*She Shops* Week of July 17

Monday-Jack Rogers and Intermix

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Jack Rogers

It was quiet when I went to scope out the Jack rogers sample sale. It was set up the same as last year. They had similar styles to last year. All sandals costs $54.99, or $49.99 each for three or more pairs. Last year's samples (size 6/6.5) were $6. This year's samples were priced the same as the stock shoes. Apparel from Lisa Todd, CP Shades, McGire jeans, Bella Tu, Matta, and Moyna were available as well. 

Intermix

I was excited to attend the preview of the Intermix sample sale. Intermix is similar to Scoop and Steven Alan in that besides having their own line, they sell a mix of hot emerging labels and well known luxury designer brands. I hoped that this sale would be as good as the Scoop sample sale. Alas it was not so.                                                                                                         

 The sale was buzzing with eager fashion forward women, but the selection and pricing were not impressive. Apparel was 60%-90% off original retail, and footwear was 70% off. Click here to see designers on offer. The sale was buzzing with eager fashion forward women.

I did see some items that I liked, but the prices could have been better. An Elizabeth and James top was 70% off $395, that however, was not as good as their online offer of 50% off $99. A leather Derek Lam dress was $1200, and even with the 70% discount, was not a good deal for me. Some of the Rag& Bone items were available at their sample sale last week in Chelsea Market for less. I was shocked when I saw a pajama top for $695(-60%=$278)! I had to share that "how the other half" live observation with a friend and she replied, "Mother Mary!"

Wednesday-Mac Cosmetics

I specifically did not go to the Mac sample sale on the first day to avoid long lines. What I did not expect was that there would be 500+ people, and I am sure glad I skipped! I was there an hour before opening the second day and already the line was 40+ people. By the time the doors opened the line was around the corner!

This was the first ever Mac sample sale. All items were 60% off.  It is the only place you will find Mac products this low. No permanent items were to be found. Only limited edition products were available. They did not have all limited edition products, but what ever they did have, they had in abundance. There were lipsticks, lip glosses, lip pencils, blushes, eye pencils, eye shadows, nail polishes, eye shadow brushes, and serums. 

Big crowds and huge lines did not cause the staff to behave surly. Quite the opposite, Mac Staff on hand were happily answering questions, redirecting patrons to the colors they requested, and patiently checking out purchases. The woman at the register next to mine during checkout purchased FOUR basket fulls of cosmetics!

*She Shops* Week of June 12

Tuesday-Steven Alan

 

This was the first time I checked out the Steven Alan sample sale. There was no line outside and I was not asked to show my invite. I'm sure some people were able to sneak in who were not on the press list. It was getting crowded inside. So I headed straight to the accessories and shoes. I checked out their website before i came to get an idea what will be on offer. Unfortunately the item I wanted- a Mansur Gavriel bag was not at the sale.

After checking out the accessories and footwear, I headed back upstairs to check out the apparel. Sally asked me to check out the menswear. There were lots of options and stock of both Steven Alan and third party brands.

There were fewer racks for women's wear. My teenage sister wanted some dresses but I told her most of the styles here were for mature, preppy women. 

 

Wednesday-Lanvin

I was told the Lanvin sample sale was private and was asked not to share or publicize any details. Tuesday evening Century 21 sent out emails to their list, opening the event to the public. 

Because of the last minute notice, there was a low turnout Wednesday morning. There were less than 30 people in line when the doors opened. At 8 a.m. the security guard opened the rope line, opened his arm wide, and said have at it! 

Most people belined to the handbags. Everything was 80% off with the exception of kids which was 90% off! Lots of Happy bags in a variety of sizes. Other styles included  Sugar, totes, and evening bags. There were tons of footwear in all sizes. Sandals, wedges, stilettos, and their signature flats. Accessories for both men and women were available as well. Also apparel for women and girls.

I seriously have to stop spending at these sample sales but I convinced myself that I will never see Lanvin at these prices. Lucky for us New Yorkers, Lanvin wants to purge all of its Alber Elbaz items. Their next sample sale will probably revert back to private and who knows what the selection will be like. 

*She Shops* Versace, Ella Moss, Splendid, and Rebecca Taylor

I shopped all 4 brands in one day in less than 4 hours! I did this marathon sample sale shopping on late Monday afternoon.

I stopped first at Versace. Expecting a short wait I was surprised to walk right up to coat check. As I was walking up the stairs to the venue a few shoppers were walking out empty handed. This was not a good sign. There were signs all over saying no photos. I managed to sneak some pictures. Staff here are known to be rude. A woman was checking out the bags and kept coming back to ask for pricing info. The sales woman behind the table was getting annoyed and asked her if she wants to know because of what will sell better on e-bay!

