GUYS. This is it!
Today, I’m leaking the official details of the 2018 Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale. It’s going to start on Monday, September 10th around 8 a.m.(ish) EST and end on Wednesday, September 12th at 11:59 p.m. EST. So exciting!
I’m also hosting a new $200 giveaway to shop the sale. Edit: CLOSED. Congrats to Desiree T. for winning! (Congrats to Heather W. for winning the last giveaway!)
How to enter/a few things you should know:
- Aside from the fact that it’ll be taking place in September instead of August, the big change this year is that additional products won’t be added throughout the course of the sale. That doesn’t mean there will be less inventory; it just means that you don’t necessarily have to be glued to your computer!
- As always, there will be a virtual line. Read more about that below!
- You can shop in-store on the 8th and 9th, but the online selection (live on the 10th) will be far more extensive.
- I’m giving away a $200 gift card to shop the sale! Edit: CLOSED. Congrats to Desiree T. for winning! To enter, simply view Lilly’s current prints here, and tell me which is your fave along with one fun fact about yourself. As always, just remember to leave your address is the following non-spammy format: kelly [at] kellyinthecity [dot] com. The winner will be announced right before the sale goes live, and she’ll receive a $200 gift card to shop.
When is the August 2018 Lilly Pulitzer After Party Summer Sale?
It will start on Monday, September 10th around 8 a.m.(ish) EST and end on Wednesday, September 12th at 11:59 p.m. EST. So exciting!
What is it, exactly?
It’s Lilly Pulitzer’s semi-annual sale. The company doesn’t mark down its products throughout the year; instead, the company typically holds two sales: one in early January and the other in late summer. The summer one tends to be larger and last longer. All sales are final, but everything does ship free.
What goes on sale?
This is hard to predict, but it’s usually a mixture of products from years past, specific items from more recent and current collections, and possibly new (limited stock) merchandise.
Towards the end of the summer, Lilly actually pulls those current products (and sometimes prints all together) from the site because the company plans on including them in the upcoming sale. For example, I’m pretty sure two of my favorites–the Bailor Dress and the Hillary Popover Dress–will be included since they were recently removed from the site. (Exciting! I’d bookmark ’em; they’re GREAT.) I also wonder whether the ever-popular gingham print (“Feelin’ Beachy”) will go on sale, since it’s is no longer listed under “Shop All Prints.” (Maybe?!)
The sale is a great time to score popular prints that haven’t been available for a while, too. In the past, Lilly has included samples and new products made from older prints and materials, which is very fun.
Regardless, I recommend scanning the site now since some of what’s on there now will likely be discounted.
What are the prices like?
I’ve seen dresses marked as low as $29 and $39, with fancier ones in the $49 to $89 range… and accessories marked down to under $20, for example. I bought a pair of Palazzo pants last year for $49, a couple of tops for $29, and a few little girls’ dresses for Emma for $29 each. I also remember sweaters and cardigans being marked down to as low as $39!
In short, the prices are good, haha, and you can expect discounts of up to 80 percent.
How does it work?
As always, Lilly will undoubtedly have a “virtual line” in an effort to avoid site crashes and to ensure that everyone gets the chance to shop. When you arrive at the site, you’ll receive a number and a wait time, even if you arrive promptly at 8. Once you’re in, you can shop until you check out. When you check out, you’ll be placed at the back of the virtual line again. It’s that simple!
This process has worked well in the past. While numbers and wait times might seem extraordinarily high, they’re not as bad as you might think. The line goes relatively quickly (often more quickly than your given wait time indicates), and you’re in before you know it, with TONS of merchandise left to shop. I also like that the virtual line prevents shoppers from going crazy and emptying their bank accounts.
I should note that yes, sometimes numbers and wait times are pushed back, but this is an important precautionary measure that Lilly only takes when necessary, to avoid site crashes. If it’s happening to you, it’s happening to everyone. If you run out of time to shop because you have to go to work or school, for example, most people are in the same position. You’ll be able to shop once you’re home, and I promise that there will be awesome merchandise waiting for you. Never has ALL the good stuff sold out on the first day.
Because of this, it’s helpful to turn up the sound on your computer or device. Typically, you’ll hear a loud ding! when you’re let into the sale.
