I kid, I kid; but hey, where’s the fun if I can’t try painfully hard to be a little bit funny?
This was the first year I went to the annual Aritzia Warehouse sale in Vancouver, also known as:
People-line-up-at-3am-for-a-7am-opening Day (If you don’t beelive me, see this article http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/09/aritzia-warehouse-sale-photos-2015/)
(Disclaimer, I don’t know if it actually officially goes by the 3 names above).
For 5 days over the Labour Day long weekend, lovers of the Vancouver retail store head towards the Convention Centre, cards and cash in hand, and a determination to grab one of those oh-so coveted blanket scarves (shameless plug: I bought one. It was the top of my to-buy list and I found one and am now a better person because of it. True story). The mark-downs are (in my opinion) significant enough that if you love their clothing but find regular and “sale” prices inadequate, you will be happy here. The most expensive thing in my closet prior to this sale was a sleeveless black blouse from Aritzia which ran $70 at regular price. I’ve heard that past sales had more significant markdowns, but if you’re me (which would be a little creepy, fyi…) and are using the sale as a chance to score some deals, you will succeed so very hard.
My purchases were as follows:
Top Row: Community Poeta Sweater Dress, Talula Cadogan Dress, and Wilfred Free Phillipa Jacket
Middle: One teaspoon Bleu Milke Hoodlums, Wilfred Tapestry Rectangle, Wilfred Free Blanket Scarf, Babton Bastien Shorts, and TNA Sea to Sky Sweater
Bottom: The Group Javier Sweater
These 9 items retail for more than $1100 (BEFORE taxes), and I paid just over $500 after taxes at the warehouse sale. I won’t post the indivudal prices and markdowns for everything, but feel free to message me if you’re curious. 🙂
My More Detailed Breakdown
A sweater dress was second on my to-buy list. I found this within the first 20 minutes of my arriving in a dark charcoal (Pictured is a lighter grey), and grabbed it ASAP. It fit wonderfully, felt amazing, and was discounted enough that I didn’t hesitate at all to purchase it. I’m even more excited for fall when I can layer this with coloured tights and my grey ankle boots.
The Talula Cadogan Dress is a glorious shade of maroon (one of the main reasons I snagged it); and the cute ribbon by the collar can be tied up or left loose. Its fabric is loose and breathable and perfect for layering with a small waist belt over leggings.
This Phillipa Jacket by Wilfred Free was marked down from $165.00 to $74.99. One of the main reasons I grabbed it was its length; I’m 5’4 and find that a lot of jackets I try on hit an awkward part of my hips and make my body look disproportionate. The Phillipa is a perfect length for my body type, super comfy and soft, and the neutral greys will balance out should I choose to pair it with something more colourful.
These Bleu Milke Hoodlums are part distressed/part boyfriend/part skinny jean and have a very unique look about them, which makes them stand out among the rest of the distressed jeans Aritzia sells. As soon as I got home I tried them on with a loose t-shirt and ankle boots, and now am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to wear the very same outfit out for actual people to see as opposed to just my reflection.
On the left, the Wilfred Tapestry Rectangle in a beautiful mosaic of every colour autumn encapsulates. On the right, the famous Wilfred Free Blanket Scarf. There are no words to express my joy at having these two scarves in my possession.
I love high-wasted shorts, but only found this fact out…two months ago. Not a very long amount of time. But now I seem to be making up for lost chances with these shorts that can easily be dressed up or down.
The Sea to Sky Sweater has not left my body since I came home with it yesterday. This was the first item I spotted when I walked into the sale, the first in my bag, and the first that I knew would be coming home with me. Mine is shades of cream, dark grey, and white as opposed to the one pictured here. Sweaters were a general to-buy for me and I left more than satisfied (and to answer your question, yes; all these jokes about taking it home and leaving satisfied are innuendos HAHAAHA I’m so funny).
