Have you met women who don't make that much money to afford luxury items, yet they keep posting them on their Instagram or bringing to your girls night out? - I have! I always wondered how they did it and while some have so much credit card debt, others have some smart shopping habits.
In my experience, I always feel better about buying something that I know I can afford and that didn't cause me to exceed my monthly budget. I have also noticed that my clothes that are designer (higher quality) tend to stay in my closet for years and I get much better cost per wear ratio from them.
So how do you buy high quality designer items on a normal salary? Here are my secrets:
1. Find items on eBay
This is one of the best resources for designer items that won't break the bank. You just have to know how to find the right pieces. Depending on what you are looking for, eBay does have a great way to filter for items. If you search for designer, I recommend using a designer name like Gucci or Prada in the search and then item type like "lace dress". You can use NWT (new with tags) if you are only interested in new items. There is also a filter for only new or used. If you just want to search for any designer without typing in a specific name each time, you can use "auth" in the search. This will pull up mostly designer names. Always put in the maximum price you are willing to pay and your size. I just did a search for a Prada dress for under $200 in a size small or extra small and the dress below came up. While I was checking it out, I went to the store of missvlane and looked at other items they have in my size and my budget. I found the Bottega Veneta dress below.
I've found many great stores that sell new designer shoes with the box and storage bag for under $300. Here are a couple of items from one of my favorite places, the lenkainbe.
Keep following my blog posts as I will be sharing many more great finds from eBay.
2. Buy one item every 3 months
This one is hard to do, but believe me, it's one of the most liberating 'smart shopping' habits I have mastered. I will buy one nice item every few months or every month depending on how much it is and what my monthly shopping budget is set at. It's better to have one versatile, good quality item that you can pair with new accessories than 4 or 5 items that are cheap. You'll get rid of the cheap things quickly and will forget you ever had them, but nice clothes are there to stay and even pass on to your kids. This is how many of our grandmas used to shop.
Investing in classic and versatile pieces you can keep wearing is worth the wait. Keep the colors neutral and basic on the items that you splurge on. You only need one pair of black slacks, but buy the perfect pair that you'll still love in 3 years.
3. Find a good discount store near you
I have a great Marshall's near my house now. I used to have a great Nordstrom Rack where I used to live. The secret is not to get overwhelmed with these stores. If you go more frequently and only check one or two sections, that shouldn't take you long. I give myself 20 min max. Find the best section where you can find designer items and only check those when you pop into the store. Don't get discouraged and keep going back, you will eventually find the perfect item that makes it worth it and fun. At the Rack, I would go through the designer rack only and look through all the items. Most items were still expensive, but every now and then, I will find something that is deeply discounted. You want to check for rips or tears and if there are any, make sure your tailor can fix them. At Marshall's I have two sections, one is the discount rack and the other women's tops. The discount rack seems to have the better brands and the discounts are great. I recently found a Vince shirt, retailing for $298, for $23 at Marshall's. I often buy these even if they are not my size and gift them.
Now that I have told you my secrets of how to get designer clothes for less, please share some of yours in the comments.