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Someone could write a novel about the Marc Jacobs sample sale, which opened to the public at 10am this morning. Unfortunately, we are not that person, but we'll try our best to help you determine whether it's worth braving that 80 person–long (yup) line outside 151 Wooster Street right now. In short, the answer is: yes and no.
The entire event is basically a carnival-esque exercise in line-waiting—after standing for x-amount of hours outside (here's our lineblog), you'll have to wait another 15 to 20 minutes to view the non-sample handbags, and then another 40 to merely check out. There also aren't any fitting rooms, so you'll have to either push your way to the front of the mirror in the back of the room to try anything on, or wait patiently in the back for someone to leave. (Do not do this. You will be waiting forever.)
If you've already committed a three- or four-hour chunk of time to shopping the sale, though, here's what else to know: For some unknowable reason, there is extremely loud, pulsating music playing—the kind you might hear in a Czech club circa 2011 (think Avicii's "Levels" or Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child")—which makes the whole thing less bearable, although it does explain the frequency of passive-aggressive shoving and inter-line squabbles.
Prices, too, are largely a mystery: Upon entering, you'll find a small, expensive selection of women's ready-to-wear, all at 75% off the marked retail price. There were a few cocktail dresses for $525, and other dresses for $300, but in general, the real deals are towards the back. You also might be tempted to pick through the sample bag bins—skip those, too. For many shoppers, the bins were their first stop, but few people walked away with anything. Prices are marked by ziptags, and most of them are around $100.
Onto the actual bags, all of which are 80% off their retail price: As previously mentioned, you'll be forced to wait at least 20 minutes to get into the roped area (open only to about five shoppers at a time), where you can ask the staff to bring you bags and tell you how much they cost. Here, you'll find styles for about $299 on the lower end (we spotted a bunch of cute bucket bags for $299, as well as a small striped leather bag for $459) and up to $4,000 for large alligator bags (which is a pretty great deal, considering they're originally $23,000). Most bags are in the $500 to $800 range—we spotted some Plexy bags and many other styles from the FW12 and the stripe-happy SS13 collections. Also, let's get this out of the way: There are no backpacks, but other styles were being restocked regularly. Scroll through the slideshow to see more detailed pricing.
Now the clothes! Think of this section as a thrift store filled completely with Marc Jacobs, and by that we mean that pricing feels quite fair for what you're getting. Items marked with a green tag are $40 (shorts, tops, knitwear), pants are $50, skirts and dresses are $75, jackets are $100, and coats and evening dresses are $250. Like O.G. sample sales, sizing runs very small—most items are size 0 or 4, with a few 2s, 6s, and 8s as well (that's as large as it goes). And also like O.G. sample sales, we did spy a few rips and stains, so be sure to give everything a proper once-over.
Shoes are organized the same way as bags. That is, $50 samples (which are largely picked over) are located in the back of the sale, while the non-samples are organized neatly (though thankfully, there's no line to view them). The non-samples are all 80% off the original price, and you'll need a sales associate's help, as not all of them are clearly marked. Basic styles are $129, booties are $200, and shoes that incorporate exotic materials are around $400.
In the center of the room are a selection of hats, gloves, scarves and other accessories, as well as the entire sale's most wildly popular item: $10 tote bags. At least half of the people at the sale left with one—they come in either yellow, orange, or burlap—as a souvenir. Also on the cheap end of the sale: $4 plastic bracelets, along with some other under-$10 jewelry near the checkout counter, begging to be picked up as a last-minute impulse purchase.
Phew! That was a lot. Did we miss something, or want to know if we spotted a certain item? Leave a comment below, and we'll be sure to get back to you.