When I grabbed this cape sweater, there was no price tag, no sale price, and no tag on the inside except for a small neck tag reading “Peninsula”. After googling Peninsula sweater, Peninsula cape, and Peninsula clothing, my search bore no fruits as to what brand this was and what it retailed for. By chance, I stumbled upon a youtube video about someone’s finds at this year’s sale, and lo and behold, the first item shown was this. May I present, The Group Javier Sweater. Marked down to $49.99 from $195.00, this soft cape sweater rounds off my Hoodlums, T, and booties outfit.
If You Go…
Some tips/tricks/food for thought:
1.) You don’t have to go early to score good finds.
I went at 4:30pm and scored everything on this post. Were I richer I could’ve bought a LOT more. Furthermore, I didn’t even get through the entire sale area, so if you’re someone who meticulously sorts through every single rack I guarantee you will find a handful of goodies your size. I’m a XS-S depending on the clothing item and there were lots of those sizes left. I also only spent about 2 hours total shopping. They restock daily so once an hour or so they bring about a dozen racks of new items onto the sale floor.
Plus, wouldn’t you rather wait in a 10-minute line as opposed to a multi-hour one? (I kid you not; Vancouverites are notorious for waiting HOURS in line for the Aritzia Warehouse Sale before doors even open).
2.) Scour the floor and changing room racks.
The only reason I found my blanket scarf is I just happened to peek into an abandoned shooping bag in the changeroom. Things are rejected like no tomorrow during the sale, so take a few minutes to look at what others don’t want and you may find yourself lucky. My Talula dress was taken from the racks of clothing waiting to return back to the sale floor.
3.) Bring a water bottle and light snack, but make sure they fit in a small purse.
If you plan to spend your time here, stay hydrated. Bring a small granola bar or other snack to eat to keep your energy levels up. There’s a mandatory bag check before you enter the sale area, but if you have a small purse they’ll let you right in. No backpacks, large bags, or totes.
4.) If you like it, grab it.
4:30 wasn’t too crazy, but if you like something the chances of everyone leaving it be until you make up your mind are slim to none. Grab now, decide later.
5.) Wear clothes you can easily take on and off.
Changing rooms are basically a giant tent with multiple mirrors. I wore a tank top, sport shorts, and slip on sneaker flats. I get hot very easily so forwent on sleeves and pants; a good choice since lots of people = lots of body heat (another reason I was thankful for my water bottle).
6.) Check the price tag.
For two reasons; the first is sometimes the same item can be two different prices, so keep your eyes open. The second is maybe that sweater you saw isn’t discounted enough to make it worth it, and that’s totally A-OK if you decide to not purchase it.
7.) Keep alert.
I had good luck by having super nice people next to me who were more than happy to watch my stuff while I ran over to check someone’s discarded clothing pile. But I have heard tales of other shoppers just going through your bag while it’s on the ground, so keep it close. Keep valuables on you at all times, as it gets very busy between clothing racks and in changing rooms. Sometimes the workers will be clearing clothes off the floor and may accidentally grab something that missed your bag, so be wary of that.
8.) Know your size before you go.
This saves you a lot of time. I was fortunate enough to be walking by an Aritzia a few days prior to the sale, and stopped in to try on some jeans and sweaters to get an idea of my size. This was helpful for jeans especially since they’re not organized by size due to the hordes of people grabbing at them. The Aritzia size guide on their website is also helpful and true to size; I fit between an XS to and S on the guide, and as stated previously my items are all either XS or S.
9.) Edit your bag before checking out.
Find a section of floor off to the side. Take everything out. Think: Did this look good on me? Did it actually, or is it wishful thinking because I just really really want _____ brand? Any defects? Do I really want to pay this much for this? Etc etc etc.
Once your final edit is done, you go pay, go home, and then try everything on again in your own room. Congratulations! You survived!
My verdict? More beneficial to go later in the day. I found everything on my to-buy list, and had a lot of fun! I would definitely go again, and found the discounts worth it. What was your experience and shopping haul like?