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Steven Alan Brings His Sample Sale Goodness to Chicago

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The legendary Steven Alan sample sale—already seasonal staples in the NYC and LA shopping scenes—rolled into town this week and proceeded to chase away our mid-winter malaise. This year, the New York-based designer decided to mix it up a bit by hauling racks upon racks of his signature Americana-chic clothing half way across the country, adding The Windy City and San Francisco to his sample sale roadshow circuit. To mark this much-anticipated debut in Chicago, Steven Alan joined forces with local favorites Roslyn and Apartment #9 and made it a truly enticing four-day event, offering 30–75% off past and current season frocks for the ladies and the gents. We were lucky enough to have a bunch of super-friendly SA folks guide us through the sale preview yesterday (the public is welcome beginning today at 8:30am). Oh, and much to our delight, Mr. Alan himself made a cameo appearance while we were checking out the goods.

So let’s start out with the lay of the land in Steven Alan sample sale country. Located on the lower level of the 67 East Oak building, the “H”-shaped salesfloor is divvied up into roughly 45% men’s (left half) and 55% women’s (right half, plus a nice handbag selection stacked on shelves just before men’s shirt racks begin). Clothing from the original Steven Alan label make up about 95% of the sale (we’ll get to the other 5% later), with plenty of stock in sizes XS/0 to XL/10. You’ll find multiple bins of affordable items such as seersucker hats ($5) and pajama tops ($25) casually lying on the floor, to wool coats ($225–$275) and blazers ($150) tightly squeezed on the racks. Be forewarned: with no dressing rooms, be prepared to expose your long undies when trying on anything in public.

This sale focuses heavily on fall/winter apparel, so if you’re looking ahead for that perfect spring break outfit, you might be out of luck. We thumbed through a plethora of those famous Steve Alan button-down shirts for both sexes ($58–$68) in a variety of dizzying patterns—mostly plaids, stripes, prints, and florals, all of them long-sleeves. Some of the outstanding pieces over in the men’s section include large-knit, shawl-collared sweaters in heather gray and blue ($175); military-inspired, olive green khakis ($85); and complete suits for around $200. Crossing over to the women’s section, we couldn’t help but run our hands through the fuzzy maroon mohair/wool jumper ($175). The navy dot Fabriana silk dress ($175) and a large coffee-brown hobo ($275) also caught our attention.

Saving the best for last: remember we have yet to give you the low-down on the remaining 5% of the sale? Although Bucktown’s precious boutique Roslyn contributed only one small rack to the SA sample sale, we were blown away by some amazing merchandise. Highlights include an Elizabeth and James gray “Vagabond” trench marked down to $275 (originally $675); a Nicholas K black “Kelton” jacket is now $265 (was $615); and an Eryn Brinie charcoal ruffle jacket is down to $75 (from $175). A cape-like Evisu wool-knit sweater ($125 from $298) and a beige Pendleton fall trench ($385 from $875) were also standouts.

Considering the fact that Chicago is virgin territory for Steven Alan sample sales, we are predicting hoards of bargain hunters in the coming days. Staffers will replenish stock all weekend and hinted at extra discounts on Sunday, the last day of the sale (no promises though). Cash and credit are both accepted. And if you happen to bump in to Mr. Alan while perusing the sale, try to sweet talk him into opening up a permanent shop here soon.

Steven Alan's First-Ever Chicago Sample Sale Starts Next Week [Racked Chicago]
Steven Alan [Official Site]