1. Go to bed early.
In order to avoid pulling an actual all-nighter (we’re not in college anymore, amirite?), it’s important to get in bed extremely early. I was tucked in and lights out by 8 p.m. Though I didn’t fall asleep for many more hours, it helps to mentally convince yourself you’ve gotten a decent number of hours in bed.
2. Plan to to get there by 4:15 a.m.
I set my alarm for 3.
3. Dress appropriately. And bring a blanket.
It was hovering just above 30 degrees in the wee hours and there’s no shelter from the wind on a street corner. I grabbed an old fleece blanket that happened to be lying around on the way out the door. I thought I’d use it to sit on the ground but I ended up wrapping it around my legs and it added a really necessary extra layer of protection from the elements.
4. Use the buddy system.
Remember at summer camp when you needed a buddy to go into the water? I brought back that system. Do not go alone! It was too cold to take off my gloves to play on my phone, so real live company was necessary. And you’ll need someone to hold your place in line when you have to make a coffee run.
5. Caffeinate constantly.
You’ll start to slip a little. The cold and exhaustion will set in, mainly because you haven’t done anything but stand in a line in the dark for over an hour. Go walk to Starbucks — to get your blood circulating — and stand in yet another line there because it’s so early they’re not even open yet!
6. Indulge in H&M’s provided breakfast options.
H&M was handing out free Crumbs cupcakes and Starbucks coffee to everyone in line. How nice!
Alternately: Figure out a way to get fresh bagels delivered to the line (like I did). The exact address of the store you’re standing in front of and a very persistent attitude will go a long way.
7. Convince yourself this was a good idea by gloating about your spot in line.
Look at all the people behind you in line and know that while they are a tad more rested and a tad warmer, you got there first. (There were at least 90 people in line behind me by the time the doors opened.)
8. Establish a game plan.
Get a really good look at the selection through the window so you don’t walk right by the only thing you wanted and waste all this hard work. H&M employees were setting up and moving racks up until a half hour before the store opened so it’s important to note where things ended up.
9. Shove, or be shoved.
If you don’t push and shove your way to what you want, you’ll just get pushed and shoved out of the way. We only had 15 minutes to grab anything and everything from the special “shop in shop,” so sorry to the lady who I definitely scratched with a hanger, but I needed to check that last rack in the back. Also, make sure to take multiple sizes of items to try on because fits can be screwy. (Or make friends in the fitting room and try to swap with people — everyone has the same goal here.)
10. Don’t be afraid to Instagram it all.
Take pride in your dedication. And anyway, the picture isn’t attached to the official hashtag, did you really shop the official sale?
If this isn’t your thing, the Isabel Marant for H&M line is available online at 12 p.m. EST on Nov. 14. If this is for you, there’s always tomorrow!