So a couple of weeks ago, my recently engaged bestie, who you’ve all heard me talk about, made a visit north to the big bad city for some birthday fun. When we realized that J.Crew was having a Weddings & Parties Showcase and sample sale just blocks from my apartment, I casually suggested dropping by for a “quick look”. I knew she wasn’t really interested in doing the whole white dress shopping, but hey, J.Crew has some pretty fab bridesmaid dresses that can double as guest dresses. Plus there were shoes. So we went.

There were probably 4 or 5 rooms just with bridal gowns and dresses, some as low as $200! I was expecting mayhem, but we were probably two of maybe 20 people total there, on Saturday. The sample sale was held at the Flatotel Hotel, 135 W. 52nd St. from February 19 to Sunday, February 21, but they still had A LOT of stock left.

The dresses were beautiful. Simple silhouettes, and beautiful lines, but there’s something not so special about looking at the same style dress stacked 50 deep on the rack. Takes away from the “this is my dress and only my dress” idea. BUT, for $200, you could find a dress that would have been perfect for a beach wedding, a second dress to change into after the formal ceremony comes to an end, or just something in white to trash the next day in a “trash the dress” photo shoot that’s starting to trend with bride’s now.

Aside from the bridal gowns, they did have two rooms of shoes, though digging through the boxes under the table to find my size wasn’t something I was really interested in, especially after they confiscated my coffee at the door. We both tried on a handful of the bridesmaid dresses, which were EVERYWHERE, and very affordable, but sadly, we both left empty-handed. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure we would be able to  find SOMETHING… but no.

I think the key to this sample sale ladies… know exactly what you’re looking for. Know your colors, know what style you’re looking for, and take your entire band of ladies with. I think if a bride had led her bridesmaids into that huge rooms with racks and racks of rainbow-colored dresses, she easily would have been able to outfit her entire party in under an hour.

It was a good first step in the planning process. Now if I can only get her to pick a date…