Some of last year's sample sale bounty:
Brunello Cucinelli short sleeve polo, cashmere half-zip jumper,
gingham button down dress shirt, and Lacoste polos.
As spring slowly approaches here in the Northeast, temperatures are beginning to creep higher and higher. If that's not enough to get you excited, perhaps the dawning of another season of sample sales will do the trick. Soiffer Haskin got the men's clothing season off to a start with its Loro Piana sale this week - although the discounts at LP aren't earth shattering, have faith: the men's sales are always all over the place.
Last year, in my opinion, the stand-out sales were from Brunello Cucinelli, Ralph Lauren (at Soiffer Haskin), and Turnbull & Asser.
Brunello Cucinelli's items were reduced to 80% off retail prices at the tail end of the sale - and there was more than enough inventory still on hand to find some gems. BC's very substantive mother-of-pearl buttons are probably worth $65 by themselves, which made the button-down and polo that I picked up pretty good bargains (relatively speaking for a polo shirt that retails north of $500). Cucinelli's reputation is based on their absolutely wonderful cashmere, and the half-zip jumpers were a steal.
The Ralph Lauren sale at Soiffer Haskin was less impressive in terms of sheer inventory, so you'll probably need to be in line before 9 am on the first day. I ended up leaving with a Purple Label lilac dress shirt by Lorenzini, an unlined cashmere tie, and a pair of boxers in a lilac stripe that I picked up because they're a perfect match for the lining on my favorite pair of Incotex slacks.
In terms of absolutely insane deals, Turnbull & Asser's summer sale was the winner, in my opinion. The shop set aside a few rooms which were fulled with boxes and boxes of last season's shirt designs. Most of the available models featured the bold stripes and colorful patterns that T&A are famous for. Models were also available in Turnbull & Asser's regular fit as well as the slimmer "exclusive" fit. In some instances you'll need to do some digging, but in other cases, I literally turned to a box and found something nice right on top. With shirts reduced from $295 or $325 to $25 per shirt, its really hard to go wrong. Definitely check it out - the 57th Street shop's summer sale is usually in late May or early June.
So, keep an eye on the schedule - you'll never know which sale will be the one to remember!
Good luck and happy hunting!