I walked a few blocks to the Ella Moss and Splendid showroom. They were very official with the preview. A woman with a clipboard had a list of names. They had a rope set up for the line the next day. Before I was even able to say my name I was told that tonight is only for VIP. After I assured the woman I was on the list, she checked me off. I did not know what to expect at this sale, and was glad to see tons of merchandise available at real bargain prices. I bought a Splendid top at the Scoop NYC sample sale in April and I thought it was a good deal at 80% off. Lo and behold I found it here for $20. Don't worry I couldn't leave it behind so now I have two of the same shirts!

I didn't want to walk the 15+ blocks to the Rebecca Taylor sample sale. Lyft had a promotion last week for 50% off all rides. after taking pictures at both sales, my phone was dying. I asked the doorman if I could use his charging station. At first he was reluctant and told me he isn't allowed to let the public use it. I didn't want to take advantage of his niceness so I charged it a few percent till it went on so I could order a Lyft. The Rebecca Taylor preview was empty. I went straight to the shoe selection. Last time they had Loeffler Randall shoes. You all know how much I love those! Unfortunately this year there was only one style which I did not like. I went to check out the sample section next. There were lots of damaged and wrinkled items. I got excited to see a rack full of pristine clothing but then realized it was stock items right next to the sample rack. Having no luck finding any samples I checked out the stock options. I spotted tops and dresses I liked but the pricing was a bit too high. I went to go on line to the fitting room and bumped into a fellow blogger. She convinced me that the pricing couldn't be justified! In the end I didn't even try the items on and walked out empty handed. This hasn't happened in awhile!

*Holy Days* Lag Beomer

 

Lag Beomer always falls out on the 33rd day of the Omer or the Hebrew date of Yud Ches Iyar. This year it begins at sundown on May 25 and ends sundown on May 26. The day marks the passing anniversary of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. He is the author of the well know mystic text that reveals the deepest secrets of Kabbalah- the Zohar. 

There are lots of customs associated with the day. I will discuss a few. The most well know is lighting bonfires. Children collect wood weeks in advance for this ceremony. Crowds reach over 600,000 at the largest bonfire in Israel at Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's tomb in the northern village of Meron. Lighting bonfires commemorates the great light that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai brought into the world via his mystical teachings. This was especially true on the day of his passing, Lag BaOmer, when he revealed to his disciples secrets of the Torah whose great depth of knowledge the world had yet to experience. The Zohar relates that the house was filled with fire and intense light, to the point that his students could not approach or even look at Rabbi Shimon.  

Every Lag Beomer Eve, one family sponsors a bonfire in my community. It's a big merit to light the bonfire and that right is auctioned off. Children stay up past their bedtime, teens help mount the barricades and set up the 20 foot tall bonfire. Men and women also join the festivities. There is a live band, singing, dancing, and snacks. 

It is a special day for blessings. There are numerous stories told of couples who could not have children, praying and giving charity at Rabbi Shimon's tomb and the next year having children. Chabad Chassidim who live in NY pray at the Ohel of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. On this auspicious day charity is given in multiples of 18. Lots of people donate food and liquid refreshments for the crowd at Rabbi Shimon's tomb. This too is a great merit and a receptacle  for abundant blessings. 

The well known custom in my community (Chabad) is the Lag Beomer parades. The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated in the 1950s. He encouraged parades to be held all over the world to encourage Jewish unity and pride. When Lag Beomer falls out during the week, there is a rally for children either in front of Lubavitcher Headquarters on Eastern Parkway or like this year, in a park. When Lag Beomer occurs on a Sunday, a full on parade happens. The past few were called the Great parade, a theme song was created and t-shirts were for sale. Plans are made months before and logistics are discussed with police and city officials. Over 30,000 people attend the parade. People come from all over NY and from other states as well. The parade is taken very seriously. The parade starts off with superstars from the Jewish music world singing in concert. Then each school marches, some of them carrying self made banners. There are also yeshiva  drum marching bands and rabbinic students dress up in clown and chicken costumes.  Large flat TV screens are placed every few feet so everyone can see what's happening on stage. It's also streamed live online. Schools compete and try to outdo each other with floats. Each float has a different theme about Jewish or Chassidic concepts. I remember in high school we would stay up nights assembling the float and trailer. After the parade is over the floats are parked on different streets so the community can look at all the details.  Rides and bounce-u are brought in to continue the fun after the parade. And of course barbecues finish off the fun filled day! 

