3 Lessons Learned from a Kate Spade Sample Sale

Published in: Just For Fun

It might sound silly to say that I learned valuable life lessons from a discount sale on designer purses, but it’s true. And these days, a girl’s gotta get her pearls of wisdom wherever she can. Let’s face it, we ain’t gettin’ it from TV — well, except for that tidbit on Top Chef about not letting others handle your meat.


Anywho. Last week, after hunting and gathering like a sweaty beauty beast over the deeply discounted purses and accessories in Kate Spade’s online sample sale, I learned the following lessons I would now like to share.

1. To hesitate is to meditate in a horizontal position

This popular phrase from martial arts can also apply to shopping. It means that if you don’t act when you know that you should, like when every fiber of your being says, “Do it! Add that gold seahorse bracelet to your cart!”, you’re liable to end up out cold on the floor, or out of luck, as the case may be.

In my case, I missed out on a possible birthday bracelet gift to myself. Along with the purses I liked, it was one of the things I wanted to get for my birthday next month, but by the time I got around to clicking it, it was already gone.

Kinda like that time in kindergarten when I desperately wanted to be in the school play, but I was too shy and scared to volunteer. Or that time in college when I wanted to study abroad but was too afraid to confront my parents, and by the time I finally did, the deadline had passed.

2. Crime doesn’t pay, but research does

No joke, but in the months leading up to the sale, I think I’d already tried on every one of the sample sale purses at the Kate Spade store by my house. Every time I’d stop by the mall, I’d swing by the KS store. So when the sale hit, GURL, I was ready! I knew exactly which purses would fit my body, and which colors worked best with my wardrobe.

Which brings me to this: if you plan to invest in something pricey — be it a bag, a post-graduate education, a house or a car — conduct as much recon as possible beforehand to help you make the right decision.

3. You can’t go wrong with classics

Even though I was moved by a few of the trendy numbers in the sample sale, in the end, I went with an off-white bag and a black quilted purse. Following new trends can be fun (says the girl who still has a little black satin backpack from 1996 in her closet, LOL!), but it never hurts to have a few classics around. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Katrina says:

    I love love love that black quilted, I want it so very badly…but eh, poor right now >.<

  2. snoopysteph says:

    I hesitated on the black quilted purse – and then it was gone when I finally decided I wanted it. πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Did you end up getting anything? πŸ™‚

      Oh, and what’s the word with your hubby? Did everything turn out the way he wanted it with his tests?

      • snoopysteph says:

        I restrained myself. I really, really wanted that purse (and there was a hot pink bag I was dying for too!). To make up for it, I ordered a Sea Turtle palette from Chantecaille today since it popped back up on their website!

        My husband was sworn in to the US Navy yesterday, hooyah! He’s on the delayed entry program & will report to boot camp next March. After 9 weeks of that he’ll be going to San Antonio for 14 weeks of hospital corpsman training, which will go hand in hand with his “day job” – he’ll be opening up an acupuncture/oriental medicine practice after he graduates this September. I’m so proud of him & happy that he’s living the dream!!

        What did your dad do in the Navy & how long was he in for? My dad did 4 years of service in the 70’s right after he graduated from high school. He was an electrical engineer of some sort & was assigned to a pilot & his plane – even got his name stenciled on that jet too!

        • Karen says:

          Oh, that palette looks amazing! You’ll so be able to rock it out for years to come.

          And big congrats to your hubby. It’s great to hear about people making their dreams come true! I’m so happy for your family. πŸ™‚

          As for my pops, he was in the Navy in the ’70s, too (I was a baby at the time). I’m not exactly sure what he did, but I think it had something to do with flying all over the place, planes and ships, LOL! The few times he’s talked about it he mentioned having to fly up to Alaska all the time.

          It’s hard for me to picture my parents’ life before they had kids, you know? When I see pics of them when they were young I’m like, “WHOA! You guys look less stressed out! And skinny!”

  3. Nikolas says:

    Karen!! Your new handbags are so beautiful!!! I’m happy you got them πŸ™‚ In the game of life, we win some and we lose some… These babies are DEFINITE winners<3333 Tabs must be very jealous…

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Nikolas! πŸ™‚ Did you ever find your newsprint clutch?

