It’s Thursday, Sept. 16, the last day of New York Fashion Week — and those who aren’t there have to console themselves somehow. Thus D.C. style mavens who are stuck here will come out in droves to shop the District Sample Sale, a twice-annual shop-for-charity extravaganza. Local boutiques sell last season’s designer wares at deep discounts, all in the name of a good cause. The proceeds from ticket sales will benefit GW Mammovan — so it’s good that they’ve already sold out. But don’t worry; a few tickets are still available at the door. Plus: You don’t have to worry about a model fainting on you or falling on you after tripping over her shoes, which are shaped like lobster claws for no reason.

Express sat down with Liberty Jones, one of the event’s founders, to dish on the best way to shop this philanthropy-meets-fashion foray.

EXPRESS: What’s so great about the Sample Sale?
JONES: It’s fun because it benefits charity and helps local boutiques in the area. It started because I had a boutique and we thought, “Let’s get together and help a charity.” Originally, it was only four stores and it’s grown so much. It’s great for the boutiques because they get to reach out to new clients, and we bring in stores from all over the area. We also have charity on site and 100% of ticket proceeds will go to Mammovan.

EXPRESS: What are the best brands to look out for?
JONES: I love finding brands that I didn’t know about. You’re exposed to so many new and unknown brands. Urban Chic, Proper Topper and Wink carry the brands we know, but Sangaree, Caramel and Lettie Gooch have up and coming designers people aren’t as familiar with.

EXPRESS: How do you suggest shopping the sale?
JONES: That’s the most common question I get. I recommend going to the stores that you don’t know first. You’ll know the inventory of the stores you love because you’re probably there all the time. Reach out to the ones you don’t know.

EXPRESS: What’s the one piece you’ll be looking for?
JONES: Jackets. The boyfriend blazer was huge last season, and I really love jackets and blazers. I got an amazing Cacharel blazer from Sherman Pickey last year for fifty dollars. There are so many classic pieces to look out for.

Photo by Abby Greenawalt