Miss Mink Buys $30 Bridesmaids’ Dresses

I bought dresses for two of my bridesmaids at 8:00 AM inside an abandoned Whole Foods store.

Did that get your attention?

I previously told you about the benefits of living an hour from the J.Crew headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia. A few months after I bought a pair of shoes for 97% off at one of their wedding clearance sales, J. Crew staged another warehouse sale inside a building that Whole Foods left after they built themselves a new store here in Charlottesville.

By this point, I had decided that I wanted my bridesmaids to wear silk taffeta dresses by J.Crew in Matisse Blue even though it might be difficult to find matching decorative items. I was pretty sure I could find them at the warehouse sale. You see, those Matisse Blue dresses were from the spring/summer collection and weren’t being shown in the fall catalog. I thought they might be sent to the sale to get them out of the warehouse.

Complicating things was the fact that these warehouse sales are where eBay sellers shop for things to sell. I had to get to the dresses before the resellers did. If the resellers got them, I’d have to pay to to three times as much to buy them through eBay.

At 7:45 AM on the opening morning of the sale, my maid of honor and I joined the line of eager shoppers snaked around the building. We reviewed the mission. We had to find these dresses:

Dresses from J.Crew (Discontinued)

The doors opened and everyone was handed a trash bag and price list, then we came around a corner into the shoe section of the sale. Most were like deer in headlights at the sight of rows and rows of tables holding boxes full of shoes. My maid of honor was one of them. I wove through the crowd toward the bridal section as my MOH held up a pair of heels and called “I could wear these!”

The sign on the wall in the special-occasion section said the silk dresses were $50. I found two boxes full of Matisse Blue dresses and dumped them all into my trash bag. I browsed the sale rather casually after that. I found my maid of honor, who still hadn’t left the shoe area. We decided to sort through our bags. I found the one-shoulder dress she wanted and then called my sister-in-law to not so subtly ask her what styles she liked. I had only just sent the “will you be my bridesmaid” spools that I wrote about the other day, and we hadn’t really talked about dresses yet.

I wish I had taken a picture of us sitting on the floor of an old supermarket with piles of silk gowns in our laps, chirping about straps and hemlines at 8:00 AM. I decided to get a few dresses for my sister-in-law so she’d have more than one option. I wound up with a few dresses for myself, and the tally sheet looked like this:


Yes, I bought nine dresses…but some are for work and some are for the bridesmaids. / Photo by Miss Mink

The tally lady told me the dresses were $30. She seemed horrified by the idea of charging $50 for the bridesmaids’ dresses. The sign on the wall but was in reference to silk wedding gowns.

I went from the tally table to the cash register almost giddy. I just bought dresses that cost $250 in the store for $30. The woman behind me in line was equally happy…and we realized that we knew each other from something else wedding related! I’ll get to that story soon.


Happy J.Crew shoppers…and an eBay reseller or two / Photo by Miss Mink

In the end, I had to buy one dress from an eBay reseller. I was a little crushed when I saw that her address was nearby. She mostly likely bought the dress for $30 and put it on eBay for quite a bit more. In light of the great deals I got on the other dresses, though, I was happy to pay it.

Now I’m curious: Have you gotten a great deal on something wedding related?

Believe it or not, I have an even bigger deal to share in the next few days…


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Love Is Where We Are: Hora
Add a comment


  1. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 1:33 pm

    That’s a fantastic deal. When you wrote that they had dresses for $30 in your other post I was thinking, “WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST BUY DRESSES FOR HER MAIDS!?!?!” haha…and then you wrote that you did. :)

  2. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:38 pm

    @lisaelanna:The sale where I got the shoes was last spring, before I had thought about colors or bridal party. This sale was just at the beginning of the fall, literally just after I sent those “Will you be my bridesmaid” spools to my girls.

    The maid for whom I didn’t get a dress was in Europe and hadn’t even gotten her spool yet. It was kind of funny how the timing worked.

  3. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:40 pm

    I work in the apparel industry and we just had a sample sale at my work. I would love to go to one for something other than cycling apparel! It really does make it hard to pay full retail though!

    Glad you could find what you were looking for!

  4. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:50 pm

    @Miss Aardvark: I feel spoiled. I’ve been a loyal J. Crew customer since high school, but after moving down to Virginia, I have a really hard time buying anything at a mall location anymore.

    I don’t want people to think I’m a cheap skate, but I can’t pay retail for J. Crew anymore! Those warehouse events have ruined me!

  5. Member
    haelmai 321 posts, Helper bee @ 1:50 pm

    Dang, Miss Mink! You are one super shopper! Congrats on your awesome deals.

