A few weeks ago, my sister and I received an invite to the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale in Philadelphia, and as per usual, we said about how we always wanted to go, and that one year we would actually just do it. Then my mom piped in, and suggested we just do it. Within 15 minutes, we had booked a hotel, researched some of the blogs from previous years, and made plans to go. As HUGE Lilly lovers, all three of us were pretty stoked to go, but didn't know what to expect. It was either going to be a huge success or a huge fiasco, but from reading other blogs of previous warehouse sale goers, we were as prepared and ready for anything.
Philly is about a 4 hours drive from Fredericksburg, if there's not traffic. We hit a TON of traffic, but even with a few pit stops and dinner, we were arrived at the Expo Center at 10 pm. Our original plan was to get to the hotel around 9, sleep for a few hours, and then get in line at the Expo center around midnight or so.
We got there at 10, and there were already about 100 people in line. Some had been camping out since MONDAY. CRAZY! So my mom dropped by sister and I off and we decided to camp out all night with the other crazies. We were only mildly prepared, as the temperatures dropped to about 55 degrees, and we only had soccer chairs, a couple of blankets and no jackets or sweatpants. It got cold.
My mom actually went to utilize our hotel room and got a few hours of sleep, while my sister and I got to hang out all night! It got so cold at one point, that we put our two chairs together, shared all 3 blankets and had to snuggle together for body heat. It definitely helped.
At about 3am, people start to pack up their stuff because the line is moved inside at 4am for the sale to open at 5am. So around 3, we packed started to pack up when there came a mad rush for the line. I dashed to hold our sacred spot, while my mom and sister quickly cleaned up. It did get a little rowdy, as some people who didn't arrive until 3am cut in line in front of those who had been waiting all night. It happens. We still got a really good place in line and were just excited to be there. Here we are at 3:30 am, Jeri and I with no sleep and still super cold, but so excited to get inside.
This is the line in front of us.
Finally at 4am, we were let into the building. Just to wait in ANOTHER line. But there was a DJ and music, and everyone was buzzing with excitement.
And then FINALLY, our wait was over and we were in the sale by 5:15 am.
It was amazing.
After talking to veteran warehouse salers, we were told to go straight for the Sample section. This is where any returned clothing or clothing dropped on the floor or with a small defect goes and items can be as low as $10. For example, I got a black cashmere sweater for $40 and an Elsa top for $10. These items are limited, go quickly, and you have to dig for them, so that's the top priority. Then, you go to the racks and get anything else you wanna try on.
The fitting room is just one giant room with mirrors and every is trying on everything. The wait can be long, so everyone grabs as much as they can before going in. I'm talking multiple bags of stuff. Shopping carts full of clothing. People just grab as much as they can, it's unbelievable. As the day goes on, they bring out stuff from the fitting rooms and the frenzies begin again. While my mom and sister were trying clothes on, I was stalking the prey...I mean racks...coming out the fitting room. Its like vultures snatching the racks as soon as they enter the sales floor.
All in all, I made out like a bandit. I got some incredible deals and even though I spent a little more money than anticipated, it was totally worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Happy early birthday to me!
Here's what I came out with: 16 items total.
These shorts were samples that I got for $15 each. They retail for $78.
Below is the black cashmere sweater I got for $40. It retails for $278. It was a second meaning there was a small hole in the sleeve that someone returned.
The striped sweater was a sample I found for $40. It retails at $148.
This lace top was a sample I got for $20 and it retails at $158.
This is the Sessilee dress I got for $40. Retails at $198.
These are all Elsa tops. They retail at $148 each. I got the Navy one for $20, the Teal one for $69, and the pink one for $20. These tops were my main priority when I got there as I'd been wanting one for a long time.
These dresses I was super excited about too because I have 1 already, and wear it ALL THE TIME. I got each of these for $10!! They each retail for $98.
And then of course the accessories. I got this elephant clutch for $29, the wristlet for $19, and the belt for $10.
All in all, I spent less than $400 on 16 items that would have retailed for over $2200. It was all totally worth it and I definitely want to go next year. Now that we know what to expect, I thoroughly plan on going again next year and knowing the drill. In fact, my ideal situation would be to get a bigger group of people next time and maybe even stay longer. We stayed at the sale until about 7:30am, when we had finally had enough.
I would have loved to have gone back in the afternoon though and see what other items were brought out and returned to the racks, but we headed home to Fredericksburg soon after we left the sale. I slept the whole way home.
Interested in going next year? Let me know! I know it's a while away, but if you have time to plan and save, it's definitely worth it. What could be more fun than camping out with some girlfriends for the sale of the year?!
Didn't make the warehouse sale? Don't worry! Lot's of Lilly sites are having their own sales. Check them out: