Designer duds – for fashionistas around the world, they are a must-have. But with the economy in the crapper and most of us on a college student or recent graduate budget, finding the cash flow for those lovely labels is a lot harder than drooling over them. However, it is possible to find designer apparel and accessories at very discounted prices without having to elbow some other fashionista in the aisle at TJ Maxx, Loehmann’s or Filene’s Basement.
Just hit the internet.
While the prices are oftentimes still much higher than those pieces you love grabbing at Target, Old Navy, Forever 21 or H&M, many of these items are much higher in quality and can be wardrobe staples for many years to come.
I am personally obsessed with designer denim, shoes and handbags. I don’t have the salary to allow me to buy whatever I want at their normal price and I don’t own a credit card (for good reason – it would’ve been maxed out ages ago), so I have to look for deals. Enter my saviors for retail therapy on a budget:
Overstock.com: This site is a gem! You may not always find exactly what you want, but you can find some great stuff here at even better prices. I got my bf 2 sweaters and a button down shirt that were each originally $75/piece, for $15 each! You can also find great home goods here for awesomely affordable prices.
Bluefly: While things here are oftentimes still pretty pricey, they do give a good percentage off, and I check here often because when they have sales, you can find phenomenal deals.
Gilt Group: This site is different than the first two…they don’t just have overstocked items that you can pick from whenever you want. They have specific sales on certain brands on a day-to-day basis. The site originators send out an e-mail every day as to who’s on sale. You must be a member to join (it’s free), and I believe you must be invited to become a member. You are now invited.
Haute Look: Very similar to Gilt Group, they have exclusive sales with phenomenal deals. Check on their site daily for the current and upcoming lines they will be selling.
eBags: If you’re a bag horse, this is a great site. I got my bf an amazing $250 Kenneth Cole leather messenger bag for $70, and they gave me a free leather business card case with it!
eLuxury: Again, still not exactly in a college student’s budget, but the prices are slashed by 30-70%
One other tip I have is to check the websites of the high end stores themselves: Barneys, Nieman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s. With the recession, one of the arenas getting hit the hardest is luxury goods, so these stores are just hoping to get merchandise off their shelves and out of their storage, which means they’re all having kick-butt sales (usually in the 50-90% off range). These sales are sure to pop up over the next few months as the economy worsens. So if you have the chance (and the bucks), take advantage of the benefits of a global economic collapse – you may get a fabulous pair of shoes out of it.