The J. Crew Warehouse Sale…(heaven does exist on earth)

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I’ve been taunting you about the J.Crew Warehouse sale. You’ve been very patient and I know many of you are dying to hear about it, so without further ado…

The J.Crew Warehouse sale consists of previous season’s items, sample items, photo shoot items, some returned items, overstocked items, etc. Some items have made it into stores and some never did. Which is kind of cool. You’ll feel all exclusive and such. At least I did. And the clothes are dirt cheap. Actually cheaper than dirt.

Anyway, here’s how it goes. First, you have to wake up really early. Like 5 AM. Because Asheville is 2.5 hours away. A least for me. And you’ll get bored on the car ride so you’ll take sleepy-faced pictures.IMG_1152

You need to get there a few hours before the sale opens at 10 AM because you really want to be in the first group of people that get in. And the first group is only 150 people. IMG_1153To our dismay, there were already about 100 people in front of us when we arrived. We thought we’d be at the front of the line with our early start. But these folks knew what they were doing – blankets, chairs, coffee, snacks. We were so unprepared. IMG_1154

But oh so happy to be there, despite our early start and long drive. [Courtney, I miss you! COME BACK!!!!]IMG_1155

Then you realize that you have 2 hours in front of you with nothing planned, no blankets, no sustenance. So you google the nearest Starbucks for muffins…IMG_1156

And coffee…because this event requires coffee. And not some wimpy Tall coffee. Grande baby. And you squint in the sun because every good outing requires a hideous pictures.IMG_1157

Then you glance at the suckers behind you and think, “Psh…they are sooo inexperienced thinking they could arrive this late…”IMG_1158About 45 minutes before the sale starts, employees will hand out a huge garbage sack and a price sheet to each person. Are you ready for this?? Really, are you? No, I don’t think you are…but here here are the prices…IMG_1159[The prices for Bottoms got cut off, but it was $10…or $15…ridiculous either way. I think suit pants and swimsuits are the absolute best deals. I got 3 swimsuits – $4 each! Insane! Their swimsuits are so nice!]

When the doors open at 10 AM, you file in…they count off 150 people for the first group and make the rest wait until other shoppers exit so it doesn’t get too crowded. Luckily, we were like #141-143. Phew.

You go into a a big warehouse with boxes on tables…and you start to dig. And dig. And dig. You don’t have time to be picky. If you think you like something, it looks like your size, throw it in your bag and move on. It’s sort of organized…tops, bottoms, swimsuits, shoes, accessories. But not sorted by size at all. You gotta work to find your goods.2011-04-30_13-38-34_867After you have a bag full of goodness, you try stuff on. There ain’t no dressing rooms. So you wear minimal, tight clothing and throw things on right over the the top. That’s right folks – I put on swimsuits over my leggings and white top. It was sexy, trust me. But don’t worry – everyone is doing it. I swear.

There also ain’t no mirrors so you’ve got to go with someone you know who can tell if that gorgeous suiting dress is going to be cute when you don’t have black leggings and a shirt bunched up under it. [At these prices, you can afford a few mess ups.] But still…go with someone to help you out.

You’ll keep a lot, you’ll discard a lot, you’ll dig through others’ discard piles, and you’ll still feel like you only saw 1/8 of what was there. But it’s OK…because there is always next time. Once you have your final haul after you’ve tried everything on and decided what to keep, you get in line.

You’ll go to a table with two employees – they’ll dump out the contents of your bag, count off your items by category and the other tallies it all up. Then you’ll go to a cash register to pay. The final bill might be a shock…but then you realize that you just got a new wardrobe and about $3000 worth of clothing (quite literally) for the price of what only 2-3 outfits would cost in a retail J.Crew store and you feel much better.

And when you leave after shopping for FOUR HOURS, you’ll be freaking starving. I highly recommend a stop at Salsas in Asheville. And order the ginger-hibiscus tea.IMG_1160

When you get home that night and try stuff on, you might start find few disappointing things. Like the hole in your cashmere sweater. Or the fact that the pocket on a super-cute striped top is totally off-center. 2011-04-30_20-16-33_44[I tried this top on in front of a mirror at home and didn’t even realize the issue until Courtney sent this picture to me with the subject “Is yours like this too?” hahaha! I still fully intend to wear it.]