The crowd of over 600,000 people at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron.

The crowd of over 600,000 people at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron.

Young Yeshiva students participating in The Great Parade.

Kindergarten children march in The Great Parade as onlookers cheer.

Yeshiva marching band in The Great Parade.

Yeshiva marching band in The Great Parade.

Teens put the finishing touches on their school float.

Teens put the finishing touches on their school float.

*She Shops* Week of May 15

My haul from the Eddie Borgo sample sale. $2315 worth of jewelry for $110!

Sunday- Woodbury Commons

Woodbury commons is usually a shlep to get to from Brooklyn. It's about 2.5 hours, depending on traffic. When I was in college, I would go with my friends and we had to dedicate an entire day to go. I took a subway to catch a bus full of tourists from the city. 

I haven't been there in over a year. It use to thrill me to go and get bargains there. Once I found out about sample sales, I don't feel a need to go. My friend knows I'm a bargain shopaholic and when she told me she was going and offered a ride, there was no doubt I would join her. I feel like every time I go there is nothing to buy, even though the stores are full with merchandise.

I was surprised to see new construction and more luxury brands that were not there the last time I was there. Is it for the foreign tourist?! They are opening a Maje and Sandro outlet! Clothes and racks are visible through the glass doors. I wanted to check it out but once we got closer we saw the signs saying it was coming soon, opening in a month. 

I always check the Kate Spade outlets. Since they don't have a sample sale, this is where you can get cheapest Kate spade items. They always have promotions. When I went they were having 50% off the entire store. I only look at the clearance section-best bang for your buck! There are two right across from each other at this outlet mall. One is dedicated to handbags and small leather goods. The other one is newer and has small leather goods, accessories, apparel, and footwear. I was surprised to see a line. The woman managing the line told me they were also surprised by the large turnout being that it's a Sunday and not a holiday weekend.

                                                                       Tuesday-Theory

I previewed the Theory sample sale on Tuesday night.  As it is usually the case with Chelsea market, you can see the staff setting up and all the racks and merchandise. People always stand by the glass doors trying to get in. I knocked on the door but there were probably so many people throughout the day trying to get in that my knock was ignored. Lucky for me a fellow blogger, who was previewing the event too, saw me and let me in. 

This was actually my first time I checked out the stand alone Theory sample sale. The other time I was at a Theory sample sale was when it was a blowout 2 day sale with Theory, Helmut Lang and another brand but it was all damages, samples, and irregulars held at clothing line. 

I was impressed that their Theory+ (athletic line) was available. You can read what else I found here

                                            Thursday-Eddie Borgo and 3 brand Beauty

This is one sample sale all my blogger friends are crazy over. The first time I attended this sale was in December and I was really impressed! They had a bin of damages that were only $5/$10! Some damages are easily fixable like the bracelet I got that was missing a side clasp. Some were missing stones so those I stayed away from. 

The sample sale is usually over a weekend; Friday and Saturday. This time the sale was going to be opened for another day, starting Thursday. We were nervous prices might be raised. Lo and behold pricing remained the same, and samples were cheaper at $5! 

I wish I can shop for a living but unfortunately I work and was unable to be there for the opening hour. My friends were there the first hour. They told me more people turned out this year, and the crowd was very aggressive at the sample bins. There would probably be nothing good left later in the afternoon.

I was nervous and came praying that there would still be something for me. When I entered their studio, I expected a bigger crowd. I headed straight to the bins near the register but unfortunately there were no damaged Eddie Borgo. 

Staff were extremely cheerful and genuinely helpful. I got mixed messages from them. One told me there would be no restocking and the opening crowd went crazy depleting the bin. Another one told me they have a huge closet in the back that they have to go through and sort out the damages from the private label jewelry. She told me if she sees any damages she'd bring it out to me. I waited around and stalked her every time she came out from the back and she told me it would probably come out the next day. 

At the end I actually found 4 samples bracelets! Three of them were on the trays with the stock options and when I looked closer I saw the links were detached. I told the guy ringing up my purchase I would just take a pliers and close it and he told me not to, I should take it to a jeweler to solder it. Lucky for me I have a friend who is a jeweler! 

                                                                  Stila/Tocca/GHD


After my Eddie Borgo high I went to check out the Stila/Tocca/GHD sample sale. Last time they had the sale I went the last day and they did not do markdowns. I figured I would go midweek when there still was a decent selection left. Later that night I got an email that additional markdowns were in effect the next day oh, well!

