The fashionista high-holy week is upon us with the Barneys Warehouse Sale open from February 14th to the 24th of 2013. The sale is temporarily located at the Co-Op store at 255 West 17th Street in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. You'll be near Housing Works on 17th Street, so if you have clothes to donate it's good cause.
Grab a coffee or tea for the long line outside. This sale is diva warfare, fatigue sets in and it's cold in there. Leave your handbag at home, you'll only have to check it and retrieve upon leaving the store. Wear a jacket or cargo pants with lots of pockets. Best to carry your PDA, credit card(s) and ID if you plan to apply for a Barneys card. Once you are inside and can start the designer sale scavenger hunt, I suggest you pick two zones -- say shoes and coats -- and come back a second day for more shopping.
The last day is the monster because everything is slashed to rock bottom prices. Take your bestie and work the racks. A team effort always yields more. Skip the sensible purchases of an A-line skit or blouse you can get that anywhere. The exception is the Barney's New York Co-Op collection that has beautiful timeless designs in quality fabrics. Here you might be able to scoop up a coat, shoes or dress for under 50 bucks. This is the place to go wild. Do get the Manolo Blahnik peep-toe sling, studded Christian Louboutin pumps, silk Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos or Prada Rosette sling backs. Splurge on beautiful red-carpet ready gowns and dresses for sale by designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci and Alexander Wang.
The lingerie is lovely enough for any modern day courtesan. There are great deals on high-end jeans like 7 for All Mankind and James. But know your size -- there are no individual dressing rooms at the sale. Plenty of ladies do strip down and slip on clothes in the designated area, but I wouldn't advise it. Don't forget your guy(s). The men's department has beautiful Charvet, Lanvin and Brioni ties you can get for a song. If you hope to score the status bags of the flagship store's first floor, they never make it to the big sale. Fuhget about it!
Time to get in the very long checkout line. The temptation to get out of line will be great to find one more thing to buy. Many have made that mistake and they never made it back. Use the time to edit your potential purchases. Be ruthless in your edit. If it needs alterations skip it. Look at your potential purchase ask yourself, "What would Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Michelle Obama, Carine Roitfeld (insert your style icon here) do? If you are going to splurge, make sure the dress, shoe, whatever is fabulous.
Now you are done. You survived this so you can easily hit Soiffer Haskin featuring individual designer sales weekly. It's not the blood sport of TBWS but good deals. When you're done shopping, its time to replenish over cocktails at Cafeteria or chocolate chunk cookies at City Bakery with your gorgeous spoils of shoe boxes and stuffed shopping bags in hand. Well done!