With the Outnet 80-85% flash sale happening last week I thought it was high time that I share my top tips for getting designer gear, without the heft new season price-tag.
I have an unwavering love for Vivienne Westwood’s full Anglomania frocks, which each season are re-worked and made in different textiles with differing features. I love them so much, that in the last year I have bought 5 of the babies, which yes, does seem excessive until I tell you that I only paid full price for one dress, and saved an average of 45%.
They key to getting designer is to not fret about seasonal change, and see each purchase as an investment. Here are the key tips on getting a big discount:
Net-A-Porters fantastic sister site that has a steady stream of designer wares in all shapes, sizes and brands. The flash sales are probably the best, so it is well worth getting registered on their mailing list, as they can be last minute announcements. I managed to buy a Sass & Bide chiffon frock for a massive bargain of £1 in their birthday sales.
I know, it seems obvious, but, there are a few tricks to getting an eBay bargain. 1) Watch out for scammers, the heart shaped Vivienne Westwood bag from last season for example is rife on eBay – and the majority of them are fakes. If something is too cheap you should definitely be suspicious. 2) don’t get carried away. It is easy in the moment to lose your cool and bid on something that is a size too small or needs work to it. If there is a specific garment you want then you should keep hunting for the perfect specimen.
Not dissimilar from The Outnet, Cocosa has their flash sales which are announced via their mailing lists. Notable sales for me have been the Markus Lupfur and Basso and Brooke bonanzas.
I know, it seems unlikely that you’re going to bump into a Dior Couture gown down the local Scope, but, miracles can happen. And on that premise, you should never give up. For example, Traid in Brixton has a few gems on occasion, with Marc by Marc Jacobs and Celine shoes popping up last month. Lee also bought a bargainous YSL jacket for £10 from Orpington, so never give up hope.
Handily placed just outside of London in Oxford, Bicester Village is a rummager’s haven, with there being a good range of designer and premium high street stores to look in. Of course, everything at Bicester village is out of season, but there are many bargains in the realms of classics to be had. For example, Burberry have a store there, their trenches are so quintessentially British that the 40% reductions cannot be ignored. Mulberry also have an outlet, as do the now defunct Luella label where I bought a fantastic quilted large gold bag with a £450 discount. Bargains are to be had here, but be warned, do a bit of saving in advance because 80% off £1,000 is still £200!
Brand Alley are a company that specialise in flash sales which need to be signed up for. I have had the most luck with their accessories, with upcoming sales being for Moschino, Vivienne Westwood and D&G. With 70% off at the very least on sunglasses it might be well worth stocking up before we experience even more dreamy rays of sun.
Of course, going direct to designers and getting a healthy reduction is the ultimate boon in designer buying. Just a couple that we know are coming up are that Margaret Howell (starting 31st March), the Designer Warehouse Sale http://www.dwslondon.co.uk/main.php# (April 8th-10th), Jena Theo sample and discount sale (March 30th & 31st), the Jenny Packham Bridal on the 6th & 7th April. Big discounts are available here, but be warned, emotional armour may be needed!
Of course, our favourites here at The London Style Journal are the vintage fairs, mostly, because we love the ambience and overall community feeling of the day. We love the Affordable Vintage Fair and it's amazingly upbeat and including ethos. Clerkenwell Vintage Fair is always a charmer, but, a little higher in price and more for special occasion buys. We recently stumbled upon the wondrous Battersea Arts Centre and their regular vintage fair, being a broad array of gorgeous, high quality frocks and accessories.