With the much-anticipated, much-coveted Lanvin x H&M collection debuting at select H&M locations across the country on Saturday, budget-conscious women everywhere are champing at the bit, wondering if they should brave the early-morning lines to get their hands on a piece of Alber Elbaz’s foray into the budget fashion world.
Our institutional advice on that matter is yes, absolutely, go get your ruffled cocktail dresses before everyone else gets them. But don’t do so without being prepared for the task that you’re about to face. Luckily for you, we have some tips for coming away with exactly the pieces you want (and maybe a few that you’re undecided about).
1. Get up early. This should be a no-brainer, but I’m sure people will wander into their local H&M throughout the weekend and then become absolutely indignant when every piece isn’t immediately available in their size. Anyone else out there who has worked in big-box retail in the past is probably nodding along with me in silent, knowing agreement. If you want stuff, set your alarm, make yourself some coffee, put on your warmest coat and go WAIT. When I worked at an electronics store in college, I saw people camp out for days, in winter, to get PS3s. Literally, we had to have a port-a-potty brought for them to use and they were ordering pizzas and having them delivered to the parking lot. For like a week. A couple hours is not that big of a deal. You can take a disco nap later.
2. Don’t go to the wrong H&M. In this case, “select stores” means “someone will sit outside of some random H&M in the suburbs for absolutely no reason.” This kind of collection only gets shipped to urban flagships, so if there’s any doubt in your mind, check the list on H&M.com. And even if there isn’t any doubt in your mind, check it anyway. I’d hate for you to be That Girl.
Pictured: Dresses, $199-$249. Shoes, All $99. Sunglasses, All $19.95. Jewelry and accessories, $29.95-$59.95.
3. You’re going to need a helmet. Your bike helmet will do in a pinch, but a football helmet with full face mask and a chin guard is preferable. Perhaps watch some football videos on YouTube as well. The debut of a line this big always prompts pushing, jostling and lots and lots of side-eye sneering, and being equipped with a helmet not only allows you to use your head as a weapon to knock people away from the display racks, but it also protects you in case some over-caffeinated 20-something tries to beat you to death over the last faux-pearl necklace. Don’t scoff, it could happen.
4. Just grab stuff. Once you get inside, it’s going to be pandemonium. If you see something you might like, try your best to quickly locate your size and then just…buy it. You can always return it later, and trying on at home is a lot better than trying on in a cramped, hot (H&M dressing rooms are always the hottest place on the face of the planet) dressing room while droves of fashionistas hungrily lick their chops in anticipation of your castoffs. That’s some serious The Walking Dead stuff right there, and you don’t need that kind of pressure. Be efficient, and don’t do anything in the store that can be done at your house.
5. Be aware of the prices beforehand. We all love a good $39.95 H&M dress, but ladies, these are not going to be those dresses. Their prices are going to be of the three-figure variety, and if you’re not prepared for that, ignore everything I’ve said so far, stay home, and sleep in. Let your over-enthusiastic friends do the hard work and then poach from their hauls. That’s what a young Kate Moss would have done, right?
6. Speaking of friends… If you have one who would like to go along, but you’re unsure if she’d be willing to cut someone on your behalf, leave her at home. She is not yet ready to do battle.