What's Left on the Second Day at Alice and Olivia Sample Sale
While browsing the dress racks at the well-stocked Alice and Olivia sale yesterday afternoon, a woman turned to her friend and asked: “Is this beautiful or tacky?” Your personal answer to that question will depend on how you feel about sequins, shimmer, and bright patterns. For lovers of any of those three, this is the sale for you.
The colorful stock is divided into Ready-to-Wear and Samples, each with their own pricing system. For bargain shoppers, the highlight of the sale will be the sample section, but, not surprisingly, its small enclave is the most crowded area in the store. Here the stock is divided into six price tiers:
Blouses, Knit Tops, Rompers, Shorts, Skirts, Capris, Sweaters, Jackets, Vests: $49
Embellished, Leather: $99
Leggings were a no-show, but colorful and patterned pants were available in sizes 0-4. I spotted two pairs of basic jeans, but otherwise expect to find pastels, studs and stripes. There are also a few pairs of classic leather pants floating around.
Pricing gets confusing when you start to look at tops and dresses. It was not uncommon to find two tops with similar amounts of embellishment with a $50 difference. Luckily, nearly all the samples are tagged with their price, so you’ll know what you’re getting into before you get to the cashier.
Examine the sample stock carefully before purchasing. Many are in nearly pristine condition, but a few have large rips. More common are missing sequins and small snags.
The Ready-to-Wear, which dominates the showroom, is discounted based on the following key:
Sizes 0-10 are well represented, with a slightly more generous selection for 2s and 4s. There is one measly rack for size 12s, so only stop by if you are in the neighborhood.
Dresses are the main draw; they dominate the merchandise across all sizes. Expect to find tons of short, colorful silk dresses, often beaded or otherwise embellished. These dresses range in price from $159 for basic numbers, to $279 for all-leather options. Lightly embellished dresses were typically around $199, while it will cost you $269 to go for the glamorous disco ball look (read: every inch sequined).
The floor-length gowns are separated into their own racks, which are located in the back left corner. Sizes 4 and 6 are best represented, but there is a decent selection across the board. Prices ranged from $119 to $289, with most in the $159 to $279 range. As a rule of thumb, the shinier the pricier.
Tops were mostly embellished silk, with a few plain, drapey tank tops. Loose knit sweaters were abundant, and funky bustiers also had a strong showing. Expect to pay $119 for a tank, bustier, or sweater, and $79 for a simple top. Embellished tops maxed out at $199.
The selection of bottoms was more adventurous. Colorful and patterned pants dominated, costing $119. Skirts were available in an array of bold patterns, although their pricing felt rather inconsistent. Shorter skirts were uniformly $119, but longer skirts were anywhere from $159 to $279. Shorts were nearly nonexistent in most sizes, but the few that remain are $79.
As you head to the check out, take a quick look at the accessories. There are whimsical watermelon and lady bug pouches along with colorful purses.
A saleslady was able to confirm that there would be restocking throughout the sale, including the (still stuffed) samples racks. She could not confirm that there would be markdowns, but it the past the have slashed the prices 3 or 4 days into the sale. With ample stock still available, it might be wise to wait until later in the week.
WHEN: 6/8 – 6/13; M (noon-8), Tue-Th (10-8), F-Sat (10-7)
WHERE: 260 Fifth Avenue
(Between 28th & 29th Streets)
New York, NY 10001
N / R/ 6 Trains to 28th Street
By Greta Jenkins
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