Writing left handed

The Anthropology of the Anthropologie Sample Sale

So the thing that nobody tells you about a lumbar ESI is that they comprise a “it’s gonna get worse before it gets better” kind of situation. 

Actually, that’s not true. 

They did tell me that. 

I conveniently chose to ignore this fact because I was so damn happy to get the damn thing done. But now that the numbing agent has worn off, I’m back to feeling like I’ve got a tree trunk rammed up my butt cheek and in case you’re wondering, no, that’s not a terribly pleasant feeling.

Which is why when BHLDN (Anthropologie’s vintage-inspired tres chic wedding gown line) decides to hold a sample sale at the Navy Yard, you have a perfectly good excuse to drag one of your BFFs out of bed at 7am on Saturday and go stand in line with approximately 900 other bargain-savvy brides, anxiously awaiting your turn to throw yourself into the fray.

It’s a mental health thing, you see.

A rite of passage, really. And one that felt conspicuously absent from my current collection of bridal tasks.

Did I need another gown? No. Did I even really want another gown? No. But a BHLDN sample sale is too good an opportunity to pass up. 

Besides, I’m an anthropologist. I’ve seen these sorts of hullabaloos on TV but never in real life and I was curious (you know, for the sake of…. science). And being that fieldwork comprises the very hallmark of the anthropological discipline, you can’t just stand there and watch people shop. You’ve got to jump right in!

At least that is how I justified it to myself.

In reality though, I wanted to see if I could do it: to beat out all of the other hopeful brides and get the absolute DEAL OF THE CENTURY. There’s a method, you see, to the successful navigation of a sample sale.

And it begins with a plan.

Our plan to was be in the line at the Navy Yard gates by 7:30am. This way, when they opened at 8am, we’d be among the first in line to queue up for the actual sale, which began at 9am.

Since I can’t sleep more than 4 or 5 hours in a row these days, I got up around 5am, made coffee, made eggs, packed our eggs into sample-sale-friendly bagels for easy transport and then starting to assemble my arsenal.

The advertisement for the sale, you see, stated that there would be no mirrors and no changing rooms. But in order to fully experience the cultural phenomenon that is the early 21st century North American bridal sample sale, you need to figure out a way to try the gowns on, in very rapid successesion.

The post suggested bringing your bridesmaids to hold up a blanket for privacy. To which I said, “Pshttttt! Amateurs!” 

We opted for leotards and tights instead, and I packed up a small hand mirror and a collection of belts and sashes in varying widths, colors and glitter-to-fabric ratios to help us visualize the necessary accessories.

Then, seeing as it was still only 6am, I decided to make us some “bridal flair” because the advert also suggested wearing matching t-shirts and hinted that there would be prizes.

The acquisition of these prizes seemed, of course, vital to my correct understanding and interpretation of the sample sale phenomenon overall, so two hours later I found myself sitting at the dining room table glue gunning pink flowers onto matching headbands. 

Tragically, it was only then, around 8:30, that I realized my shopping companion still hadn’t responded to my text about whether or not she could pick up some orange juice for our power-shopping mimosas… And, more importantly, that it was 8-f*cking-30 and we were meant to be in line an hour ago! 

Suffice it to say, a few curse words may or may not have escaped my lips at the moment… 

(Followed by a rather sobering “First World problems, Kat. Get a grip.”)

But you’ll have to wait until Wednesday for the rest of the story because my pain meds are finally kicking in (woohoo!) and I have papers to grade.

In the meantime, happy Monday everyone!

2 Responses to “The Anthropology of the Anthropologie Sample Sale”

  1. no longer her landlord

    OMG, you went to a sample sale??? This is going to be good.

    Although I hate that Anthropologie has a wishy washy reputation with Fair Trade, I’ll pay higher prices if they can be more transparent…

    • Kat Richter

      All those years of Capezio Factory Outlet training came in handy… But yeah, I’m doing some googling myself now and am remembering why I don’t generally shop there. I didn’t realize they were owned by Urban Outfitters (where I definitely do NOT shop). Some shady stuff going down there for sure 😦


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