Lilly Pultizer Warehouse Sale

9:00 AM

Recently I went with a friend of mine to the Lilly Pultizer Annual Warehouse Sale. Held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center over the course of three days this is where Lilly fanatics get the most of their loot as items can be discounted as deeply as 90% off. As a recent Lilly wearer, my bestie has been a frequent flyer at the Lilly Warehouse Sale and offered to show me the ropes.

Packing up our things we headed to the warehouse getting there at 6pm on Wednesday. Our chairs had been set up since Tuesday and we were one of the first 100 in line. We got cozy with our blankets, food, water and entertainment and it was sure to be a long night. Still having war zone flashbacks of Lilly For Target I honestly had no idea what to expect. My best friend said it wouldn't be nearly as bad. Listening to others conversations I heard otherwise. After about 20 hours of no sleep (I had work at 9am that day so I had been up since 7am) we packed our things up around 3am - that's when things started to get exciting.

As I have a rather big vacation coming up soon I limited myself to a budget of $150 for the sale, which when looking at the prices of Lilly goods sounds like nothing but I would have been happy with just scoring one thing - responsibilities. However at the end I was able to grab three gorgeous new items with a retail value of over $500 for $75. Here's what I got:

Sloane V-Neck Maxi Dress in Oh Cabana Boy
Retails for $198 Bought for $30
I grabbed this simply because I liked the feel of it. I didn't notice it was a maxi until I was in the fitting room and almost just tossed it aside. Being petite, maxi dresses aren't usually my friend. This however fit like a glove, no hemming required, and after many complements from the lovely fitting room shoppers I was convinced. 

Janice Knit Shift Dress in Ottoman Stripe
Retails for $180 Bought for $30
Along with palm print, stripes are my weakness. With a pretty soutache trim I can definitely see myself wearing this a lot in the summer and transitioning into winter. Again fits amazingly, and I love the gold zipper pull in the back.
Elsa Top in Ariel Blue
Retails for $148 Bought for $15
While the other two items were clearance, this one was marked as damaged. Apparently there is a stain on the right sleeve however I have looked high and low and can't spot it for the life of me. Made of 100% silk it feels ultra luxe and the blue color is stunning. 

While there have been rumors that the 2015 sale was the last, if in fact this turns out to be false here are some tips for next year's!
  • GET THERE EARLY... - This year people were lining up as early as a week before the sale. For the best deals get there early. Being one of the first few allows you not only first pick but you have a greater chance to score similar deals as I did above. Seconds & Samples have the items with the most reduced prices however they are not organized by size, type, color, etc and as stated they can contain damaged items.
  • ...BUT DON'T SWEAT IT IF YOU CAN'T - The sale runs three days and while once the Seconds & Samples are sold out, they're sold out, the rest of the stock is replenished daily. You can still find items that are marked down from 40%-60% off so don't get discouraged! 
  • BAG FIRST / LOOK LATER - When going through the Seconds & Samples if you find something in your size don't bother looking over it, just throw it in your bag. As mentioned before this stuff goes quick, so while you're examining a shirt on whether you REALLY like the color you're missing out on a ton of other opportunities. Once in the fitting rooms, then you can examine your stash and decide if that stain really will come out or if it's a loss cause. Speaking of fitting rooms...
  • THROW OUT YOUR INHIBITIONS - The dressing room is communal, one big room with multiple mirrors. You're going to definitely want to try on those clothes & this isn't the time to be shy. Make sure to wear full coverage undies or compression shorts and bra so that you're not flashing your fellow shoppers. I wore a dress to make sliding on and off pants and shorts easier without having to expose as much. 
  • HAVE AN OPEN MIND - Don't go in with your heart set on a particular print or particular item, odds are it might not be there. The sale is mostly past season items and certain items have limited quantities. Go with an open mind.
  • HAVE FUN, BE NICE - Generally the Lilly shoppers are pleasant. They'll swap sizes if it doesn't fit them, give you their honest opinions on clothes, and let you look through their unwanted loot. You don't want to be remembered as a bad egg at the sale (or get kicked out), so be courteous and you'll have a great experience. 

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