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.

  • Chris

    H&M stuff also looks great in their print ads, but I never seem to find anything of quality or unique styles when I venture into their stores, is it just me? Their sizes are all over the place too ime… It’ll be interesting to see some reviews after purchase/wear.

  • Olivia

    The collection goes on sale on 23 November which is a Tuesday.

    You’ve said it is Saturday.

    The press release says,

    “H&M is proud to announce that its next designer collaboration will be with Lanvin, one of the most influential brands of the 21st century. Designed by Lanvin’s artistic director Alber Elbaz, and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver, the collection will go on sale on November 23 in around 200 H&M stores worldwide. “

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      The collection goes on sale in US stores on the 20th, this Saturday. The US H&M site confirms the date on the collection’s front page: http://www.hm.com/us/#/Lanvin/

      The 23rd is the non-US date, I believe.

  • Allie

    I don’t really get the appeal of this line – yes, the dresses are pretty and the label will say Lanvin, but this is nothing that you couldn’t get at Bloomingdales for around the same price point. Not to mention the fact that I don’t trust H&M’s sizing and I have no idea if the construction is solid. I’ll pass on this, I think it’s overhyped.

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

    Can someone please go to the event with a helmet on… take a pic and email to me/Amanda? That would be awesome!

  • Shannon

    According to Racked NY, H&M will be giving out wristbands and separating people in groups 20, giving each group 15 minutes to shop. I don’t know if this is at all locations that are carrying the line, or just NYC. I want to go to the Herald Square store, but I have to be at FIT for 9am for a business test, so I can’t.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      Honestly, I hope all stores are doing that. I worked plenty of special releases (not to mention Black Fridays, which is an entirely different post) during my time in retail during college, and that’s the best way to do crowd control during this type of situation.

      I’ll be at the Atlanta/Atlantic Station store around 6 a.m. if anyone wants to come say hello and keep me company.

      • ingrid

        that’s what they’re doing in the Toronto stores as well. it’s the first 320 people in line get wristbands, and they’re divided up into smaller groups with specific timeframes.

  • steffie

    LMBO! Love the advice, but I dont think I could pay $300 or more for a dress from H&M, no matter who the collabo is with

  • justine

    don’t be so harsh on the over-caffeinated 20-somethings… that’s me out there.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      It’s me too :-)

  • Kat

    Another tip, scour the online catalog of the collection, too so that you know what to zoom in on and you don’t waste your time deciding what you want and don’t want.

    And, another. Don’t forget to check out the men’s line. Some of those jackets look beautifully made.

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  • Ashley

    I think I will go and see what all the HYPE is about. Amanda…i will be at the Atlanta/Atlantic Station H&M as well. Can’t wait…I love fashion frenzies…I feed off of them…I always always always come out victorious!!!

  • ccake

    i laughed out loud at number 6. :) i made it very clear to my friends that i am serious about this event and will cut anyone who gets in my way. so that narrowed it down to one friend who will accompany me.

  • mochababe73

    Have fun. We don’t have one here in Houston. However, I did see a few pieces in my issue of People Stylewatch. Not exactly my style. Good luck to everyone.

  • Mila

    Another tip bring a large heavy duty bag with you so you can carry alot…I went to the jimmy choo for hnm and i literally held onto 4 boxes of shoes, 2 purses and a belt around my neck n 5 tops n dresses. Bring your significant other if you must for an extra helping hand!

  • coco

    I’m not really interested in the dresses. I really want a necklace and a t shirt. I’m going by myself as I am ready to kill whoever’s in my way lol.

  • Stylista

    Haha! Great tips! I’m prepping for the extensive work I’ll go through to get a dress!

    http://red-soledfashionista.blogspot.com/

  • Mai

    Apparently they’re not selling any Lavin merchandise in Minnesota. That is rather sad. I’m sad…

  • Bag-nista

    In Paris, the collection will be out on tuesday! it’s gonna be sick, but I’ll be on the war path at 7 am!!

  • mm

    Largest women’s size is 10, largest shoe size is 11

  • Idealist

    Well THANK GOD i live in Atlanta! no offense 2 my hometown bt 4 sum reason, i have a feeling i won’t have a problem fighting many early birds for a shot @ ths collection. lol

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I’m hoping for the same thing. Maybe for once, living in Atlanta will work out for the fashion lovers around here? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow morning.

  • Laura

    I’ve never liked H&M dresses, I think the quality is very poor and sizing is never accurate but this Lanvin collection looks promising. There’s no H&M where I live but even if there was one, I don’t think I’d go, not for me.

  • Kerissa

    Visited the week old H & M and was highly disappointed. Hatred everything. Items were cheap, for teenie boopers & just plain boring. I know we won’t get this collection but if we did I’d be up early with coffee.

  • Nee

    you know, I was going to go to H&M tomorrow just to visit – haven’t been in one since 2006 and wasn’t too impressed back then. Now I know to stay away until the hype dies down!

  • justified

    This morning I went to H&M (Toronto, Bloor) at 10:15
    I didn’t go earlier because I wasn’t crazy about the collection anyway. Lanvin corner was very small people were already paying and getting on hands what they can get. there was a line with 100 people. One girl went there 8:00 and she was at the end of the line to shop.
    they already gave away all bracelet. Maybe I will try to go 1:15 which will be open everyon without braclet.
    It wasn’t like this Sonia Rykiel’s collections.
    Good luck everyon. I hope the quality of th fabric is good, so it will worth to wait for people waited in the cold

  • coco5

    I went to to H&M. Not a great experience but I got what I wanted. I was there at 7:15 am. I waited one hour in the rain and when I finally got in I was told they had no more bracelet. So I asked a woman who had a bracelet if she could get me the bracelet. She snaps back: ” no!! sorry but I have to focus on what I want”. uh ok… so I asked another lady who was much nicer and agreed. I waited about another half an hour. She came out with the necklace. I was really happy lol. But that bracelet system was strange. I mean I wasnt in the back of the line and yet there were no more… Oh well at least I got the necklace!

  • Demi

    Please don’t attack me but I don’t like the dresses posted above! I was expecting something a bit more classic from Lanvin, to be frank. I would never pay more than $50 for these dresses… I’ll visit my local H&M to see more pieces from this collection, but if they look like the ones above, I’ll just pass.

  • Maggie

    The dresses look so pretty! But, what I really love are the shoes!! (ipad)

  • ninjaninja

    I didn’t like their collection for H&M (ipad)

  • cl

    i chose to ignore in sleep in. wasn’t worth it to me (ipad)

  • Sherry

    it was worth it (ipad)

  • Sherry

    i adore my leopard print heels that i got from the collection (ipad)

  • Sherry

    love love love (ipad)

  • Jelita78

    i saw in youtube of this event..
    wowzeerrr..
    it’s indeed unbelievable to have all stuffs gone in 15 minutes! wow!!!
    funny how people can turn very nasty when it comes to fashion, huh? (ipad)

  • Jen

    I love H&M!

  • Jen

    I love H&M! (ipad)

  • helen

    I like rule number 2 – don’t go to the wrong H&M. (ipad)

  • ckl5464

    Questions about the former exclusive collection for H&M: Thanks!
    Did you go to see Lanvin’s collection for H&M?
    Whether you bought a piece from the collection or not, your opinion interests me!

    I’m doing a PhD on this subject and am very interested in what you have to say.
    Here is the link to the Questionnaire
    http://sphinx.icn-groupe.fr/recherche/lanvin-hm-en/questionnaire.htm

    It will take no longer than 4 to 6 minutes and your help is very important for my study.

    Thank you for completing this form!
    Christine (from France)