A $4000 Valentino Ball Gown, Plus Other Pretty Things at the Gilt Warehouse Sale

 Photo: Gilt

Photo: Gilt

On the fence about the Gilt Warehouse Sale? I scoped out the scene during the preview at The Village (969 Market Street) last night, and I recommend stopping by—especially because you can get in for free with my ticket link. (And no, I don't get money if you click. Just doin' you a solid.)

The sale started last night and continues today at 9 am. (Last timed entry is 3–5pm). Inside, you'll find brands like Valentino, Tibi, Maje, Derek Lam, Charlotte Olympia, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, and Carolina Herrara, up to 80 percent off.

 Shoes for dudes

Shoes for dudes

You'll enter on the ground level by handbags, accessories, and home goods. (Pro-tip: you'll save time if you only carry a mini-bag. Any bag over 5" x 7" must be checked.) If you want to skip straight to clothes, take the staircase to your left (by the clutch table) and walk up. If you're feeling the shoe scene, walk past the checkout stations on your right and head downstairs. 

The shoe department was well-stocked and clearing out quickly when I was there. (That's what happens when you offer racks of Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, Stuart Weitzman, and Dior.) The men's stock was lasting longer, and I actually found a pair of the men's Fendi monster loafers—sadly, not in my husband's size—for $400. Ladies, if you're a 5/6 or a 9/10, you might luck out. Fellas, make the shoe department your first stop.

 That $4000 Valentino, tho

That $4000 Valentino, tho

Upstairs, apparel is divided by type (tops, pants, dresses, etc), and size (small, medium, large). Beyond that, it's a free for all. I found a Carolina Herrera cocktail dress for $1200, a Free People dress for $45, and a Valentino ballgown for $4000, all in the same area. My advice: take time to dig through the racks. There's a communal fitting room in the back where you can try before you buy, and get friends and strangers' feedback. Be sure to check those dressing room racks for abandoned treasures, too! (Ask before you add a piece to your own pile.)

If you're short on time, budget about 10 minutes for checkout. The line is long, but it moves quickly.

Even if you walk away empty-handed, there's still prosecco and nibbles. So make a pass through the sale, and then get back into this glorious San Francisco sunshine.