Samples. We all love them. Whether it's a sip of an unknown wine, a taste of the chef's new creation, or just a taste of the newest cracker at your local grocer, we always feel a little more cutting edge, a little more ahead, and a little more exclusive. Enter: the sample sale.
Each season, designers produce many items that will never hit the market. Well, not really at least. These items may be one- or two-of-a-kind. Dresses. Pants. Shirts. Sweaters. Coats. Accessories. You name it. Every category is sampled. Some sample sales may happen in designers' show rooms, especially in New York, LA, London, and Paris. If you're not so fortunate to live in one of these fashion capitols, you still may sample the goods! Some samples are sold online. Some samples may be sent to local discounters. My brother found a sample shirt from a well known designer at a local discount store (Marshall's I believe) in Florida. You never know where the samples may appear.
But when you find samples, GET EXCITED! For the majority who will never own something couture or custom made, this is as close as it comes. Items are incredibly limited in availability, often utilize new techniques in construction, and are made with incredible design and detail. When you see samples, you HAVE to try the items on, as the sizing is usually either not labeled, or isn't quite right. At one sample sale in LA, items were just thrown in boxes, and ravenous customers were literally stripping down to their nothings and frantically trying on the sample creations right public eye. Very entertaining.
So if you're into cutting edge designs from your favorite designers that are incredibly exclusive and even more affordable, think sample sales. After all, it's the only way you'll ever get almost-like-free clothes!