Thursday, August 14, 2008

Barney's Warehouse Sale report: Womens

This morning I pulled myself out of bed and got to the BWS at around 7:50AM. I was fairly deep in line, in front of the Verizon building, but when they opened the floodgates it moved right along, and I was in by 8:10. I noticed immediately that they changed up the floorplan of the sales racks, and I think it's a lot better. For some odd reason, though, they gave the Chelsea Market section much more room, which it definitely doesn't need. Also strange: they were handing out the clear trash bags already. Quite presumptuous.

Absolutely breathtaking selection of shoes for size 6. The downer: not the discount you'd expect from BWS. Full racks of Manolos, Louboutins, with some Balenciagas, Choos, Pradas sprinkled in. Prices for the expensive stuff were still $300+ and the lesser expensive hovered around $200. You could go to a great Saks sale and get the same shoe for the same price (and less hassle). Disappointing, but there's always next week (and next!).

Tops and Pants selection was so-so. Kate Moss' TopShop line had a couple of racks, but there were just tons and tons of Barney's co-op and private label clothing, with real designers interspersed. A lot of Helmut Lang. Of course, as promised I went straight for some 3.1 Phillip Lim pants and found only 1 pair and ended up supplementing my pants need with a pair by Alexander Wang. Prices range $80-120 here although I found a really cute button-down Marc Jacobs work blouse for $60, but it was a bit sheer for the office. I also picked up a $9 Vince long-sleeved babydoll top that was adorable but got lost in the try-on shuffle. Go find it! It's cute!! Clothing in sizes 2,4,6 was quickly ending up on the dressing area floor.

Ready-to-wear was fit to burst! Awesome selection of Miu Miu, Armani, Narcisco Rodriguez, etc. This section has been seriously bulked up. I snapped up a couple of Dries Van Noten tops that were 60% off. Prices ranged from $300-700. As always, the larger percentage of the selection is in larger sizes.

I saw a gorgeous Pucci trench coat just waiting for anyone who wears size 12. Other than that, there were Theory and Prada coats (which I have never seen before at BWS). I didn't even bother with the rummage bins for knitteds, accessories, and crappy bags. I heard some excited squeals from the denim area, though.

Oh, one big complaint about the sales floor re-org: the "wall of mirrors" idea, although conceptually sound, sucks in practice. It forces women to trample over each other (and all the clothes on the floor) to get to a mirror. And of course you have the ones who park themselves in front of them. The problem here is they are 'protected' by the wall and other parkers, and there's not really a way for others to push them out (there's no where to go!).

Overall impression: Although I did get a few great purchases, my overall impression is: it was better in May. I feel there were quite a few first-timers, which may be a result of all the advertising and promotion BWS is doing. As I expected, it's just too soon to break out the trash bags. I didn't spring for any shoes at these prices, so I'm hoping the great selection keeps as I check back over the next 2 weeks. I can tell you this, though: I'm really looking forward to August 29th.

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