An excerpt from Amy Odell's new book, Tales from the Back Row, available now wherever books are sold:
One summer, my friend James and I were sunning on the roof of my apartment building. Because I have no plans to run for political office, I'm fine with revealing that this was an occasion on which I smoked pot. After a few puffs, we decided it was time for a treat. 'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?' I asked James. 'Jamba Juice.' I threw on shorts and a tank top over my bikini, and we ventured into the world.
On the train, it hit me: 'James! We have to go to the Alexander Wang sample sale!' At the time, I was working at NYMag's The Cut blog, and if I had learned anything going to his runway shows, it was that young women could be made instantly hip by owning a piece of Wang. Plus, being stoned, I could handle the deep-seated shopping anxiety I would otherwise face. A sample sale is where labels mark down unsold merchandise and the clothes loaned out to magazines (aka samples). It's not Forever 21, but you're often looking at Madewell prices for designer goods.