Why should I set up an account (or update it) ahead of time?
The site will likely be down for several hours before kickoff time for sale preparation, it’s best to create a Lilly account now. If you already have one, look over your billing address, shipping address, and credit card/PayPal information, and then double check everything. I recommend pre-loading both your credit card and PayPal info. (You can also use gift cards during the sale, btw.)
How do I get a good spot in the virtual line?
The day before the sale, log in to your account and leave the window open. Then, set your alarm! Remember that the sale will start at 8 a.m. EST, so account for that if you’re elsewhere in the country like I am.
The following morning, at sale time, simply hit “refresh”–over and over again, haha. Once you get in and receive a number, STOP clicking refresh, or else you’ll lose your spot in line. (And obviously don’t close the browser or spill coffee into your computer, like I’ve done in the past. #goodtimes)
And yes: lots and lots of people will be commuting or already at work when the sale goes live. Like I said, it’s really not the end of the world if you can’t log on at 8 a.m. — I swear! I’ve logged on during lunch breaks or at night in years past, and I’ve scored some amazing stuff. (I’m also not lying just to make you feel better.) The wait times are usually shorter or even non-existent later in the day, so it’s actually a bit nicer!
Can I use multiple devices?
I use my laptop to shop the sale since I work from home, but you can also shop on any internet-capable device. If you can’t be at your computer at the time of the sale, for example, utilize that phone!
Many sales ago, mobile devices and tablets seemed to work better than computers, but over the last couple of years, I’ve found all devices to be reliable. Use whatever option you’re most comfortable with.
Why is it important to know my size?
Because After Party merchandise is non-returnable. But this isn’t a big deal, as Lilly sizing is very consistent. From time to time, though, certain pieces–like the brand’s shifts, for example–run large or small. (FYI, I usually go one size down in Lilly shifts, but I always check the reviews before ordering.)
If you don’t own many Lilly pieces or are at a complete loss, do your research beforehand by reading product reviews and visiting fitting rooms. If you don’t live near a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, try department stores–like Nordstrom–that carry the brand. Oh, and here’s the Lilly size guide.
My best advice here, though, would be to go with your usual size when you’re shopping the actual sale if you’re not 100-percent sure. You can’t do very much about a product that’s too small, but one that’s slightly large can always be tailored or altered!
Note: I order a size XS in dresses and a size small in most everything else because I like my tops and sweaters a little looser. For reference, I’m 5’5 and somewhere between 105 and 110 pounds. I wear a size 34 A bra, and I have a long torso and not-so-long legs. I sometimes need to get Lilly pants and maxi dresses hemmed, but many of my friends who are 5’5 and have longer legs do not.
How can I shop most effectively?
During the sale, you’ll likely see a couple of options: “show filters” and “sort by.” They’ve appeared at the top of the page in the past. There’s no use in wasting your time looking at products that aren’t available in your size, so click “show filters” and select “women’s sizes” first. I tend to then click on “sort by” and select “price – low to high” next. If you’re nuts about a particular print, you might want to select that under “show filters,” though. Everyone has her own method!
If you’re over-the-moon in love with a particular item and you have to have it, check out immediately. You’ll be placed at the end of the virtual line if you do this, but you won’t be heartbroken that you lost what you had your heart set on. :)
Why is it important to act quickly?
Building on the previous paragraph, just because a product is in your cart doesn’t mean it’s yours. Sizes go quickly during the sale, and products sell out fast. Again: if you’re over-the-moon in love with a particular item and you have to have it, check out immediately. Shipping is free, so you can place multiple orders guilt-free. (I know I sound like a broken record, but remember that once you check out, you’re placed at the back of the virtual line. So that particular item needs to be really awesome.)
How will the ordering process run?
Certain parts of it will likely run slowly.
In the past, this is how it’s worked:
- You receive a confirmation e-mail within a few hours of ordering. (Not immediately!)
- Next, your order appears as “processing” while it’s being selected and packed up.
- After that, the order is marked as “shipped.” (While this process normally takes two to three days, it might be completed faster or much slower during the sale. Some people receive order confirmation emails immediately, while others see them a few hours later… and some people receive their products within a day or two, while others see their orders three to five weeks later. It’s normal! You can check your order status here.)