      And yes, I won’t be surprised if Tabs tries to “borrow” these purses, LOL!

  4. larie says:

    Love the off-white one, so gorgeous!
    larie recently posted … Tarte EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner

  5. Tiffany says:

    Love both of these! Great classics!

  6. Vicki says:

    Ha, I did not go classic – I got a hot pink patent leather purse. I <3 it sooo much!

  7. Lauren says:

    great lessons karen! i’ve learned that first lesson the hard way. x.x *le sigh* that quilted bag is gorgeous and will never go out of style! πŸ˜€

  8. fabulous picks, karen! i agree with all your tips – doing research really helps with the shopping experience.
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes – Pure Awesomeness For Less Than 6

  9. Megan says:

    That off-white looks much better than I thought it would (I didn’t get to see it in person). The texture looks great in your pictures–I’m a little sad now that I didn’t get it!

    I also learned the “put it in your cart and just buy it now or you’ll be sorry” lesson the last sample sale KSNY had. I’m still scrounging on eBay for the perfect one that got away.

    • Karen says:

      It’s a difficult lesson to learn! What purse are you still hunting for? I have a feeling that seahorse bracelet will haunt me for years to come, LOL!

  10. Julia says:

    I love Kate Spade . I gave each of my bridesmaids a little black and white Kate Spade cosmetic bag as part of their bridesmaid gift when I was married in February. I loved those bags and kind of wish I had gotten one for myself! I waited and waited and waited until they went on sale so I was lucky to get a very good deal on them. Both of the purses you chose are beautiful and look so classic. You’ll be able to carry them for a long time.

  11. Tracy says:

    Love them both! It’s one of my dreams to someday have a Kate Spade Bag!
    Tracy recently posted … Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask

  12. Brandy says:

    I ordered a kiwi green bag! Moving to Australia in two months and the bag just felt bright and sunny, like my new home!

  13. Lesson #4: pay attention to the dates of the sales.

    I totally forgot about this and missed out! =(
    Kajal Couture recently posted … MAC Surf Baby Eye Looks

  14. mulberrytea says:

    I love those two bags you ended up with! I didn’t know that Kate Spade made such classic styles (lately I’ve been seeing things like the orange slice straw bag and the flamingo beach bag). I have two bags that are very similar styles to the ones you bought, and they are both classics that I love.

    The white ostrich one is extra gorgeous by the way πŸ™‚

  15. Paris B says:

    Love the bags you picked! I only have one bag from Kate Spade and I might tote that out πŸ™‚ Its pricey here though I think I might just check out the quilted one in our local store. It looked bigger on you than it looks in the 1st picture πŸ˜€
    Paris B recently posted … Ups and Downs in May 2011

  16. Karen B says:

    Both of those look gorgeous πŸ™‚

  17. Michelle says:

    Love the bags you got! I just got mine in the mail. it’s the Roland Park Editorial Cecilia in solid black. It’s big and beautiful. It’s my third Kate Spade sample sale purchase. I’ve received so many compliments on the other two, and I’ve carried them so many times that they’ve been worth every penny. And, like you, I learned that I have to jump and buy what I want as soon as I see it or it’s gone.

  18. *jen says:

    Great article, Karen! And your new bags are hawt. πŸ™‚
    Sorry you missed out on the seahorse bracelet, though. That’s a bummer. I would have loved to have seen Tabs modeling it (and I know he would have!).

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Jen! Yeah, Tabs is giving me a lot of crap for missing out on the bracelet. You know he woud’ve loved to have borrowed it permanently, LOL!

      How’s your weekend going so far? Doing anything fun?

      • *jen says:

        I’m overhauling the kids’ rooms this weekend. Yes, I know how to have a good time! But their toys are overtaking the family room and they’re old enough now that I can enforce room cleanings — and get my grown-up room back! lol

        I hope you get to go bask in the sun for at least some of this long weekend!

        Hugs to Tabs.


