This just in from the front lines at the Barneys Warehouse sale:
1. Things got crazy at approximately 7:39 a.m. We took our place in line at 6:30—seventh!—which was one smart move. By 7:30 the line extended around the corner onto Seventh Avenue.
2. There's a dressing room this year! However, we still advise adhering to survival mode undergarments unless you want to get jostled out of the mirror pen wearing only your underwear. The confined space actually makes things more cutthroat. Just sayin'.
3. Shoe selection is so-so. Everyone's first stop--shoes--brought some disappointment to most, including our own size-8 selves, with a selection comprised mostly of past-season crazies (chiffon, neon, outer-space trendy varieties). One of our line friends, Michelle, however, snagged classic Louboutin pumps and Chloe wedges for $230 a pop. The girl is good.
4. Ladies' designer selection is so-so. With a sprinkling of one or two sizes per designer, save Marc Jacobs and Dries van Noten, which were more plentifully stocked, we were not impressed with the variety. If you're on the hunt for a pony-hair leopard print Alaia suit, however, you're in luck--we saw a handful of jackets and skirts marked down to less than $2,000.
5. As usual, best bets include Co-op brand tanks, tees, and blouses and ready-to-wear. We spied house brand tanks for as low as $49; designer and house denim (an additional 25% off of the marked price; sizes 25 are the most plentiful and centrally located); and bought a tissue-thin linen $165 James Perse button down for $69.
6. You're in luck if you're in the market for: Womens Richard Chai and Rag and Bone trenches, menswear/outerwear (super navigable and organized when we left at 9 a.m.;), and weekend or evening dresses (read: We found a Madras print sheath for $99 from $240 and there's plenty of Ann Demeulemeester to go around.)
7. Womens outerwear, sweaters and accessories are low. Six womens sweater bins, one rack of outerwear (which consisted of three Phillip Lim leather jackets and a pile of Co-op wool peacoats, pretty much) and zilch accessories upstairs. We ventured down to menswear and found a smattering of fedoras, gloves and belts--but not much.
8. Jeans were fairly abundant. When we arrived, there was a sick selection of J Brand, Current/Elliott and Stella McCartney, but an hour later, the section had been sufficiently plundered. Surprisingly, crowds were thickest at the tiny-size bins.
Overall, we were kind of underwhelmed. Our cheerful salesgirls advised us the stock would be replenished daily, but, like most of the other employees, this was their first sale, and they didn't know much beyond that. It's always worth a shot, but be prepared for a tight, not-always-so-nice squeeze.