I quite enjoy sample sales and have picked up some spectacular bargains over the years from the likes of Paul Smith and Luella, but when I nearly got trampled by a herd of sharp-elbowed middle aged women at the Margaret Howell sample sale a couple of years ago, I realised that you need a strategy – sample sale shopping is a serious business.
I was chatting to the lovely Emily from Tatty Devine at Kate Nash’s tour-wardrobe-open-day (where she invited designers to bring in their clothes and accessories for her to choose pieces to take on tour), and she was telling me about the upcoming Tatty Devine sample sale. There are major Dos and Don’ts, it turns out, and a certain etiquette that needs to be observed (attempting to swap price stickers is NOT COOL and they will catch you.)
Here's Emily’s expert advice for sample sale shopping like a BOSS and getting what you want:
SET YOUR ALARM"Queuing is inevitable at a sample sale, but we like to make the most of all that waiting time. We love setting our alarm clocks for the early hours and heading out to snap up treasures at car boot sales. The same rule applies to sample sales (sorry, night owls!). It's worth arriving up to an hour before the doors open to secure your place at the head of the queue."
BRING A BROLLY"Our essential advice? Whatever the forecast, bring an umbrella - it hailed during our own sample sale! Wear layers of clothing as you'll quickly warm up in the scramble for bargains."
IT'S GOOD TO TALK"Get chatting to your fellow queue buddies. You never know who you'll bump into. Every year, we see firm friendships forming in the sample sale queue outside our Brick Lane store!"
BE NICE!"Our top tip? Swap wish lists with your new found friends in the queue and keep your eyes open for each others' dream items as you rummage. Whether you're hunting for a statement Watermelon Necklace or a Leopard Brooch, you'll stand a far better chance of finding your must-have pieces when you buddy up! Not only will you emerge victorious from the bargain hunting scrum, you might just leave with a new BFF too."
And because I can't resist, here are my favourite pieces from Tatty Devine's SS/13 collection for your delectation...
Imagine this little blighter pinned to the lapel of a blazer or on a statement sweatshirt - so cute!
Plain white tee and jeans + iridescent radiance earrings = chic evening-in-the-pub outfit.
How cool would the springtime bride who wore this blossom branch necklace with her wedding dress be?
Slip this gold leaf bracelet onto tanned wrist, pick up glass of Campari and enjoy summer in style.
Are you a sample sale demon? What's the best bargain you ever bagged? Mine was a Paul Smith dress for £15!