Sample sales: A lunch break spent well is one where you spend

By Laura Rutkowski 

Now that it’s November, it’s officially acceptable to start mentioning Christmas and all of the shopping that goes along with it. Allow the sample sales this month to help you on your hunt for gifts, while finding some for yourself in the process.

If you’ve never been to a sample sale before, the premise is that retailers use them to sell on excess merchandise. The items sold usually have been overstocked or returned, are from previous seasons, or have never been sold in stores. This means you usually pay a fraction of the price for them, which understandably attracts large crowds. Be prepared to get your elbows out and fight for your fashion!

There’s a particularly good lineup of brands in the days to come, so make a note of your favourites and head over to your location of choice during lunch.

1pm: Leave work, scarfing down your lunch as you run out the door, as there’s no time to waste when a high profile sample sale is involved!

1:20pm: Arrive at the sample sale. You spy a pair of booties that you simply can’t live without and as you’re daydreaming about all of the outfits you’d wear them with, they’re snatched from your bare hands!

1:25pm: Claw back your perfect pair of shoes – the last in your size – from your rival. Emerge triumphant!

1:30pm: Treat yourself to various other items you see at the sample sale, keeping your shoes by your side at all times (in a death grip).

2pm: Return to the office or back to class already breaking in your new pair of shoes. You might be slightly flustered, but you’re immensely satisfied with your thrifty purchase. There will be no buyer’s remorse for you!

Since most sample sales start in the morning, when you arrive at lunchtime, you might not leave with the items you want (or with any items at all) after the early rush. It’s each shopper for themselves out there. Remember that there’s no such thing as too many shades or too many styles – happy hunting!

For a list of sample sales occurring across London in November, check out Style Barista’s guide here for times, dates, and venues. Nicholas Kirkwood, Pringle of Scotland, and Jenny Packam are some of the designer highlights across 2-3 November.

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