As an avid Lilly lover for many many years, I decided it was finally time to pay a visit to the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale this year. I avoid crowds and hectic shopping situations at all costs. I am not a pushy shopper, I like shopping in peace and I hate crowds. But my fellow Lilly loving friend was stopping into town and we had to go. We braved the lines and ended up waiting about two or so hours but for two besties who hadn't seen each other in a couple months - the time actually flew by.
People come from out of town. People came out. People start lining up at 3am. People shop before the sun is up. We rolled in at about 10:30am after driving about a half hour to get there and I wouldn't have changed it. The line moved quicker than it had all morning, the stock is constantly being replenished and we had a blast.
This year, probably per the #LillyforTarget chaos there were rules, disclaimers and they meant business. Like you couldn't go inside to use the bathroom business. I mean just read below, in true Lilly fashion, the rules were even fantastic. Don't fling your best friend out of the way for a shift dress? Please, my best friend was grabbing clothes in my size and vis versa.
After waiting in line outside, you have to wait in a quick line inside but there is a DJ and you're so close! When you enter they give you a huge tote - like a person could fit in it - and you can fill it to the brim! People just take anything they think they might like since there isn't always huge quantities and you can sort later. Inventory is constantly being rolled out throughout the day so it's not like things run out after the first couple of hours.
Everything is pretty nicely organized. Some racks (usually the ones they roll out of additional stock) are a mixture of sizes but for the most part there are racks labeled with the size number or bins with small, medium, large, etc. The dresses are all together, the jewelry, shoes, shorts, vests, etc. are all in separate sections.
Everyone I encountered was nice and pushy but in a polite way. I mean, you kind of have to be! Just get in there, reach for what you want and hope for the best! I'm terrible at being aggressive in stores but it wasn't too bad. They also only let in a certain amount of people so it's not overly crowded.
We were worried about having to wait in a long line to check out but no worries were needed there. They have a TON of registers set up and we waited in line to check out for maybe less than two minutes.
At checkout they also gave us coupons for 10% off at two of the local Lilly stores that only lasts for the weekend. Lilly never has sales like that so one of the girls that was visiting last weekend and I popped into the store over the weekend and grabbed a few more pieces with the discount.
A little Q&A…
Was it worth it?
Yes and no. It's a long day and you have to search, you're not just going to walk in and find a million favorites. They are constantly bringing out new racks of clothes and if you happen to be in the right spot, that's when you can hit it big.
Is it complete chaos?
No. They only let in a certain amount of people at a time (praise the lord but also hence the long line). There is plenty of room and plenty of racks. But like I said, when a rack is rolled out it can be kind of hectic. You just have to go for it - I'm not pushy and would try to get in there and then just kind of go with it. That being said, everyone I encountered is nice and it wasn't unpleasant.
What are the prices like?
Good not great. If you're one of those people that camps out, then I think they are great because they have sample bins of old items, one of a kind or something that was limited and those are low priced and go really quickly. For examples of other prices, a typical shift dress that is usually $198 would be about $89 so not bad! A makeup bag that would have been $89 would be about $29. You get the idea.
Will I find the dress I saw in the store two months ago and loved?
Maybe. I wouldn't say to go into the sale looking for a specific item. Although, my friend and I did each find a dress we were hoping to find. It's sort of hit or miss. There is a ton of inventory there but not a ton of each item. We went in with the hopes of finding some fun pieces at a good price and were not let down.
By the time I got home - about 4pm I was exhausted (not exhausted enough to pass up on a night out with my parents but quite tired). We were laughing in line because we realized we are "getting old" since our legs hurt. The HUGE totes they give you to carry around your items we filled to capacity so my arms hurt and I was flat out tired. It was an experience, I'm glad we went, we had a great time and each scored a bunch of cute items. When we walked in about 4,000 people had been in before us. That was around 1pm on the first day of the sale so I can only imagine how many people ended up stopping by.
It's always in early June so that should help for 2016 planning!