Sample in the City
Paying money for the privilege of paying money doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but for the District Sample Sale, a girl can make an exception.
The third incarnation of the biannual sale takes place in the old Staples building in Georgetown from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Expect to see summer-season apparel from local stores like Alex, Hysteria, Urban Chic and Sassanova all sold at bargain prices. Free martinis will be flowing, appetizers will be circulating and DJ Federico Aublee will be spinning. Bottom line, it beats your average trip to the shops on Wisconsin Avenue.
Tickets for the events cost a hefty $40, but proceeds benefit Miriam's House, a shelter for women infected with HIV. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday and, if you want to go, get tickets early. The Sample Sale always sells out. (Tickets are available through the official Web site.)
So if you like shopping and want to support a good cause, the event is kind of a no-brainer. The real question for this season's event is whether to pay for VIP tickets. At $100 a pop, they add a significant fee to an already expensive shopping spree. What do you get for the extra $60? A special hour -- from 6 to 7 p.m. -- to browse the racks before the show officially starts while Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton spins. Since only 100 VIP tickets are available, this might be worth it for the savvy (or ruthless) shopper. She can snap up bargains before the general public even gets in the door.
You also get a t-shirt and a "couture goodie bag." I was skeptical about the goodie bag, but spokeswoman Barbara Martin tells me, "What we're not doing is filling it up with crappy catalogs." It'll be stuffed with accessories, cosmetics and hair care products from places you might actually want freebies from, like Cusp and Graham Webb. The goodie bag samples might be worth the extra cash.
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