Fashion’s Night Out NYC 2012: A Chic Guide to September 6

Fashion's Night Out is full of parties, DJs and great music

First off–before getting into Fashion's Night Out 2012–you should know that, personally, we're not terribly fashionable, nor do we do a lot of shopping, nor know the difference between this designer bag and that designer shoe. There's nothing wrong with any of the above, it's just generally not a part of our lives. And yet, for the past three years, one of our absolute favorite city-wide parties has been that sprawling, silly, ridiculously fun kick-off to Fashion Week (and, de facto, to the whole amazing New York City fall event season), Fashion's Night Out NYC. Back for its fourth year this Thursday, September 6, Fashion's Night Out 2012 has happenings and giveaways and limited-editions and parties and free food and drinks and dancing and FASHION all over town, and there are many ways to enjoy the festivities, but here is our FNO guide with a few tips that have allowed us to have such a blast every year. 

Cotton candy is just one of many free treats available during Fashion's Night Out 2012

Tip 1: Don't Plan for FNO New York. Let Serendipity Take It's Course!

Go with the flow! Whether you spend your Fashion's Night Out 2012 on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, in Soho, on Marc Jacobs' Bleecker Street, in the Meatpacking, Tribeca, Chelsea (which also has a ton of gallery openings that night, by the way), on the Upper West Side–or, most likely, some combination of all of the above–serendipity seems to be the way to go. In other words: no plan, just wander and pop into places that seem fun and see what happens next. In every neighborhood there are stores with long lines waiting to get in, which, to us, seems like a waste of time when there's so much other stuff going on right next door, or down the block. 

A dance party in the Meatpacking District during Fashion's Night Out in New York

Tip 2: Fashion's Night Out is Full of Surprises–Embrace Them!

Mix it up! Small, independent boutiques often have the most creative promotions and entertainments for Fashion's Night Out–moustache "masks", a cotton candy machine, "guess how many [random, amusing small items] are in this jar, win a big gift certificate"–but the big brand-name stores are good at throwing actual dance parties, especially toward the end of the night, when everyone's had more than their fair share of free champagne/beer/wine/whatever. And don't just go to stores you already frequent anyway. Remember: you're not going to be doing any shopping on Fashion's Night Out 2012, just laughing and having fun, so it doesn't matter what type of clothing is on the racks around you.    

Agent Provocateur party during FNO NYC

Tip 3: FNO in New York is About Having Fun–So Do Exactly That

Leave your cynicism at home! Fashion's Night Out 2012 is an inherently goofy event, to be taken extremely likely. Chat with strangers. Play the ridiculous games. Shoot lots of pictures. Eat the snacks and drink the drinks. And every year we're surprised by how local the crowds are; these are, by and large, New York City folks, out enjoying the suddenly-autumnal feeling in the air, kicking things into a different gear after a summer of sun and (relative) relaxation.   

SoHo Gambling Party is one of many Fashion Events in NYC during FNO

Tip 4: If You Must Plan for Fashion's Night Out, Plan Strategically!

Forget all of the above, and meticulously plot your every move in order to maximize your swag. There are some really cool freebies available, and one-night-only exclusive bags and tees and such, and some places definitely have better food and more extravagant party scenes than others, so although we find it too overwhelming to plan ahead, you might prefer the the more strategic approach. The official Fashion's Night Out 2012 website has lots of specific information on related fashion events in NYC, which you'll find here, but we also always admire and respect the thoroughness of Racked's many, many pre-game FNOMG! posts on the days leading up to the night. Here's a link to their suggestions, which will be updated all week. 

Fashion's Night Out Meatpacking District Party with Vince

Fashion's Night Out 2012 in NYC Details 

Fashion's Night Out 2012 will be held this Thursday, September 6, at locations all around New York City. The festivities usually begin around 6:00 p.m. and end as late as 11:00 or so, depending. The official FNO 2012 website is here, but be sure to check our Racked's FNOMG! previews, too.      

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