I had never been one for designer clothing, purses, shoes, etc. until one day, I realized that the $10 purses I had been buying were only lasting me a month or two before the zipper or strap broke and I had to replace it. But it was only $10 so no big deal, right? Wrong. I decided to purchase a $150 leather purse as a major splurge and gift to myself and 2 years later, I still had the same purse.
I LOVED that purse. Ultimately, it lasted me 4 years before I finally decided to replace it (I mean, $150 is a lot to come up with for another purse!). But if you think about it, over 4 years, had I spent $10/month on one of my previously cheaper purses, I would have spent $480. I actually saved myself a TON of money! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy everything designer, but I DO recognize the value (both monetarily and comfortability) of quality items.
My blog is all about being able pay a fraction of the cost for high-end items and experiences without sacrificing quality. I’ve rounded up the best ways of obtaining the most sought after clothing items for ridiculously low prices.
Brick & Mortar
Many brands have warehouse sales but most are kept hush-hush until right before the sale and even then, people only seem to hear about them by word of mouth. Having been to one, I have to say, it has got to be one of the most invigorating experiences I’ve had and I would do it again in a heartbeat! If you hear about one of these and you live nearby, I highly suggest attending. Check out fizz and frosting for more information on what to expect and what kind of loot you could potentially score.
The only company I could find with having warehouse sales is J.Crew, in Lynchburg, VA (last occurred Jan 29, 2016), Greenville, SC (last occurred March 3, 2016) and Arden NC. If you live nearby either of these locations and are a fan of J. Crew, create a google alert to let you know when a warehouse sale may be occurring OR you could check out J.Crew Aficionada who posts dates of the warehouse sales (along with constant J. Crew sales info).
If you can find a warehouse/distribution center of a brand near you, most sell a limited selection of items out of a tiny store on site but at a major discount so it’s always worth popping your head in to take a look.
In the attempt of recouping some of the cost for say a fashion show, many designers will sell their sample items at a fraction of the retail cost at their Sample Sales. These usually occur in big cities like New York and I’ve heard, can be sort of “cut throat” but if you can hold your own, I say go for it. Do some research beforehand as to what you might find. Remember that if you’re in the market for clothing, female clothes available are usually a size “0” with men’s clothing usually, medium.
You can always count on Marshall’s and TJ Max for a good deal on designer clothes. Make sure you’re not just looking for the label though, measure quality as well. If the garment doesn’t feel up to par, it probably isn’t and should be put back. Many a retailer (example, Banana Republic) have different lines (and quality!) for their factory stores so make sure to read up on what separates the brand from their outlet counterpart before your shopping excursion.
If you love a particular designer and want to find any way to get their fashion at a cheaper price, create a google search for that designer’s name along with “Capsule Collection.” These collections are a one-time manufactured set of items by the designer (mass production for cheaper sale and usually “staple” items but not always) and once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you find something you love, jump on it because it may not be there tomorrow (note: these can also be at Brick & Mortar stores).
If you haven’t heard of this wonderful site, you’ve been living under a rock! I have a love/hate relationship with them as I have found so many wonderful deals that I want to buy everything…but that adds up and so I can’t. Gilt features designer brands at a much lower price and like the Capsule Collections, once they’re gone, that’s it. Check them out but beware…keep your wallet a safe distance away!
Last but not least, you can find total gems, brand new with tags, authentic designer apparel from Ebay. Somewhere along the line, Ebay got a bad rap as only selling used junk but they have some pretty amazing things. Make sure you read reviews of the seller, look at all the fine print and photos and buy away. Still don’t believe me? Check out the frugal model’s ‘The Best ebay Purchases I Ever Made’. It’ll change the way you look at this site!
Make Your Purchase
Although designer brands tend to be higher quality and will last you a while longer than typical garments, make sure you’re not buying it just for the sake of owning something by that designer. Like it, love it, make sure it will be something you’ll wear and that it goes with some of the clothes you already own. Ultimately, it all boils down to being aware of sales, etc. going on around you, knowing what you want and doing your research before making a purchase.
I love hearing how much people saved on clothes, handbags, shoes and accessories. Please leave me a comment on your best find!