Why should I set a budget?
Because no one should go broke because of this! :)
I think it’s somewhat easy to get caught up in the excitement of a really good sale, but it’s important that we don’t all empty our bank accounts and buy things we won’t have uses for. Identifying what you’re looking for ahead of time and setting a budget is of the upmost importance. If you’d have serious regret if you spent over a certain amount of money, know what that number is, and don’t go over it.
This year, I’ve found myself gravitating towards basics: solids and simple stripes that I can wear multiple ways. I’ll likely look at t-shirt dresses because a lot of mine have started to look worn, and solid sweaters because I live in a colder region of the country. For Emma, I’ll be looking for clothing that she can wear throughout the fall and winter.
Why should I be understanding and stay grounded? ;)
Because you ARE an understanding and grounded person, and you will not let a silly sale affect those wonderful qualities! 😂
Like I mentioned, Lilly will likely be working to prepare the site ahead of time, and the virtual line is extremely helpful in preventing site crashes. But stuff happens. If you see the cute “Oh Shift” message or a notification that you’re “in line,” it’s highly probable that most other people are seeing that, too. (So you’re not missing anything!) A sudden influx of traffic can cause issues for any site, no matter how much preparation. Last year, things went pretty well, but if something happens this year, be patient and understanding. No need to get ugly and publish nasty Tweets or post mean comments on Facebook. It’s super nice that the company is doing this in the first place, right?! :)
Similarly, do the right thing while the sale is going on. I don’t love it when people buy a ton of stuff just to turn around and sell it all on eBay for a profit. Let’s remember the high school girl who’s spending her hard-earned money on her first Lilly dress. Or the tired mom who’d like to buy a few things for her daughter. Or the college girl who needs outfits for “rush,” haha. Okay, I’m being dramatic. 😂 If something doesn’t fit you, fine. Sell or trade it. (Re-Lilly is a great option!) But let’s play fair. Just think of the joy you got out of your first Lilly dress. Don’t you want some girl out there to have that same magical experience?!
Finally, try to remain grounded. I’m certainly not going to judge you if you feel compelled to call out of work so that you can have first pick, or employ your family members and friends to “divide and conquer.” (I’ve totes had my husband shop for me in the past, haha!) But remember to keep a level head. ;) This is just a sale, and Lilly swears it won’t be the last. You will have a chance to shop, no matter when you log on. And if you’re totally unavailable for the entirety of the sale, there will be another one in January.
Where can I find updates?
I’ll be putting up a “Live Feed” right here on the blog during the Lilly sale! I’ll update it regularly and “live blog” about my experience. Be sure to follow along and join the conversation! It’s a fun (and hopefully informative) thing to do while you’re waiting to get let in. This is the Live Feed from last summer, and this is the Live Feed from this past January.
Additionally, following the Kelly in the City Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts will be helpful. I’m going to be super active on social during the sale, providing as many updates and insider tricks as possible. This is my Facebook account, this is my Instagram account, and this is my Twitter account. Let’s be friends!
How can I shop for free?
Through this blog! I host giveaways before and during the sale, and entering is super easy. Today, I’m actually giving away a $200 Lilly Pulitzer gift card. Edit: CLOSED. Congrats to Desiree T. for winning! To enter, all you have to do is view Lilly’s current prints here and tell me which is your fave along with one fun fact about yourself. As always, just remember to leave your address is the following non-spammy format: kelly [at] kellyinthecity [dot] com. The winner will be announced right before the sale goes live, and she’ll receive a $200 gift card to shop.
Why do I host these giveaways? There are a few reasons: to entice new people to visit my blog (and hopefully follow on a more long-term basis), to make posts a bit more exciting and fun, and to say thank you!
Running this blog is my full-time job, and one of the ways I earn a living is by putting together guides for shopping my favorite sales. If you click on a link and purchase something through the site, I make a commission. While the commission on a single purchase is usually very small, they add up over time… and this is how I keep the lights on and keep this site–which I hope you enjoy visiting–afloat!
