On Saturday, Jan. 28, I was lucky enough to attend the Gilt Groupe Warehouse Sale in Dallas. For those of you who are not familiar with the site, Gilt offers brand-name clothing and home goods at discount prices. A few weeks prior to the sale, they offered tickets for $5 each. One ticket was good for two hours of access to the sale. Here’s a little about our experience.
My shopping companion and I had tickets for the 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. slot of the sold-out sale. We overestimated the amount of time that it would take to get to the Dallas Contemporary, where the sale was held, and so arrived a full hour early. Despite this, the door minders allowed us into the sale right when we arrived. Scattered around the room were racks of ladies’ and men’s clothing, a few tables with accessories, and shoes piled up on the floor. A bar allowed guests free champagne, beer and bottles of SmartWater, and a table offered free bars from KIND Snacks. Another table offered confections by Chocolate Secrets.
I began to pore through the items, which were not really arranged in any meaningful way. But that’s okay – that’s part of the fun of a sample sale, right? I found lots of stuff on the clothing racks – evening gowns, denim, blouses, day dresses and pants. The tables were filled with belts, purses and a few odd home goods. Another rack displayed little girls’ clothes, but I didn’t pay much attention since I have no daughters. The men’s racks had lots of suits, blazers, shirts and some denim. (Some in very odd styles, too – bright yellow twill pants?) The piles of women’s shoes seemed to be mostly very high heels, stiletto boots, and a few flats. I looked through them but didn’t see anything in my size so I moved on.
The ladies’ dressing room was really nothing more than a large area cordoned off with curtains and set up with mirrors around the perimeter. I dropped any pretense of modesty and got to work trying on the 6 or so items I had managed to cull from the racks. In the end, I settled on a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans ($59) and a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans ($29). So I definitely saved money over buying these designer jeans at, say, Neiman Marcus … but if you’re not into labels and simply looking for a pair of serviceable jeans, you can find them cheaper at your local discount department store. I also fell in love with a bright blue Pucci purse, but after seeing the $300-plus price tag, I put it back. As for sizing, I saw very few ladies’ items above a size 8 to 10.
In the end, I was happy with what I got, and I would attend another Gilt sale … even if I will need to pony up some extra cash to have my tailor trim the impossibly long inseams off the jeans. Sadly, Dallas is not likely to have another Gilt Groupe sale anytime in the future, since its Gilt City office was recently shuttered, a mere 6 months after launching.
I’ll wrap up my review with a brief list of some of the brands/labels I spied at the sale:
- Catherine Malandrino
- Antik Batik
- Pour La Victoire
- 7 For All Mankind
- C9 by Champion (really?)
- Earnest Sewn
- Emilio Pucci
Gilt City may be no more, but you can still be a member of Gilt, which offers designer items online. Lots of bedding and bath items, Missoni accessories, Saucony athletic shoes and more are on offer right now.
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