Season after season the Cynthia Steffe sample sale is one that I make sure that I never miss. I was curious what the new space would bring and it's quite cavernous and divided into 2 sides. One side was bustling so I headed that way first while the other side was quiet. I learned soon that the left side was the Cynthia Steffe merchandise while the other side was random merchandise from Chaus, Vince Camuto and other labels. The great news is that there is room to breath and move around without bumping elbows with too many ladies although you may find that at times ladies have filled an entire rack with their merchandise that they are guarding with a watchful eye.
With the Cynthia Steffe sale there are the usual factors - there are lots of ladies ready to pounce, you have to dig and there are no change rooms but the quality of merchandise that you can get for the price is almost unparalleled. Dresses, tops, rompers, sweaters and all bottoms are now just $25! Winter coats and leathers are $50. The catch this time around? There are absolutely no mirrors! Not one shiny reflective surface to catch a gaze upon but fortunately fellow shoppers were pretty friendly and helped me determine if things worked or didn't work. Some lovely ladies even offered me their discarded samples that didn't end up working for them. Another lovely lady graciously took my picture when I was determining if the alterations required on a dress would be worth it. Your best strategy would to bring a friend to be your mirror. Also be warned that there are male staffers working the floor of the sale so wear your sample sale uniform (leggings & a tank top) for some modesty.
Sizes vary from a 0 to about an 8/10. My guess is that most of the unmarked samples are between a 0 and a 6. I didn't look carefully at the shoes but they seemed to be mostly in the realm of size 7-10. There are a few stock pieces in the mix but plenty of samples you have to watch out for because they still have pins stuck in them or might have fit lines marked across them in pen. I also noticed some with holes.
I ended up snagging a winter jacket, nylon striped jacket (not Cynthia Steffe), floaty skirt and a pair of pants for my mom all for $110. I almost grabbed an adorable leather shift dress but since I'm still looking for a job to pay the bills, I decided to pass.
What: This is one of Erin's personal favorite sales but not for the faint of heart. Be prepared dig through the racks and share mirrors with strangers.
When: May 22-23, 2012. Tues-Wed 9am-5pm
Where: 323 West 39th St, Street Level