Sanity inevitably kicks in, however, and I’m forced to think of other ways to nab the style I covet without diving into debt. If you suffer as I do, you’ll appreciate the following tips to score high fashion for less.
Most fashion fiends know outlets are a great resource for high fashion at affordable prices, and there’s no sign this trend is going out of style. Tom Ford recently announced his desire to open an outlet at Woodbury Commons in New York this coming July. Other designers with nationwide outlets include Coach, Fendi, Ann Taylor and Dolce & Gabbana. For a listing of outlets in your area, check out PremiumOutlets.com.
Luxury retailers like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have retail stores in big cities, making it difficult for rural-dwelling fashionistas to take advantage of their wares. Enter the Internet and people from all over the country can enjoy big-city fashion. Nordstrom is especially adept at catering to the masses, offering free shipping both ways and making other discounts available at sites like FreeShipping.org.
3. Sample Sales
Amazon is the latest company to jump on the sample sale bandwagon with its release of MyHabit.com, a site available to current Amazon users. In addition to flash videos offering shoppers a 360-degree look at the garments, MyHabit offers free shipping both ways. Other popular sites include Ideeli, Hautelook and Gilt Groupe.
4. Thrift Stores
This requires some digging, but shopping thrift stores in high-end areas can lead to amazing designer finds, both modern and vintage. Consignment shops are another hot spot for hidden treasures, but be prepared to sort through a lot of ruff before finding a diamond.
5. Estate Sales
Not to be confused with garage or yard sales, estate sales are great resources for designer fashion because homeowners are often wealthy enough to hire a third-party company to manage the sale. According to an article in Yahoo, used clothing rarely sells for more than $15 regardless of the label, and most estate companies aren’t specialists in designer clothing and are simply looking to sell contents quickly.
6. Department Stores
Target’s debut of its partnership with Missoni — and the subsequent website crash — exemplifies just how coveted high fashion is by all income levels. The trend of low-cost department stores pairing up with famous designers is nothing new, as most people know they can find Vera Wang at Kohl’s and Versace at H&M. While these garments do not represent what you can find in high-end boutiques, they are still influenced by the creativity of the designer and represent a great way to look high fashion for less.
7. Discount Retailers
I’m a TJMaxx and Marshall’s fiend, so any excuse to shop these retailers is good enough for me. These stores position themselves as offering designer brands for less, including DKNY, Tahari and Ralph Lauren. A friend of mine recently scored a summer dress by French Connection for 50-percent off at her local Marshalls. Like thrift shops, it will take some culling but ultimately your efforts will pay off in the form of great style for a good price.
Perhaps a special occasion is looming on the calendar and you’re looking for something stylish to wear. Since these events come around only once in a while, renting your dress is a practical alternative that offers you the opportunity to wear designer for a fraction of the retail price. RentTheRunway.com offers such designers as Kate Spade, Badgley Mischka and Diane von Furstenberg for as little as $75.
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