So, what all was in this pile?IMG_1166

My stuff

  • 7 cotton shirts (some short-sleeved, some long-sleeved)

  • 3 cardigans (1 cotton, 1 wool, 1 cashmere)
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 casual dress
  • 2 pairs of suit pants
  • 1 Super 120s suit dress
  • 3 swimsuits
  • 1 silk tank
  • 1 cozy hoodie
  • 1 blazer/jacket
  • 2 button-down dress shirts

Some items from the sale I’ve worn recently:

Pink silk top (also seen here) and dark denim pencil skirt (I wore this outfit to work today). IMG_1461

White & gray blazerIMG_1454

The lavender dress – pardon the terrible picture of both me and my dad but we’re focusing on the dress here. 😉IMG_1370

The gray hoodie…IMG_1324

The floral t-shirt and blue cardigan (that you can’t really see)DSC_0142

Not too shabby eh?

All the credit for this haul goes to Courtney for discovering the J.Crew Warehouse sale on this blog. This post about How to Survive a J.Crew Warehouse Sale is extremely helpful. Check it out.

Final tips:

  • Wear leggings or even better, spandex/some type of tight short shorts. Seriously.
  • Go with a friend.
  • Take a water bottle.
  • Take a blanket and food for the wait.
  • Arrive early. Very early. It’s worth it.
  • Expect a large dry cleaning bill after you get everything because it will all need to be laundered.

So, how do you find out about the next sale? Call this number: 828-687-6475. But if you tell anyone where you got it, I’ll have to hack into your blog and crash it. [I kid, I kid…]

And where is it? 1 Clifford Way, Arden, NC 28704

Apparently this sale is kind of a big secret…I’m sharing it with ya because I love ya and because you leave me nice comments on my blog. 😉 But if I see you at the next sale, I’ll act like I don’t know you and snatch a gorgeous leather purse out of your hands if the opportunity presents itself. All bets – and manners — are off when there are goods like this involved.

[But seriously, some woman really did snatch a gorgeous leather purse out of my hand at the sale. I was too shocked to respond. And then I realized I should have fought back – it could have been an epic scene.]

Would you go to a J.Crew Warehouse sale? I usually hate chaos and messy stores. Heck, I can hardly handle department stores because I think they are too big with too much stuff. But this was soooo worth it.

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    41 responses to “The J. Crew Warehouse Sale…(heaven does exist on earth)”

    1. I am bright green with envy. I live in Michigan and I’m about to do some major investigation to see if warehouse sales exists anywhere near me. I live J. Crew and about 50% of my wardrobe consists of J. Crew sale and factory items with a sprinkle g of full-priced items I couldn’t live without. Amazing. Glad you found so many great things!

    2. I love sample sales! I got an amazing haul today from a Joe Fresh sample sale, plus some DKNY and other things, and tons of home things like cute bowls, cake pans, measuring cups, towels etc. Pretty much heaven for the bargain-hunter crowd. All your finds are beautiful, and do fit very well (although at those prices, tailoring is totally reasonable.)

      I love your tips, especially the spandex one. My first sample sale, I was wearing jeans. No bueno. And I definitely know what you mean about feeling like you’ve only seen a tiny fraction of what’s up for offer–even (at my first sample sale) when I came in at the end of the second day there was just SO much, and I felt like I was quitting by checking out without going through every. single. rack.

    3. I’m pretty sure J.Crew is the official outfitter of heaven. And we are all long and lean like jenna lyon in heaven, too.

      See, I needed you back for stuff like this. Way to redeem your absence.

    4. Sounds amazing! I love J. Crew! Too bad I’m all the way in California… 🙁

    5. They had them in a hotel in Burlington, Vermont where I went to college. I don’t remember them letting in a specified number of people though. I do remember those big brown boxes.

    6. I am SO jealous! I could live in nothing but JCrew clothes, they are just absolutely my style, but of course the price means I need to supplement my wardrobe with cheaper items haha! I would hit up this warehouse sale in a HEARTBEAT if I lived nearby! I am with you on the chaos of big stores and I also rarely even go in department stores but I would totally push aside my hatred for overcrowding for this!!

