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AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" ushered us into the James Perse sample sale this morning where we found wall-to-wall racks of L.A.'s favorite cotton neutrals. The metal rockage plus that kind of clothing density can be overwhelming so early in the AM, but a helpful staff and pretty amazing markdowns worked together to focus our efforts.
The layout makes things easier as well: Women's in the front followed by men's in the back, samples on the right, retail at a reduced price down the middle, and check-out on the left. A black mark on the tag denotes a sample item just in case pieces travel. The mass of tops, bottoms, dresses, and outerwear can only be rivaled by the amount of people milling between them, so we recommend getting right down to it.
The women's sample section is chock full of t-shirts ($15) for long-sleeve and short) and dresses ($25). Even though the early bird shoppers are picking over these items, the staff is quick to replenish sparse areas. Every time you think the dresses are getting low on the smaller sizes, or the long sleeve v-necks are disappearing, a whole rack of new stuff materializes out of nowhere, so be sure to take another lap around before check-out in case you missed something.
A couple notes about the women's sample portion: Besides the deep scoop neck style, $10 tank tops are limited, we couldn't find a single skirt, and much of the clothing is in some way damaged, so check for holes, rips, stains, and markings.
The women's reduced-price retail has even more to choose from. The $50 sweaters include long-sleeve hoodies in grey, black, and beige and plenty of sweatshirt style pieces. Standouts from this section include and white knit short-sleeve sweater and grey and black striped poncho.
Now on to the bottom half. The $30 skirts are plentiful as well and they come in tightly ruched, draped, and fleece for that lamb-chic look. There's one rack of $60 jeans in a couple washes for women, but the dark pairs have a wider sizing selection. Dresses galore reside in this sections as well, like the shirt-dress with drawstring and the long-sleeve scoop neck in knee-length and longer varieties.
This men'ss space is truly gigantic. There are so many sweaters we couldn't possibly name all of them, but for $40 the sample sale area is bargain central. The $60 men's corduroy was limited but there are plenty of cargo pants from navy to every shade of khaki. Also, men have one thing over women here: shoes.
When winter jackets are like sweaters and sweaters are like long sleeve t-shirts, this sale is a must-visit if you aspire to be Layer Champion of NYC Winter 2011. Otherwise save the thin cotton tops and linen jackets for spring. We're all for planning ahead.—Kenzie Bryant
· Dealfeed: James Perse [Racked NY]
·All James Perse Coverage [Racked NY]
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