Crazy, right? Sometimes I can’t believe that this is what I do, haha. But I’m beyond grateful, because I really love it, and it allows me to stay home with my daughter. (Such a gift.) And since you are the reason for all of it, you deserve a big thank you. (Even if you don’t win, please know how grateful I am. And I will run additional giveaways in the future; I promise!)
Do Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores participate in the sale?
If you can, they’re worth a visit, since the in-store sale will start on September 8th, and Lilly fans often forget about the brick-and-mortar stores. Because of this, Signature Stores have some of the best stuff, long after products sell out online! Visit if you’re nearby, or call them.
Will other retailers discount their Lilly products?
Yep. Retailers like Nordstrom, Zappos, 6pm.com, RueLaLa, Saks and Amazon will put a lot of their Lilly stuff on sale during and after the sale. I’ve found some great deals on those sites, so be sure to check ’em on sale day! (This is also a great thing to do while you wait to be let into the sale.) These products generally are returnable, unless otherwise noted.
What can you tell me about the striped dress you’re wearing in these photos?
Please excuse my uncontrollable beach hair, but it’s the Bay Dress, and I’m obsessed with it! While there are so many striped dresses out there right now, this one stands out. If you look closely, you can see that the stripes are made up of tiny scallops (😍) and the back has a twisty bow-like feature. It’s machine-washable and can be dressed down or up.
It also has some polyester, rayon and spandex in it, so it’s very flattering and doesn’t wrinkle easily. (If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you’ve probably seen me wearing it before. I reach for it whenever I’m in a rush and don’t have time to iron!)
I found that it fits true to size. I’m wearing my usual size here.
Do I think it’ll go on sale? Probably not, considering it’s still on the site. But it’s under $100, so that’s nice!
How do I enter today’s $200 Lilly gift card giveaway?
It’s simple! View Lilly’s current prints here, and tell me which is your fave along with one fun fact about yourself. Edit: CLOSED. Congrats to Desiree T. for winning! As always, just remember to leave your address is the following non-spammy format: kelly [at] kellyinthecity [dot] com.
The winner will be announced right before the sale goes live, and she’ll receive a $200 gift card to shop.
Good luck! Have additional questions? Leave them in the comment section below and I’ll update this post/answer to the best of my ability!
My Lobster Lilly Dress & Emma’s Lobster Lilly Dress c/o (A Mother’s Day gift from Lilly Pulitzer! Thank you so much; we love them!) / Jack Rogers Sandals / Poppy + Sage Bag c/o (Also obsessed with this one! Love how affordable they are.) /Emma’s Sandals / Mitch’s Favorite Vineyard Vines Shirt c/o (Here’s why he loves it so much!)
Lilly Pulitzer Bailor Dress (It was just pulled from the site, so it’ll likely be included in the upcoming After Party Sale. Everything you need about that here, along with a chance to win a $100 gift card. J.Crew also makes a VERY similar dress which is awesome and wrinkle-resistant. I also own the company’s sweater dress version because I apparently #cantstopwontstop with this style.) / Jack Rogers Sandals / Canon 5D Mark III (This is a GREAT alternative; nearly the same camera but lighter and far less expensive.) / 35mm f/1.4 vII Lens <– Best lens I’ve ever owned.
Lilly Pulitzer Dress c/o / Monogrammed Jack Rogers Sandals (I also love the solid white and champagne colors.) / L.L.Bean Tote c/o (It was a gift from the brand, so don’t judge me too much with the IG handle, haha. Size Large, which fits under a plane seat, with the regular straps. But I recently ordered another one with the longer straps so it’s easier to carry.) / Tuckernuck Packable Hat
Lilly Pulitzer Bay Dress (Similar striped Lilly dresses here and here. When is the 2018 Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale?! I’m sharing my prediction below.) / Jack Rogers Sandals (I also love the solid white and champagne colors.) / Never Version of the J.Crew Woven Tote (This one is very similar!)
Lilly Pulitzer Dress c/o / Everlane Sandals c/o / Longchamp Backpack (Classic Large Tote Here. Expandable Version Here.) / Mitch’s Sperry Topsiders, Vineyard Vines Performance Striped Shirt, and Breaker Shorts / Emma’s Seersucker Dress and Huarache Sandals