Review: Original Trends Sample Sale

Thanks for your kind words and support for my trial. It's been the most frustrating and emotionally draining experience in my academic life in the sense that there was a lot of fighting between both sides--not that any of us are bad people, but we cared so much about doing things right (as in real life) and were so passionately advocating that things got really contentious. In the end, I think we've put on quite a show (thought a very long one), and on a personal level, all of us ended on a good note. I'm just glad it's over so that I can start going to sleep at a reasonable hour!

Now that it's over, I have a little bit of time to breathe and blog before the onslaught of outlining, which begins the day after Thanksgiving. When I'm not hitting the books, I'm excited about Christmas shopping! This past weekend I went to the Original Trends sample sale. I usually don't bother with sales where you have to pay a fee to get in, but since I got a chance to go for free, I decided to check it out. I had planned on going all along, but then I got sick and things became less certain. In the end, I'm glad I went out. It was really hot, which surprisingly made me feel a lot better. Street parking wasn't the easiest to find, but it was possible and wound up better than "valet" parking in a tiny lot. There was a long line outside, but since I was on the VIP list, I tried to ask someone to see if there's a separate sign-in. There was quite a bit of confusion at first, and the people waiting in line were probably pissed at me for "cutting," but I just didn't really know what was going on. Finally, the person in charge got me checked off the list and I was able to get inside. I grabbed my goodie bag and threw it in my big gold tote (see the Mike and Chris post from last week), thinking that I'll wait till later to check it out. I had a limited amount of time and I wanted to use it all for shopping.

It was one crowded sale. The space was big, but there were lots of vendors and shoppers so everyone were just squished together. I was quite overwhelmed at first (and being sick didn't help), so I made a few rounds to check out what the goods were before actually diving down to shop. There was a good variety: all kinds of clothes (outerwear, casual/formal, women/men/babies), jewelry, beauty/bath, bags. Some were truly indie designers themselves, some were boutiques selling both mainstream and up-and-comers, and one in particular appeared to sell things that you can buy anywhere (nothing special). Good deals were found, that's for sure, and unlike a lot sample sales that sell things for rock-bottom pricing, many vendors in this one do take credit cards.

The first vendor that caught my eye was the one with a 2 for $10 sign, but that's the vendor that sold regular stuff. I was there to look for deals from indie designers, something less run-of-the mill. I found that at the Mi So Happi table. I think the designs are funky but very wearable, and there's something for everyone, be it the adventurous or the ones with more tempered tastes. The selections ranged from cotton skirts with flower prints to tanks with simple appliques and embellishments. There were a lot of cute $10 items, and even the full-priced items were affordable. It was also nice to talk to the designer a little bit. I learned that her line is sold at some boutiques and at shows like this one. Here's what I bought from the $10 box:

Usually I don't like cardigans without buttons, but this one works just fine because of the ruffles. I just love everything about it--the lace ruffles, the stripes, and the gathered part at the sleeves. This is going to one of my cousins, who is a designer herself and likes funkier stuff, but if she doesn't want it, I'd be happy to keep it (hehe). The little corduroy bag is just too cute. The flower design is made of many scraps of fabric, with the ends fluttering loosely. I can't imagine anyone can say "no" to it.

I went to another table to get a pashmina and a funky scarf for $10 each. Wraps and scarfs are elegant and work well for almost everyone, so it's an easy/lazy gift if you don't know what to get.

One label I've always liked is Moss Mills. The $15 printed tanks were so cute, but since I've made up my mind that I wasn't going to buy anything for myself, I had to let them go. Nature seems to be a motif of the brand. The deer prints were especially cute, and the silver tree print was beautiful. There were also dresses and outerwear. I fell hard for the cropped swing jackets. They were wool, lined, and well-made for about $40. Maybe next year when I (hopefully) start making good money...

Another label that caught my eye was Whish. I loved the cute fitted wool coats and leather-belted dresses. Obviously not cheap, but they were nice to look at and covet.

I think the strangest sight of the event was a denim display at the Dalia table. They had jeans with back pockets that light up and animate. It's really cool, but I'm not sure I want people staring at my butt on the pretense of admiring the animated cat.

With these sales, here's how I'd go about it:

-The key is to get there early and circle all around. See what's out there before you start buying anything.

-I lucked out, but parking generally sucks. Not much to do about it except get there early, then try streets in all different directions.

-Even if the vendors take credit cards, it's better to do business with cash. Some vendors are willing to dispense with sales tax if you got cash.

-Don't forget to bring ID. There was a dressing area, but to make sure you don't take off with valuable merchandise, they keep your ID while you try things on.

Finally, I didn't take a look at the goodie bag until I got home. Here's what I ended up getting:

-a novel, "Miss Understanding"
-gourmet chocolates
-some fancy drink
-some fancy water
-lotion and body scrub
-magazines: Yogi Times and 944
-a fortune cookie (huh?)
-a body wash sample
-Mobile Spa 1-hour massage session (worth $125)
-and yes, that's a pair of undies at the bottom, by Biatta.

Happy Turkey Day!


emigre said...

The gift bag is nice!


thatbeegirl said...

Nice gift bag! The massage is a cool addition!