and a single pair of grey leather gloves for $88.50.
The men's side is predictably smaller but chock full of good stuff. The trousers are plentiful, if not a bit heavy on the 56 and 57 sizes, but the men's dress shirts ($50.25 for blue and white, and $10 more for the striped version) are thinning out quickly. If you're a man who's into velvet, get to Jil Sander immediately. Velvet slacks in grey and black go for $68.35 with matching blazers for $173.25 and there are a bunch of sizes to choice from. A couple comfy-looking cashmere vests for $146.25 in 36, 44, and 48 are still hanging, and a perfectly tailored black trench is $261.75.
In sum, the moral of the story remains "Long line, totally worth it." Bring plenty of activities, maybe some reading material, snacks–whatever you have to do. The markdowns warrant the wait.—Kenzie Bryant
· Dealfeed: Jil Sander [Racked NY]
· The Jil Sander Line Is a Tenacious Beast [Racked NY]
· About 60 People Waited to Get into the Jil Sander Sale This Morning [RNY]