    7. I think the girls and I told you, but I bought ALL my bridesmaids dresses at a previous JCrew warehouse sale in Winston last summer… for $15 each! I literally had Russ hold them all as I ran around like a crazy woman grabbing every navy cotton cady dress. We then stood there, inspected each one and chose sizes and styles that would work for each girl. Then I bought an extra just in case someone didn’t like theirs or it didn’t fit. So far everyone’s has fit and they love me for not having to buy $200 dresses 🙂

    8. Ah I love this! You got a great haul! I did go to a warehouse sale once that they brought to Eugene, OR while I was in college. It was a freaking dream. I do remember it being a bit crazy though just rifling through piles of clothes and hoping to find something. I know I wasn’t there right at the beginning, but a few of my roommates were working the sale so they got the preview and were able to snatch up some great items for el cheapo!

    9. Wow! That looks crazy (and awesome)! Looks like you got some pretty sweet stuff. I need to find some blowout sales. I have about 4 bottoms and 6 tops for work. (Not nearly enough haha) Clearly I’m just entering the working world.

    10. i have no words for the jealousy i am experiencing reading this post. none at all. except for a big LOL to that picture of courtney. HIGH-larious.

    11. That is amazing that you got such good deals. I am horrible at budget shopping and I cannot stand crowds, so I guess I pay the price for a little quiet and organization! 😀

    12. WOw.. that sounds like a CRAZY sale. I have heard of warehouse sales before.. and I think I would like to try them out.. but I would definitely want to be like you guys and get in with the first group!

    13. OMG!!! I just found your blog and I am MAJOR JEALOUS!!!!!! J. Crew is my absolute favorite! Great finds! Very cute:)

    14. That sounds like so much fun! I hate chaos and huge stores too, but all for cheap J.Crew clothing, you better believe I’d be there!

    15. Gah! this is a terrible tease! This will be no where near me! I am not head over heels for J.Crew because I feel if I were decked out head to toe in their garb, I’d look a little too white…but they are fantastic for plain basics.

      But one of the great things about living in LA is that we get a GIANT warehouse Splendid/Ella Moss sale. Come to LA and I’ll treat you to shopping and fro yo. Maybe even a parsley smoothie 😉

    16. For deals like that I think I’d wait in line for 2 hours! I love J Crew. I have a pair of jeans and a dress from there. It’s my favorite dress. 🙂

    17. oh yeahh I love sales like those! primarily b/c they can just be so fun and thrilling–like there’s an adrenaline rush! hahaha. those grrrreat purchases Teri! wow. that’s cool.

    18. Hi, new reader here… loving your blog. That sale looks totally crazy but I totally want to go… although I don’t think I’d handle it very well, I don’t do well with stuff just dumped in piles. Might be worth it tho!

    19. Reading this gave me chills–calling my sister in SC right now and we will for sure go to the next one. I went to a Vera Bradley warehouse sale a few years ago and it was unreal. I had the time of my life running around with a huge garbage bag and throwing things in left and right!

    20. I hate crowds and love digging for treasures, so I guess my odds of enjoying a sale like that are about 50-50! You got some really cute stuff. Glad you had fun!

    21. Oh me oh my! I totally wish I was there with you guys. What an amazing sale. Seriously, that’s my kind of deals… okay that’s everybodies kind of deals. So much good stuff. Glad you got to go with your girl Courtney!

    22. Thank you for your blog. It was a life saver. I went to the sale in Arden today and I felt like a pro after reading this blog. I got a bridesmaid dress for 25! Thanks again!

    23. Okay, so I recently moved and was previously on their mailing list (my email changed) for up and coming J Crew Warehouse sales. I am frantically trying to find someone to call or email to get me back on the list! I hope the number listed above is still current, if it is, I may just actually reach my long arms through this computer and hug you!!!!!!!!! I can’t even put to words the rush you get from a J Crew Sale like this, it truly is a shop-a-holic junkies dream! Thanks for posting!

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