I like to lead a fabulous life, but I also like to have money in the bank. Stores such as Target and Forever 21 are hit or miss in terms of quality, so even buying clothing on the cheap can cost you more in the long run. While I have no problem buying an inexpensive frock if it makes my bum look amazing (who can resist?), I’m much more happy with a higher end, discounted purchase.
As a result, I’ve kind of scoured the market. I know the ins and outs of the hottest designer clothing for sometimes 50, 60, even 90 percent off the retail price. Below are my top five places I like to shop for discounted designer clothing.
When I’m in NYC, I love to hit up sample sales. These sales were typically put on by designers who needed to get rid of garments that had been lent to media / used for photographing. Today, though, sample sales are much more than that. They’re basically a rite of passage for designers (and fashionistas). Check out websites, such as The Stylish City, that tell you when and where sample sales are happening and sign up for notices from the designers themselves. Sometimes you can nab goods for 90 percent off the original price tag.
We all know that eBay is great for knick knacks and electronics, but did you know they carry high fashion, too? You betchya. Type your favorite designer in the search engine, hit go and prepare yourself for hot deals on hotter clothes. You can also search for purses, jewelry, shoes, accessories and even high end cosmetics. Just make sure to do your research to avoid a sour deal.
Rent the Runway
If your mission is to make a huge fashion statement (without breaking the bank) and you only need the garment for a day or two, head to RentTheRunway.com. This is the perfect solution if you want to wow people for a formal event, holiday party or even family / engagement / senior pictures. You can rent from haute couture houses such as Badgley Mischka, Diane Von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Zac Posen for under $100 (with dresses usually retailing upwards of $1000).
Sure, it takes a lot of time and you get a little dirty, but all that scrounging around is totally worth it when you find a diamond in the rough. I typically have a more difficult time finding high end clothing at thrift stores (unless it’s vintage high end, which is also fabulous), but it’s not uncommon to score big in the accessories department. Think shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. Bring a smart phone (or friend) with you to avoid high end knockoffs.
Discount Clothing Stores
Nordstrom’s The Rack and/or Last Chance, Ross, Marshall’s and other similar stores are great places to find discounted designer clothing and accessories. You’ll likely need to do some digging, but there’s definitely gold to be found. Also be careful of any rips/stains or otherwise non-fixable blemishes.