Archive for the 'Tales From The Rack' Category

Tales From The Racks

A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta working with one of my VIP clients. We were in the Tory Burch store at Phipps Plaza; my client was paying for her purchase and I was checking my emails when I heard an unfamiliar voice call out my name (pronounced correctly!).  I looked up and before me was a woman I felt like I should know, but whose face I couldn’t place.  I smiled and greeted her.  I think she could tell by the puzzled look on my face that I was running through my mental rolodex trying to figure out our connection.  She came to my rescue and said, “I read your blog!”  You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.  But for the fact that I was working at that very moment, I probably would’ve keeled over. It was such a wonderful moment, dear reader, you totally made my month!  Thank you for stopping me and thank you for your kind and generous words.  And, thank you to all of you for tuning in weekly to read my about my adventures, musings and missives on all things STYLE-related.

A heartfelt hug to you all!

Stylishly yours,


[photo courtesy of LuxurySociety]

Tales From The Racks

Like many New Yorkers, it’s rare that I spend my weekends in the city.  To an outsider this probably seems crazy, it certainly did to me when I first moved to New York.  But, New York is a fast-paced city and getting away for a few days over the weekend, can help to change one’s perspective and has been know to add years to one’s life.  That said, my interest in re-visiting the Barney’s Warehouse Sale was peaked after my email exchange with K.  As the fates would have it, it just so happened that we were going to be in town for the final weekend of the sale.  I had too much to do Friday afternoon to even think about making my way to 17th Street.  But, I figured I’d stop by on either Saturday afternoon after brunch or Sunday first thing in the morning.

After a couple of glasses of wine at brunch fellowshipping with girlfriends, I was feeling quite nice.  I called my husband to see if he wanted to meet me at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale but unfortunately, he was still on the conference call he’d been on when I left the house that morning. So, I took my happy self to Chelsea to see what K had been raving about.  I had her list in my head and on my Blackberry.  I arrived to a sea of people and what was clearly controlled chaos. Undaunted and a bit inebriated, I made my way to the Women’s section, going against K’s first piece of advice — well really, I’d flaunted a number of her rules starting with don’t go on the final Saturday/Sunday of the sale, go at 10am when the doors open, so really what was the big deal about going to the Womens’ section first, rather than shoes I thought.

There were people everywhere and the line for the dressing room was so long that I knew I just have to hope stuff was going to fit.  Because I was coming from a brunch meeting, I had on heels and one of my more expensive handbags; typically a no-no for this type of chaotic shopping situation.  But, my nerves were calmed and I was in some sort of zone.  I made my way through the racks and yes, I had a big plastic bag that I dragged around, like the one pictured below, with all of my goodies.  And no, it was no where near as clean or neat as the picture above – I’m convinced that the only reason I didn’t turn myself right around when I walked into the madness was the 3 glasses of wine I’d had prior to arrival.

I perused the racks, chatted with salespeople and shoppers alike — sales people?  Yes, they have to have someone there to try to maintain a semblance of order.  And two hours later I emerged a few hundred dollars poorer and 4 pair of pants and 2 dresses richer.  And believe it or not, everything but one pair of wool pants that I paid $30 for fit – I’m giving these to K, she deserves them after all that blogging she did for me last week!

Now since my husband hadn’t been able to meet me there, I’d promised to scour the racks for him too.  But, after the quiet battle I’d waged in the Women’s section, engaging in combat in the Men’s section was not happening in my world at that particular moment.  I got home and told him he should definitely try to get there first thing Sunday am and follow K’s rules to the “T”.

Sunday morning at 9 am I was awakened to an unexpected question, “What time do we need to leave to get to the sale at 10 am?” WE?  I’d done my tour of duty.  Well, almost.  Yes, by 10:30 am – less than 18 hours later – I was back at the Barneys Warehouse Sale.  This time, I was able to employ K’s rules in their entirety.  I was that assistant she spoke about — the one who you should bring to carry your clothes and give you an honest opinion.

We started in men’s suiting.  The racks you see pictured above are exactly what it looks like.  Now here’s an interesting fact, while there is a dressing room for women that’s nothing more than a closed in space that you have to stand in line for ages to enter, there is no dressing room for men. None at all.  How can a man buy a suit without trying the pants on?  Unless it’s a designer he’s bought time and time again and the exact same style to boot, he’s strippin’ down to his skivvies to see what does and does not fit.  Suffice it to say, we left the suit section with 2 suits and made our way over to shirts and blazers.  Bags full, we then hit accessories – scarves and hats and the like. We stood in line and then repeated the whole shebang upstairs where men’s denim and casual clothes were housed.  Three hours later we finally left the store with three large shopping bags and enough items to round out my husband’s wardrobe for the next two seasons, and a fabulous handbag for me, and all at the cost of a good suit at retail.  We immediately left the store and went to our favorite tapas bar Boqueria to decompress from the experience.

Would I do it again?  Yes. But, not any time soon.  Cocktails before-hand? Absolutely! And K? Well, quiet as its kept, she’s thinking about flying to Los Angeles to partake in the chaos that will soon be taking place in the City of Angles when their sale begins.

Click here for a list of K’s rules for shopping at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale.

