By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
For months we've been visiting the same raw-silk skirt, petting it, fondling it, hiding it in the back of the rack, fearful some foul wenchclearly less deserving but, alas, better compensatedwill rip it from our feeble grasp. To drop in, of course, requires enduring the disdainful eye of the contemptuous shopclerkthat immaculately-coiffed, emaciated Skeletor who undeservedly gets everything half off; who's working the cash register every single time we come in goddamnit; who knows, oh yes, how she knows, that we are unworthy and probably contaminating it with our under-$100K-a-year cooties.
But thenit goes on sale. Granted, for an infinitesimal amount less than the actual price, but unlike Bush's War on Terror, this is the kind of flimsy reasoning we'll gladly subscribe to. We are victorious, triumphanthell, the champions, even. Take that, vile Skeletor . . . .
Oh, wait. There's the matching top. At full price.
Sigh. The cycle never ends.
And with that, the start of the summer sales:
Agent Provocateur Starts this Saturday, July 23: Yeah, ladies, it's finally on sale. Several lines are up to 50 percent off, including the retro "Cookie" (once $40-$105, now $28-$73) and the sophisticated lace "Virginie" (now $61-$73 instead of $88-$105). In case there's nothing left at the store, keep in mind the online sale starts August 1.
Reiss Popular UK shop sells their Sienna Miller-esque summer dresses and swift men's shirts at up to 50 percent off. At 387 W Broadway.
Find Outlet Thursday-Sunday, August 4-7 (Noon-7 p.m.): Take 70 to 90 percent off original retail at this popular designer outlet's semi-annual warehouse sale. That includes Lauren Moffatt's popular cotton voile skirt with gold-bead trim, down from $203 to a mere $34; and other finds from Paul & Joe, Juicy Couture, Red Valentino, Twinkle by Wenlan, and many more.
Malia Mills Running August 2-4 (10 a.m.-7 p.m.); August 5 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.): Swimwear separates and maillots from Summer 2004 and Resort 2005 up to 75 percent off retail. Tops, bottoms, maillots, tankinis, and skirts originally $90-$208, now $20-$80. Note: Sale is not at retail location but at 263 W 38th, 5th floor (212-354-4200).
Girlshop The real sale is on the Web site during their Summer Spree sale. From July 25 to August 1, take an additional 20 percent off men's, women's, and children's stock that's already been discounted 50 to 80 percent. (But doesn't that technically make some stuff 100 percent off? OK, we'll stop doing the math.) Ongoing sales at the Web site's store in the Meatpacking District take 20 to 50 percent off spring/summer stock.
Butter Atlantic Avenue's designer depot Butter is still dropping their prices on summer and spring merchandise from Rogan, Rick Owen, and Belgian avant-garde designers Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Margiela. If you love Antwerp fashion as much as Butter's owners do, it's worth the trip; most now half off.
Agnes B Selected spring/summer items up to 60 percent off at French-ingénue clothier.
Kate's Paperie At their annual semi-inventory sale, selected merchandise (photo albums, wrapping paper, stationery, ribbons) is 30 to 70 percent off.
Otto Tootsi Plohound Skip Otto's usual selection of largely unwearable sandals and buy the ballet slippers and Mary Janes from Repetto, the Parisian company that's outfitted dancers for generations. Now around 30 percent off.
Min-K Take 20 to 50 percent off all summer merchandise now.
Foley & Corinna Monday-Sunday, August 8-14: Take 30 to 75 percent off summer vintage, lace camisoles, chiffon tops, silk/jersey dresses, handbags, shoes, and jewelry.