PHEW, okay guys, I just had my first official After Party Sale - aka APS - experience. This isn't normally something I'd do. I don't go out for Black Friday deals or set an alarm to shop, but believe me when I tell you, this is truly worth it. It's actually a bit of an adrenaline rush. I ended up placing four separate orders in all the excitement! I wanted to share some of the things I learned going into and coming out of this so that you're prepared for the next one. (PS - Yes, I will add photos when I receive all my items!)
Set up a Lilly Pulitzer Account for a speedy checkout.
I love when my information is saved on my favorite (trusted) sites for a breezy checkout. You'll want to get going quickly, so one tip I heard from numerous bloggers was to make an Lilly account, login and save addresses, etc. in advance. All I had to do was review my order, click through a few buttons, and boom - done. Also, add items to your wishlist, and don't get rid of them even if their statuses change to "no longer available"! (See my next point for why.)
There could be more items on sale than you expect.
I didn't learn this until the night before the sale. I had browsed and added items to my wishlist for weeks, but days before the APS I saw a lot were unavailable online. As prompted, I removed unavailable items from my wishlist and figured the APS wasn't worth it. Big mistake. I commented on a Lilly Pulitzer Instagram post to ask if more items would be added in the sale, and another person (an APS veteran, I imagine) replied that styles will be removed from the website but put back for the sale! Oops! At this point the website was down to prepare, and I hoped maybe I could search quickly and still find my favorites.
The prices are so worth it.
While one of these Sophie dresses would normally run me $138, and a Popover $98, I ordered two Sophies and a Popover for under $200 (with free shipping)! My favorite Palazzo Pant was sold out in the print I wanted, but was on sale for a mere $49 (normally $138). If you like Lilly bags, the roomy Escape Weekender bag was reduced from $134 to just $39 (an even bigger drop than the beach tote). Don't forget about decor, shoes, stationary, desk trinkets, and men's stuff too! Some price reductions are more dramatic than others, but while you won't know until the sale starts, you can bet the prices will definitely be worth the hype.
Wake up early, or early-ish.
The APS started around 8AM. I had already decided maybe it wasn't for me, and was off work + wanted to sleep in. I tried the website around 10AM just for the heck of it, and saw there were well over 100,000 people ahead of me "in line". The wait said over an hour. I figured I'd leave my laptop open and even if there wasn't anything left to buy, I could see how it works for the future. I put some laundry in and hopped in the shower. When I got back to my laptop, it was a 17 minute wait and in less time than that, my page refreshed and I was ready to shop. I wasn't timed on the site, but I moved swiftly. Some of my top pics were sold out, but I managed to find a few items I wanted.
By noon, I tried again out of curiosity (research?). The wait was just 3 minutes with a few thousand people in front of me. Maybe the initial hype was over. There were still plenty of styles/sizes available, and after about 1PM you could enter the site without waiting at all. I actually ended up ordering a Popover Dress that I passed up earlier and grabbed two Tammys when I logged on an hour later. Laying in bed the night the sale ended, I jumped on my phone to grab one more dress before it was too late (Can you blame me? I'm starting to see why people get so excited about this sale!) Realistically you can choose to set your alarm or choose to sleep in depending on the popularity of the size, style, or print you're after. I had favorites to look for but nothing was life or death, so I slept in and was still very happy with the results. If you're really after something in particular or worried about finding your size, set that alarm and hop in line.
Don't expect to have your stuff anytime soon.
Orders from APS can take an estimated 4-6 weeks due to blanket ground shipping and, of course, a super high volume of orders. If you're looking to get Lilly items for a vacation or party in the near future, don't count on it during the APS. If you're not worried about when your Lilly arrives, then snag your favorites and kick back for a while. I won't be wearing much more Lilly until spring rolls around, so considering the prices and the free shipping, I definitely don't mind waiting. (Two of my items shipped in about a week, but I'm still waiting on the rest.)
Items are FINAL SALE.
The website will tell you this about a thousand times so you shouldn't be surprised. The prices and pieces are swoon-worthy, but try not to be too impulsive. It's easy to go overboard + you don't want to be stuck with anything you don't love or that doesn't fit properly. If you don't typically buy Lilly or you want to try a new style, try to visit a store before the sale and do a try-on so you know exactly what to order.
Know the APS timeline + look out for updates.
As soon as we closed into the second half of summer, the internet was buzzing about the APS. This sale typically happens in August, but this year it was a little later than expected. Apparently there is normally another, smaller APS at the start of the new year (I feel like this used to be called something else?). Keep the time frames in mind so you can prepare, but Lilly will announce the sale as well. I heard tons of APS gossip from a bunch of bloggers that I follow, so it was no surprise when dates were announced. Keep your eyes and ears open as you near August and January.
Over the course of the APS, I ended up ordering nearly $1,000 worth of Lilly clothes (gasp!) for a total of $438 across four orders. That's insane! I'm not one to drop 1K at a time on clothes, at least not on the reg, but this was an incredible deal + chipping away with sale prices a little at a time made it super manageable for me. Now, I think I'm good on Lilly for quite a while! See a full breakdown of what I ordered below (all in size medium, for reference):
Sophie Dress in Palms Up, originally $138, APS price $59
Popover in Aboat Time, originally $98, APS price $69
Sophie Dress in Home Slice, originally $148, APS price $69
Popover Dress in So Sofishticated, originally $158, APS price $59
LS Tammy in Crash the Bash, originally $138, APS price $54
SS Tammy in Gumbo Limbo, originally $128, APS price $59
Lexi Dress in Aquadesiac, originally $168, APS price $69
Did you shop the After Party Sale this year? Will you be shopping the next one? Comment below!