[photos courtesy of, LA Times blog, shoeyorkcity]

Tales From The Racks

The Barneys Warehouse Sale ended the weekend before last in New York.  Now for those of you who don’t live in New York or Los Angeles, the uninitiated if you will, The Barneys Warehouse Sale is not for the faint of heart.  It generally last for two weeks and the deals to be had are sometimes downright criminal.  Let me put it this way, the sale is BANANAS!!!!  There are tons of people, the line snakes around and around and around and before you know it you’ve spent a couple thousand dollars you hadn’t anticipated sometime some stuff you didn’t even know you wanted.  So, suffice it to say, I hadn’t been in years (we’re talking at least 5 years), when I got an email from my friend K (I’m using her initial to protect her in case her husband should stumble across this post) on Friday, March 4th telling me about the exhillerating shopping experience she’d just had at The Barney’s Warehouse sale.

K: Have you done a blog on how to approach the barneys warehouse sale???? I came up with the list while there today.

KALYN: No, I haven’t been in years.  So no, I haven’t done a post on it. Send me your list!

She sent me her notes so that you dear readers will be prepared for the next Barneys Warehouse Sale.  Read carefully.  Yes, these are her notes verbatim!

1. Go day 1 of sale to buy must have unique high-end things (this is what allof the blogs say and obviously matters to people who are not obsessed with biggest markdowns (like me)).

2. Go the Friday before sale ends because final markdowns are implemented then. Go Friday, because by the last Sat/Sun it’s too busy.


3. When going on last Friday do the following:

a. If you have on a coat that day, bring a large purse that it will fit in because you have to check the big purse anyway (carrying coat around sale is a nightmare). Basically leave everything in purse (other than wallet, cell phone and a power bar (because you may be there hours – makes no sense to shop hungry – I have yet to figure out how to stay hydrated! LOL)

b. Unless it’s really cold/snowing – wear easy shoes to get on/off – totally logically but I never do it!

c. Similarly wear clothes that are easy to get on/off – Same thing, I know this, but forget after a year and show up AGAIN in boots,skinny jeans and a coat! There is a whole side debate about whether to wear a thong (this matters only if you care whether everyone will see your a##! LOL)

d. Arrive at 10am when the doors open and hit shoes first because the line for mates gets bigger as the day goes [they don't put a pair of shoes on the racks - once you find a shoe you like, you have to stand in line to get it's mate] on and everything is also picked over.  Once you have shoes you want, DO NOT lug them around clothing area (you’ll be hot, tired and possibly unable to carry everything!).  Ideally, buy the shoes asap because checkout  line is shorter in the am. Once shoes are purchased (1) check them at bag check and go downstairs to shop for clothes; or (2) if car is nearby (see (e) below) take shoes to car, then go back for clothes.

e. If you are like me and have a car in the city – drive it – leave coat in car nearby (and later the purchased shoes)- because if you are like me and went for shoes at 10am then had to meet husband at noon, you need a place to hide newly purchased shoes!  After shoes were secretly stored away, I went back for clothes at 1pm (after meeting husband) and then had trouble getting into to a cab with all the crap I bought – car would have been a huge help, but husband took the car when we met at noon.

KALYN: Hilarious! What did you get?!?!!?

K: The real part where you need to weigh in/blog is when there is the frenzy of 85-90 percent off – how do you buy only what you love or need?

My rules are:

1) Is whatever it is comfortable/does it really fit,

2) Can I wear it more than 2 seasons (not even one season),

3) Would it be worth it at 75% off (crazy discount but I am crazy (see below) or whatever your price is.  For example, I bought black leggings today that were nylon on top and then suede starting mid thigh down – they were originally $1500 and I paid $250 (worth it even if they were only 75 percent off because I hate the way most seude pants fit at waist and butt but there were comfy, are ‘in’ now but next year with a long sweater they will look like narrow seude pants instead of leggins). So, I got pair of hot (black suede) Givency boots that I think are wearable each year with the right thing, a pair of snakeskin flat brown boots that can be worn every year for 10 years, a pair of aubergine suede Lavin platform pumps that will work for years, pair of Lavin hightop sneakers that are cool, pair of Jill Sander sandles that are not ideal for me (because I hate my toes) but they are sort of a low flat wedge (if not an oxymoron) and very simple but beautiful. Got work blouses, Summer tops and somehow like 6 pairs of pants. I finally had to just leave because I needed a third arm.

Before I could respond, she sent the following:


1) Don’t go alone – Take someone that you told before what your need are and who  will be honest about something that is ugly on you; ideally, take a non-shopper so said person can help carry your bags – LOL!

2) Here is tough one – What to do if there is something you love love love but it’s not practical? Ideally, allow yourself one splurge item. I saw what I thought was loose cut navy blue short sleeve silk dress with a deep front V and leather bar close strap at top. Turns out it was a shorts thing – so a very dressy one piece, but shorts. Loved it! Is was like $400 down from a few thousand. I didn’t get it because did not know where I would wear it – honestly, it shouldn’t have mattered; now that I am home, can see that I totally would wear it multiple times this Summer!

KALYN: Well you’ve made me think I should try to stop by at some point this weekend since I’m going to be in the city!

Stay tuned for my adventures at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale with K’s rules in-hand, and a few of my own!

[image courtesy of shoeyorkcity]