  6. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:52 pm

    @haelmai: I fear that I’m going to disappoint you all when I don’t get something through some sort of sale!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Megan M, Guest @ 2:08 pm

    Alright, I have to know…. how do you find out about these? I live in VA, so it’s worth it for me to make those drives!

  8. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:12 pm

    @Megan M: If you google Lynchburg and J. Crew factory, you’ll find them. If memory serves, there’s a recording about the next big event when you call the main store.

    Just be forewarned that when they have a warehouse event at the actual warehouse, the line forms at least 3-4 hours early and they only let about 100-120 people in the place at a time.

    Things are much more laid back at the Charlottesville and Richmond events, when they have them.

  9. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:12 pm

    @Megan M: I have also posted about them on the Weddingbee boards in the past, in the Virginia section.

  10. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 2:16 pm

    Aha, no wonder you told me to wait for the concluding part of your story. I got my JCrew dresses for $60. In a way, I’m glad I don’t live near their sale site. I’d be there all the time. And those shoes in your other post? Awesomeness :)

  11. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:37 pm

    OHHHHHHHHH M GEEEEEE, that warehouse sale is seriously my wet dream!! Forget about bridesmaids dresses, I just majorly heart JCrew!

  12. Member
    LilRhodyBride 9 posts, Newbee @ 3:12 pm

    Congrats! I actually bought my bridesmaids dresses at a JCrew warehouse sale too and they were only $20. I deemed myself the best bride ever that night :). It’s a dangerous time when the JCrew warehouse sale rolls around here. A bridesmaid and I sat on the dirty floor of an old Borders with probably 20 navy dresses at some point, but it was completely worth it! That’s awesome that you found the exact color you wanted!
    Megan M: call up JCrew and ask them to put you on the warehouse sale email list and they’ll email when one is coming!

  13. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:50 pm

    @bRooklynRocks: I have to limit my trips down to Lynchburg, that’s for sure!

    @Mrs. Trail Mix: Hence there being 9 dresses on my tally sheet. I couldn’t resist picking a few dresses up for myself!

    @LilRhodyBride: You were at the Adren sale, if you were in a Borders! Hee hee! Aren’t they fun?

    I emailed Megan directly with the contact info. :)

  14. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:11 pm

    Oh my gosh, I need to find this sale! This is probably the best things I’ve discovered about living in Virginia; I don’t care how sad that sounds.

  15. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:46 pm

    This is such an amazing good deal! When I need something from J.Crew on the cheap, I’m totally calling you up, Miss Mink!

  16. dalmatian Member
    dalmatian 592 posts, Busy bee @ 6:20 pm

    Awesome! This sale sounds so sweet – I’m very jealous :)

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    lexy, Guest @ 7:23 pm

    Such an impressive haul! They used to have warehouse sales in the town where I went to undergrad… so awesome.

    My maid (I just have one) and I just got her dress today at H&M for $20! It was pretty awesome…

  18. kettle Member
    kettle 926 posts, Busy bee @ 8:53 pm

    That’s an amazing deal. Seeing how many around their hive get their dresses from J. Crew, you are a total bridesmaid-dress-shopping goddess!

  19. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:59 am

    That is amazing! Totally makes me wish I lived in VA! Love J.Crew!

  20. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:17 am

    @Mrs. Pony: I’ll message you the addresses!

    @Mrs. Parasol: Next time I go to the warehouse, I’ll let you know. :)

    @Miss Dalmatian: You wouldn’t be jealous of the total I spent…but it did replenish my work wardrobe!

    @lexy: We had them in when I was in college, too! I went to school in New England, so they definitely used to take their sale son the road. I think they stopped traveling with the sales and just keep them local (VA and NC).

  21. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:18 am

    @Miss Kettle: Thank you, thank you! That means a lot coming from you, Miss K!

    @TinyTina: We’re always taking new Virginians! Come on down! 😉

  22. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:46 am

    This is so cool! I loved that you dumped them all in your bag and asked questions later – that is 100% the way to navigate these types of sales. I love a good bargain!

  23. turkey Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 1:19 pm

    Seriously – I doubt anyone will be able to beat your incredible deal shopping! I’m going to come visit the next time there’s a sale like that!

  24. Member
    FarAway 26 posts, Newbee @ 10:58 am

    @ Mrs. Trail Mix: Arden N.C.?

  25. Member
    FarAway 26 posts, Newbee @ 11:07 am

    So… I have never tagged anyone in a post before. Oops. :) I was just wondering if it was Arden N.C. I live near Asheville and that would be great. I love the styles of your dresses.

  26. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:44 am

    @FarAway: Yep, the Arden, NC warehouse has these events, too!

  27. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 7:03 pm

    What great deals!!! I got my wedding dress for $50 at a resale shop and my sister got her MOH dress for $30 at a warehouse sale!

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