  19. nidhi says:

    fabulos picks..love the white one…
    nidhi recently posted … Every day look with Boozy shop warm Palette

  20. Advah says:

    These are beautiful bags! I’m almost glad it’s kinda impossible to get Kate Spade in the UK, as it helps me resist tentation. Although there’s a KS outlet shop by where my brother lives, which gets me drooling every time.

    Do you have other KSpade items Karen? I’ve a bright green leather organiser I adore!

    Also, that grey/purple top you’re wearing in the pictures is lovely and super-suits you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Advah,

      I have a few things from her line. A black and white print bag from a few years ago, a patent blue and white tote bag and a couple of makeup bag-esque accessories. Oh, and the black & white polka dot iPhone case! Your bright green leather organizer sounds cute. I love brightly colored accessories. πŸ™‚

      And thanks regarding the grayish/purple sweater! I got it in the junior’s section at Nordstrom for like $18, LOL!

      What are you up to today? Have a great weekend!

      • Advah says:

        Haha love the junior sections!
        Not much planned this weekend, the weather is atrocious so I’m staying in and cooking. Have a lovely Sunday too!

  21. Great picks, and I love your wisdom as always πŸ™‚
    Gotham Polish recently posted … A Sweet Mani at Dylans Candy Bar

  22. Girl says:

    GASP! I just realized I NEED Kate Spade!

  23. Kristen says:

    I love the classics you chose! especially the black quilted purse!

  24. Tahnee says:

    omg. I LOVE those bags. So jealous!! πŸ™‚

  25. Nina says:

    totally digging the black quilted purse!

  26. Maia says:

    I got the same white bag as an early bday present for myself too!! Love it!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Love the white one!! Karen, am curious, how do you find out about the sample sale?? Do they have stuff like that online…? I’m new to this..so was just wonderin..

  28. Vonvon says:

    Both bags are very pretty! Now….time to shop around! Or perhaps hit the Outlets!
    Vonvon recently posted … A-Blush-A-Day- No 26- Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick Compact In Nectar – Swatches &amp Review

  29. Victoria says:

    Hi karen, thank you so much for the info on the sale. I read your blog everyday and so glad i did that day. I got the same style as your white bag but in blue and love it coz its a color i dont have. Didnt see the black quilted ne, its gorgeous no wonder it went fast coz i wouldve gotten that too. I was thinking really hard but i really wasnt lemming anything lately and the sale was just like the sale prices at coach but goodness, its a kate spade. Thanks so much again.

  30. Faye says:

    Thank you again for posting the information about the sample sale. I love the bag I got (same as your white one, just in blue), and I probably wouldn’t have gotten it without the sale. It’s now happily living in its new home on one of the accessories shelves in my closet with her sisters :).

    • Karen says:

      Hey Faye!

      I have a question for you about the hardware on your blue purse. Are the zippers attached to thin leather pieces that match the purse, or are they gold with embossing? I tried on the blue one at the store and I could’ve sworn the zippers had gold plated tags (one said “Have” and the other said “Courage,” so cute!). My white one has thin leather pieces that match the purse, so I’m just curious…

      How did those sweaters work out for you, btw?

  31. Fieran says:

    A week before the Sample Sale, I picked up the Cheltenham Opus in coffee brown. I received it over the weekend. It’s so beautiful. The leather is so nice and soft. I totally get why you love Kate Spade πŸ™‚

  32. Gloria says:

    I didn’t know about the sale til 19 minutes before it ended. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but I saw and immediately fell in love with the the Darien Stevie in white. It called my mom and wanted me to bring it home.

    2 quick clicks, a few days of waiting, and it’s all mine! It’s even prettier more elegant in person!!

    Gloria recently posted … Sale Fail! Courtesyof NYX

  33. Deb says:

    Both of those bags are adorable! And I totally remember those little satin backpacks.
    Deb recently posted … Nobel Blueberry Sours Gummy

  34. NB says:

    I am looking to purchase a kate spade quilted leather bag and I am a little hesitant because some bags seem to lose their “puffiness” if you know what I mean lol! Is that the case? If I am going to spend a lot, I just want to make sure that after a while, the quilting does not get flat. Please let me know if this flatness of quilting has occurred to your bag.
    Thanks soooooooooooooo much πŸ™‚

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