Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Who's psyched for the start of the Barneys Warehouse Sale, which opens bright and early this Thursday at 8am? We've been covering it for so many seasons now that we've lost count, and we've come out from each experience with more than just budget Lanvin, Prada and even Proenza Schouler; we've got advice. Below find our BWS survival guide, updated just for this sale with our best tips. Bookmark it, share it, tweet it; it could very well become your Bible for the next couple weeks of the sale.
· Show up early
We really can't stress how much of a difference this makes. When Barneys says their Warehouse Sale will open at 8am, what that means is the diehards will be there hours before that, waiting in line outside. Luckily this is the February sale and the early morning temperatures tend to scare people off from starting before the rooster crows, but do beware of heading over during lunch hour and the after-work rush.
· Shoes über alles
Many shoppers wrapped up in the initial rush have one thought on their mind: "Shoes first." If you have any hope of finding undamaged Proenza Schouler, Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik or Rag & Bone runway shoes in your size, then the shoe section must be your first target. After a few days, all of the shuffling of the stock and the many shoppers trying them on will have damaged the shoes and worn down the pricetags, and your hands get gross from touching all the soles (bring handiwipes).
· Mind your undergarments
The simplest way to tell a Barneys Warehouse Sale newbie from a seasoned shopper is by what they're wearing?underneath their clothes. Because the sale lacks niceties like fitting rooms or more than a few clustered mirrors, trying on potential purchases involves a frantic stripshow. We recommend a snug, basic shirt and knee-length leggings for the ladies; Uniqlo's heat-tech collection is a perfect fit for BWS February wear. For men, a proper clean undershirt and boxer-briefs. And dudes?wear medium-weight socks without holes for trying on shoes, for goshsakes.
· Keep on the lookout for quality earlier and quantity later
If you're looking to buy during the first few days, you're looking for quality, not quantity. Use your peripheral vision to locate distinctive dresses and better fabrics. Wedged behind a rack of plain Jil Sander pants could be a sharp Rick Owens jacket to die for, and it'll take vigilance to nab it.
Quantity comes into play as well, however, but only if you're looking to scout now for deals to come during the last few days of the sale. If there's a rack or a plethora of an item at the start, then rest assured there'll be some pieces that make it to the final extra discounts?prime examples of this are Lanvin x Acne from a few years ago and the Alaia skirts that always show.
· Keep checking back
It is possible, as in past years, that the first few days may not yet include the leftovers from the Los Angeles sale. If you've got the time and you're determined, we recommend popping by the sale three times during its run: At the beginning, to scope; in the middle, when there's likely no line and plenty of space for making tough decisions; and on the second-to-last day when final discounts hit but the end hours craziness is just beginning.
· Keep an open mind
Although it's advisable to go in to the sale thinking about the white wedding heels or shawl-collar sweater you may need, don't completely shut out the extraordinary items. For example, a year ago at last Feb's sale, we went on a reconnaissance mission for this here blog on one of the final days and ended up walking out with a perfect Comme des Garcons dress for $75—a modern miracle.
· Share your war stories
These days, with all the advertisements and hype, the Barneys Warehouse Sale is no longer a hidden gem on the New York sales calendar. Thus, there's no reason to be shy or secretive about the deals you've scored. A perfect spot to swap stories is the comment thread on what will be our live lineblog on Thursday morning.
· Stay tuned
We roll pretty hard with covering the Barneys Warehouse Sale, so expect more than just the aforementioned live lineblog. Over the weeks of the sale, we'll have updates from the front lines, photo galleries, and up-to-the-moment news on extra discounts. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter for some extra spice.