Barneys Beware


Remember that person in high school, who you obsessed about for years, and just when you had totally given up hope they finally, finally asked you out? And remember how halfway through the evening, you were bored to tears and they didn’t even look cute to you anymore?

So it was with that Comme des Garcons skirt at the Barneys Warehouse sale a few years ago. We had worshipped it in February when it first showed up at $800, but by Labor Day, when it hung forlornly at the BWS, its charm had completely dissipated. Still, for old time’s sake we were determined to buy it. We got on the long, long line to pay, and suddenly heard a voice from heaven: “Its orange. You don’t wear orange. Nobody wears orange. That’s why it’s still here!” We dropped the skirt on the floor—where tons of other merch already lay—and hightailed it out of there.

Not that this otherworldly experience has saved us from countless other mistakes. We still salivate like a Pavlovian pup when we see that ad in the Times for Barneys Warehouse Sale (which runs through September 6), though these days we are happy to share a few rules that have worked for us:

Leave the cards at home and bring cash, and only an amount that you don’t mind losing. When you’re about to cave in and buy a warehouse sale turkey, at least you know you can’t lose more than you’ve got with you. (This has also been known to prevent us from betting too much at the racetrack or losing our head at the slots.)

Since there are no fitting rooms, we discard modesty, strip down, pop on our potential purchase, fight our way to the communal mirror and take a long hard look at ourselves. We pay no attention to all those people around us saying we look great. We will never see them again. Who says they are our friends?

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