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Update! Markdowns have arrived to the sale, and everything's at least half off the already-discounted sample sale price. Shoes are now all $5, dresses, sweaters, and loungewear are $10, jewelry is between $1 and $10, and all bags are $10.
Roberta Freymann's annual sample sale has returned to 260 Fifth Avenue, and we stopped by this morning's preview to take a look at the goods before it opens to the public today at noon. And while the floor is indeed packed with merchandise right now—prints, prints everywhere—a brand representative tells us that there won't be any restocking throughout the sale's five-day duration. If there's something you're angling to get from the resort-heavy collection, it'd be better to go sooner than later.
The best bet at this sale is home goods, located in the very back of the sale space where dressing rooms are sometimes staged (meaning that for apparel, you'll need to try things on over your clothes in the aisles). Bedding is on either side here, with flat and fitted sheets for twin, queen, and king mattresses going for $25 and quilts for full, queen, and king mattresses going for $75, plus a table with shams and pillowcases for $15. To get an idea of what you're saving, a twin quilt is normally $179, while a queen is usually $229.
While the selection brightly colored bedding (lots of blue and orange here) is plentiful for now, shoppers are going to have a problem going back and forth across the room matching up the patterns to make a complete bed set. Hopefully, the sales associates that were standing by as early shoppers milled about will be helpful in locating sets for customers.
Aside from bedding, the home goods selection ran from cloth napkins and placemats for $4 apiece to tablecloths and curtains for $25, with oven mitts, table runners, and aprons all under $10. Signs also indicated that shower curtains, rugs, and fabric samples were available, but they were tucked away on a low-level shelf because so few of them were around.
And speaking of signage, there's plenty of it indicating prices around the sale—but nearly every sign was different. There was never confusion about the prices themselves, but while one sign might only have prices for women's clothing, another might have all clothing in general, or just a portion of the accessories selection. Plus, the font is pretty small. We've got as many as we could find in the gallery below.
Women's clothing takes up the majority of the sale, and unfortunately, the selection isn't as good as last year's. $40 dresses of varying quality take up two long racks in the middle of the floor, organized from XS to XL, while $29 tops are on various racks to the left of that.
Most of what's here are billowing cotton styles with a lot of loud prints on them, which look more suited for a stroll in the sand than for strutting down a city sidewalk. But there are some more fitted dresses and blouses in less beach-y patterns that would work for the office in warmer summer months, mostly in smaller sizes and near the cash register.
The signature prints, like multicolored elephants and camels, work best on children's clothing ($20 for dresses and $10 for tops) and adult pajamas ($29 for a long-sleeved button-down with matching pants), available on the left-hand side of the room where you enter. This is also where you'll find sweaters and jackets for $40, basic and long "kurtas" (think beach-appropriate caftans), and men's button-downs for $19.
Lastly, women's accessories are available in the back of either side of the room. The most desirable-looking items were $25 scarfs, while the rest of the items included clutches, purses, and beach bags for $30, sandals for $30, and jewelry for $9 (all of it is $9, a sales associate told us, despite what the sign says).
In short, the apparel here is great for women who spend their winter months in warmer climates—but the problem is that most of them are probably in those warmer climates right now, and not shopping this sale. But if you need a pop of color for your home (or want to feel like a grownup next time you set the table), add this sale to this week's to-do list. Be on the lookout for further markdowns later in the week, just like last year's sale. See the full hours below.
Tuesday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 8th. Tue 12pm—8pm, Wed—Sat 10am—7pm, Sun 10am—5pm. 260 Sample Sale, 260 Fifth Ave between 28th and 29th sts (212-725-5400).