Tocca products were laid out on tables along the left wall. Big colored candles, small candle sets, perfume gift sets, sample bar soaps, and laundry wash for delicates.

Stila cosmetic products are in the middle of the room and the majority of shoppers were crowded around here. On offer are eyeshadows, eyeliners, lipgloss, primers, mascaras, brow gels, foundations, and 3 different types of gift Baublebar/Stila gift sets.. 

A table near the register has all the GHD products. Only straighteners in 6 colors are available. 

*You Shop* Cambridge Satchel Company Summer Sale

Just in time for memorial weekend. Starting tomorrow take 30% off SS16 pastels and previous collections handbags at the Cambridge Satchel Company! Click here to get your new handbag. Some top coveted handbags are pictured below.

                                            Freesia Purple Tiny satchel  WAS $115 NOW $82

                                            Freesia Purple Tiny satchel  WAS $115 NOW $82

                            Sweat Pea Blue Mini Traveller Bag WAS $100 NOW $70

                            Sweat Pea Blue Mini Traveller Bag WAS $100 NOW $70

                                    Clay East West Tote WAS $280 NOW $196

                                    Clay East West Tote WAS $280 NOW $196

                                      Patent Oxblood Large Push Lock WAS $145 NOW $102

                                      Patent Oxblood Large Push Lock WAS $145 NOW $102

                                    Brown Expedition Backpack WAS $325 NOW $234

                                    Brown Expedition Backpack WAS $325 NOW $234

*She Shops* Week of April 17

   Sunday-Elizabeth and James

I was informed that everything was an additional 50% off so I headed back to E&J. There wasn't much left in apparel and I didn't see anything I loved or desperately needed. I did see some nice jewelry although some pieces that were there the first day were sold out. Unfortunately, jewelry and eye wear were not additionally discounted and remained the same price as opening day.

Monday-Demy Lee

Sally invited me to scope out the Demylee sample sale with her a day before it opened to the public. I've never been to this brand's sale before but research showed that this designer designed for Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, and Gap before creating her own line. So I was excited to check it out. I'm not into knits so I was disappointed when the majority of items were simple pieces but those are items your wardrobe can always use. The lad by demy lee-her menswear line is very popular in Japan. I ended up getting my brother a couple of tees and a cashmere cardigan.


Tuesday- Korres and Parker

I previewed both the Korres and Parker sample sale. It was a little crazy because I was asked to come in the morning to Korres and in the late afternoon to Parker. I actually went back to Brooklyn in between the sales.


Korres was in a bigger space and had more products than their last sale in December. Staff were very accommodating, helpful, and knowledgeable about the products. I wanted a lipstick I got at their other sale and it was not available this time around. They also did not have any black pine products that were a big hit at the last sale.

At Parker they were in the midst of setting up for the next day when I came to have a look. Lots of embellished statement apparel. The label runs really small and since I'm curvy and a lot of the pieces are form fitting, I walked out empty handed. The pricing could have been better.



 Thursday-Suno

I purchased this dress just in time for Pesach.


This was my first time seeing the brands' items and boy was I impressed! Beyond gorgeous apparel. If I was a rich girl I would probably buy every dress from this label! Since I'm not a rich girl (yet), I ended up getting two dresses. One is dedicated to an upcoming wedding and one was just in time for Pesach.

About Holy In Mundane

Judaism is about fusing the holy with the mundane. You'll be pleasantly surprised how physical things in everyday life can be used for a higher, spiritual purpose. 

For example, indulging in wine can typically lead to frivolity, but when used in conjunction for a commandment like kiddush, at the Pesach Seder or rejoicing with a bride and groom, it is elevated from its mundane use to a holy purpose. 

A seemingly mundane passion of mine is fashion. It is quite clear the industry is not a fitting place for a Chassidic girl. But a closer look beyond the externals can reveal fashion's multifaceted layers. Clothing can be used to look beautiful on Shabbos, Yom Tov, and at religious ceremonies. Even in every day life, it is being elevated from the mundane to G-dliness through dressing modestly. 

Another means to illustrate how the holy can be fused with the mundane is through exercise. Exercising for mental or physical health with the intention of maintaining inner calm or to build strength to serve G-d is actually fulfilling the commandment in the Torah to take care of your body. 

This blog is about a Chabad-Chassidic girl sharing her holy and mundane passions from her hometown of Brooklyn, New York.