Even though it was a gorgeous 65 degrees and sunny on Saturday, I decided to stock up on some winter gear at this weekend's Salvation Army Coat Sale. The event, which is held on the first Saturday of every month from October-January, is hands down the best way best way to shop an amazing selection of lightly (and some, not so lightly!) worn coats for ludicrously low prices. Located at the big Salvation Army warehouse at 536 W. 46th Street, I lined up bright and early with blogger Sunita V to be one of the first inside at 9am.
was my second year at the sale, and while I nabbed some great finds last
year, I was also totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of coats and the competitive crowd. This year, however, I had a game plan. If you're
thinking of hitting up the sale (the next one is on December 7!) here
are a few tips to keep you sane as you dig through the racks:
1) If you manage to be among the first people in, go straight for the shopping carts. It's so much easier to throw all your "maybes" in a cart and then try everything on at the end. Plus, coats are super heavy!
2) And if real furs are your thing, head for those as soon as possible--they go fast. (Also, keep in mind they're still on the pricey side--for November's sale, real fur coats were $50-$70.)
3) DON'T leave anything--especially your coat or purse--unattended. Since nothing's tagged and the crowd is pretty chaotic, it can be easy for your personal items to accidentally end up in someone else's stash.
Bring a buddy. Not only is it great to get a second opinion on that
floor-length fur coat, but with the craziness of this particular sale,
it's super helpful to have a partner-in-crime to watch over your finds
while you're searching for the closest mirror.
5) The later the
sale, the cheaper the coats--by the time January rolls around, the sale
prices will be significantly slashed, so aim for a later sale if your
want a bigger bargain!
For Saturday's event, I wore a comfy pair of faux leather leggings ($4) and a new-with-tags Fashion's Night Out tee ($0.55) I scored at a Buy the Bag sale. I added a black blazer ($7.99, Forever 21) and a pair of vintage United Colors of Benetton slip-on sneakers ($14.99) I found on Ebay, and finished off the look later that morning with a funky, furry vest I found at the sale for $18. (The vest kind of makes me feel like this handsome guy.) Head-to-toe, the whole look came out to around $46.
Along with the vest, I also ended up getting a
new-with-tags, red Calvin Klein coat and a like-new black Theory pea
coat for $18 apiece, meaning I nabbed two designer coats and a no-label
vest for just $54.
After the sale, Sunita and I met up with another friend for crepes and cappuccinos at Cafe Henri, and then we spent the afternoon roaming the West Village, where we window-shopped a few pricy boutiques and ran into a random wine tasting. It was pretty much a perfect day, and I'll definitely be running on a post-sale high for the rest of the week!