Today I'm going to be sharing with you some knowledge that I picked up along the fashion-blogging way, about how to get designer clothing and accessories for a bargain price. Personally, I prefer to invest more in designer accessories, such as handbags, scarves or shoes, as I feel they really compliment an outfit. The majority of my clothes are high street, so for me, it's all about getting that high-street/ high-end combination juuuust right. But as a student, I know it can seem ridiculous to spend £1,000-£2,000 on a handbag, as that pretty much amounts to 3 months of my rent. So, here are my top ways to get designer styles for less.
1. Outlet stores!
These are my absolute top suggestion for finding designer picks. In the UK, there are several so-called "outlet villages". I've been to two of them: Cheshire Oaks village is in the North, near to my hometown, whereas Bicester Village is probably the most famous one - it's about an hour out of London. When designer stores don't manage to sell stock, and then get the shipment of new season stock into the store, they send last season's stock that they no longer have room for to the outlet stores. Here, you can get top brands with huge discounts, usually at least 40-50% off, and a few weeks ago, like all the stores on the high street, they all had massive sales on top of these awesome discounts!
I recently made these amazing purchases at outlet stores:
First off, this gorgeous Ralph Lauren bag - it retails at £1,350 and we bought it for £125! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price. Such a gorgeous colour and such lovely suede material; and the Ralph Lauren accent is so subtle. I don't really like wearing designers that splash their name over their designs really loudly, like Moschino etc, which is why I liked this subtle detailing so much.
I also bought this amazing Gucci scarf for £135, when it retailed at about £400. What I love about this scarf is that there's so many different ways to wear it - around my neck, in my hair, even tied on a bag!
2. Vestiaire Collective
This is a great resources for shopping old designer styles and getting them for really cheap - I've seen vintage Chloé and Gucci bags on there for just over £200, which is pretty amazing.The obvious downside of VC is that the purchases you'll make on there are secondhand. I'm not going to lie, it does take quite a lot of trawling through many many items to find something that's really nice, as most people obviously get rid of bags that aren't that nice, aren't in fashion, and so on. But the massive benefit is the price - if you do find that diamond hidden amongst all the coals, then kudos to you, because that's a pretty great feeling.
3. Shop "Bridge Lines"
This is what the technical fashion term is for collaborations between high-end brands and high-street brands. In recent years, high-street store H&M has really stepped up its game in this sector. For example, the well-known collab between Balmain and H&M last year practically sold out within its first day. And now, I'm really excited for the upcoming Kenzo x H&M collaboration.
I'm loving the bright, floral vibes of the campaign so far - something Kenzo itself is famed for. The collection drops 2nd November!
4. Borrow it
Websites for borrowing designer clothes are becoming increasingly, increasingly common. This is a great idea for special occasions, as you can rent the look for a couple of nights, for a fraction of the original price. Rent The Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal are some of the most famous sites that offer this service, and can be so useful.
For example, this Marchesa dress retails at $895, but you can borrow it for a few days for only $135 dollars; around an eight of the price!
5. Lower Cost Brands
Almost all designer brands have cheaper collections. For example, Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, See By Chloé - to name but a few The styles are similar to the conventional brands, but the prices are in the hundreds, not thousands. I highly recommend these!
6. Dupe it
You can get some amazing designer dupes out there these days, that are really high quality, inspired by the real deal. Obviously you can just look to high street stores - places like Zara often have a huge amount of designer-inspired pieces - particularly Chanel in its most recent collections. But you can find even closer matches on the internet. Amazon is a great go-to, as are websites such as AliExpress - not just for accessories, but even for clothing dupes.
For example, the Chloé Faye bag has definitely been the 'it' bag of this season.
Hope you've found this post helpful!