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
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  1. mink Bee
    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! 😉

  2. sunhat Bee
    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!

  3. turkey Bee
    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!

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:44 am

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

  7. 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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