Who knew there was so much to think about when shopping an event like this but just like a sample sale or indeed any other sale that is met with great excitement and open to the public, there are so many things you can do to ensure an enjoyable experience, so I felt it only right to share some those tips with you all so that if you hear of any sample sales from your favorite designers or retailers, you will be fully equipped to attend the event with a clear head and a plan in place to ensure sale shopping success.
1. Plan your travel in advance
The reason I say this is because last year I left home in what I thought was plenty of time. I got to the train station, bought my ticket to London only to find that there were engineering works on the line, a replacement bus service for a large part of the journey and I knew that I was going to be late for my 1 hour slot. I'm not sure about other sample sales but with the NAP Staff Sale you have an allotted time of which I missed the first 30 minutes. Lesson learned and tomorrows travel is planned and engineering works have been factored into the time I plan to leave home. Know your route, which tubes you need to take and any changes that are required. Buy tickets in advance if possible as you can often save money and don't want to miss your train because you were caught in the ticket queue.
2. Dress for success
Take an across body bag so that you are hands free or large tote bag that a lightweight jacket can fit into. Empty your bag of any unnecessary items so it is not heavier than it needs to be. Take a bottle of water - these things can get very hot and I remember people fainting in the queue at the Next sale back in the early nineties!
If it's cold - wear light layers you can take off. Maybe a jumper over a shirt or t-shirt that you can tie round your waist if you get a bit hot under the collar with all the excitement!
A lightweight coat or jacket with a hood will eliminate the need to carry an umbrella in your bag.
Wear separates. At a lot of these sales and certainly at the NAP one, there are no changing rooms and people try clothes on over what they are already wearing, so jeans or trousers in winter with a cami as your base layer means you can try on shirts and dresses without too much bulk underneath. In summer swap jeans for crops or shorts.
Comfortable footwear is a must. Its not a fashion show so if you turn up in trainers and yoga pants who cares - yes you've guessed what I shall be wearing tomorrow!
3. Go with a list
Or at least a good idea of what you would like or what gaps you have in your wardrobe. Don't ever buy anything just because it is a great deal. I've bought shoes worth hundreds for £40 and have never worn them. That makes them a waste of money. If you come away with nothing, so be it. You would of kicked yourself if you hadn't gone and sat at home wondering if you missed out on a designer bargain. These events are a complete game of chance.
4. Grab everything
If you don't, somebody else will, so fill your bag with anything that takes your fancy and sort through it before you make your way to the checkout.
5. Check for defects
Another area I have failed in miserably in the past. A lot of items are returns and could be damaged so check zips, buttons, seams on clothes, clasps, zips and buckles on bags etc I even bought some Stella McCartney canvas pumps which had come undone on the seam and I didn't notice till I got home.
6. Check for sizes
Especially on shoes! I've found what I thought were size 6 shoes were actually an 8 when I got them out the bag. So do try shoes on. Its also a good idea if you check that you can actually walk in them.
I will be back next week to share my purchases - wish me luck!