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Particularly crunchy leaves and the constant smell of pumpkin are great, but there's another reason this time of year is glorious: Sample sale season has really, truly arrived. Twice a year, designers open up their samples and leftovers to the public at (sometimes) seriously great discounts.
In preparation for one of the busiest sample sale weeks of the year (so far), we've put together a guide on how to shop them all, from the bags at 3.1 Phillip Lim to Hermès scarves, Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, and The Row coats, handily separated by day. Below, how to have the most productive shopping week ever.
Tuesday, October 20th
3.1 Phillip Lim
Though the sale doesn't open until noon, there's been a line since as early as 9am — which should give you some hint at the kind of crowds to expect. Bags tend to be the stars of the show, so if you want to get your hands on any Pashlis, Ryders, or 31 Hours, be sure to make a trip today.
Tuesday, October 20th through Friday, October 23rd. Tue 12pm—8pm, Wed 9am—8pm, Thu 10am—8pm, Fri 10am—7pm. 151 Wooster Street, Soho
We stopped by when the sale opened yesterday morning and found 70 styles of shoes, with flats and sandals ranging from $116 to $299 and pumps for between $299 and $600. If we're lucky, further markdowns will arrive before the sale's end on Thursday.
Monday, October 19th through Thursday, October 22nd. Mon 10am—9pm, Tue—Thu 8am—9pm. C21 Edition, 21 Dey Street, Financial District
Elizabeth and James
When we visited the preview last night, we found tons of spring items — not just fall — among the racks. The good news, however, is that samples start at just $20.
Tuesday, October 20th through Sunday, October 25th. Tue—Thu 10am—8pm, Fri—Sat 10am—7pm, Sun 10am—3pm. 260 Fifth Avenue, Midtown South
Wednesday, October 21st
If you missed last summer's Hamptons yard sale, fear not. This week, the designer's selling more than 5,000 pieces from her own personal archives, including past runway collections, custom artwork, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and super-rare Betsey Johnson pieces.
Wednesday, October 21st through Thursday, October 22nd. Wed 9am—7pm, Thu 9am—3pm. 336 West 37th Street, Suite 970.
This is one of those fancy sales that requires you to make a reservation first — but as of now, reservations are already full; You can take your chances on Thursday when will be open to walk-ins. Inside, expect 75% off evening gowns and holiday fur pieces.
Wednesday, October 21st through Thursday, October 22nd. Hours and location TBA.
The only thing that could make your kid cuter is dressing them entirely in fancy French clothes. Last time around, we found $85 dresses, $30 tees, and lots of crowds, so prepare accordingly.
Wednesday, October 21st through Thursday, October 22nd. Wed 9am—7pm, Thu 9am—3pm. Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W 18th Street, Chelsea
Thursday, October 22nd
The Hermès sample sale and its maddeningly long lines returns Thursday. While we can't say for sure what'll be there, we're crossing our fingers for the return of half-priced enamel bangles ($237.50 to $400, depending on width) and silk scarves (about $225) and ties ($97.50) — just be sure to block off a few hours beforehand to get inside.
Thursday, October 22nd through Saturday, October 24th. Thu—Fri 9am—7pm, Sat 9am—6pm. Soiffer Haskin, 317 W 33rd Street, Midtown
Mary Kate and Ashley's other brand is also having a sample sale this week, where we're expecting up to 70% off apparel and 60% off handbags. That, however, doesn't necessarily translate to low prices — last year's blazers started at $400, while handbags started at $500.
Thursday, October 22nd through Saturday, October 24th. Thu—Fri 9am—7pm, Sat 9am—5pm. Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W 18th Street, Chelsea
If this is anything like back in April, the British designer's sample sale will have up to 90% off retail prices on spring/summer 2015 collections, plus — we hope — the return of $50 shoes.
Thursday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 25th. Daily 10am—6pm. 20 W 36th Street, Garment District
Expect to find up to 75% off retail prices (including one-of-a-kind samples!) at this sale, where last August, prices started at just $9, and the most expensive items were still under $200.
Thursday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 25th. Daily 10am—8pm. 376 Bleecker Street, West Village
Saturday, October 24th
Here's a sample sale that's full of actual samples: Duckie Brown will open its showroom to shoppers looking for up to 60% off retail prices, where last October we found at least two full racks of womenswear, men's suits, and plenty of outerwear.
Saturday, October 24th through Sunday, October 25th. Sat 10am—5pm, Sun 12pm—5pm. 321 W 13th Street, West Village