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The main thought we had after we arrived late Thursday at the Paul Smith sample sale was, "Damn, we wish we'd gotten here earlier." Prices are good. Some much better than we expected. That, combined with the fact that this year's sale is actually open to the public, means that the early crowds have already snapped up two thirds of the women's merchandise. (There is more men's stock left, which we'll update you on later today.) So is it worth going? If you love Paul Smith, and the brand's prices are normally too high for you, then yes. But get there as soon as possible. While we were shopping, we saw two of the few remaining clothing racks emptied and removed—and there will be no more restocking.
Some of the best women's deals are in dresses, all of which are just $100, including both pink and black sequin ones in Paul Smith signature pattern. Stock also still includes trousers, both velvet and more office-appropriate styles for $80 and jeans and skirts for $60. There are a fair number of wool "waistcoats"—aka vests—at $50, and T-shirts and tanks for $20. There isn't much by way of outerwear, although we spotted two olive floral print coats at $200.
Sizes range the gamut, from 38 to well into the 40s. Much of the stock is from the current season, including a number of pieces which were worn on the runway, according to a member of the sale's extremely friendly and helpful staff.
The one item the sale is still fairly well stocked in, is shoes—ranging in size from 36 to 40. "Dress shoes" are still $120, but this price group also includes a few pairs of leather boots, including ones we loved in eggplant, with buckled straps.
Aside from shoes and a few belts at $40, there were very few women's accessories left by the time we arrived. But this is Paul Smith, whose men's clothing tends to be more beautiful than many designers' women's lines, so take a peek at the men's accessories before you leave. There you'll find some beautiful scarves at $30, and a few colorful hats at the same price.
· Dealfeed: Paul Smith [Racked NY]
· Paul Smith [Official Site]