I have a weakness for nice things. Like really nice things*. Fashiony things. I get weak-kneed when I hear anyone mention the names Jacobs or McQueen. I have stood awestruck in stores, pointing at Chanel bags, proclaiming this one or that one to be the bag of my dreams (who the hell has a bag of her dreams? I'm half-insane...). The girls at the Betsey Johnson outlet know me by name. And every morning I spend way longer than I should taking stock of the day's online sample sales and other deals.
(*I'm not a total snob. Right now I'm wearing an Express tank top and Old Navy sweater...with a Marc Jacobs scarf and 7 For All Mankind jeans. I believe in mixing inexpensive basics with fun, eye-catching accessories. Unless I'm dressing up for a special event--and then it's head to toe Betsey Johnson for me!--I generally wear a mix of designer and non-designer things each day.)
But just because I love fashion doesn't mean I pay top dollar for it. I can't remember the last full-price article of clothing (or shoes, jewelry, etc) I've bought. I am a kickass bargain-hunter, and I'm going to share my bargain-hunting secrets with you in this week's post...
GIFTS FOR THE FASHIONISTA
Finding designer goods at discount prices is much, much easier than you think--no matter where you live (thank goodness for the internet). While I love perusing the local outlets, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and a NY-based store called Century 21 (it's basically a HUGE Marshalls-type thing, but with higher-name brands), all the cool stuff I'm going to talk about in this post is available to purchase on the internet.
The first batch of sites I'm going to recommend is a group I'll loosely call sample sale sites. They don't necessarily market themselves as such, but that's what they are. I have personally used each of these sites more than once. I've bought clothing, shoes, makeup/skincare, and accessories by Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, 7 for All Mankind, Urban Decay, GoSmile, Tarte, Philosophy, Sweet Pea, and more from these sites.
The best part? All of these sites are FREE. Totally free! They'll email you once each day with a list of what sales are starting that day. Act quickly, as they sometimes have limited quantities...and you won't want to miss out!
Here are the best of the best sample sale-style sites (and again, they're all FREE to join):
Ideeli (they also run contests in addition to sales--if you have signed up to be a member for free, then you get to enter the contests for free as well)
Beyond The Rack
Rue La La
Some websites allow you to build a list of your favorite designer brands and then, each day, the site sends you an email with pictures of and links to your favorite brands on sale all over the web. I use two such sites: Shop It To Me and My Perfect Sale. Getting one email per day from each of these sites is much better than having to check the Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Betsey Johnson, etc... sites individually every day and muddling through them to try to find out which things are on sale. And again, these sites are also FREE to use--and very convenient! They've helped me find some great designer bargains (my favorite purchase so far: $70 Alexander McQueen jeans...down from $300! That's designer jeans at mall store prices, folks!).
This next website I'm featuring offers really fun jewelry (and by "fun" I don't mean cheap--these are real stones set in gold, silver, platinum, or white gold) at wholesale prices. I've bought a few pieces from here and have been really satisfied with all of them. Check out JewelClub if you're looking for the BEST prices on jewelry!
Looking to pamper someone with services, not stuff? Thinking of gifting someone with a massage or gift certificate to a local eatery? That's where Groupon comes in handy. I have purchased discounted massage and restaurant gift certificates for myself through Groupon. Groupon gives you access to these services generally at about half the cost. Now, since I'm a selfish brat, so far I've used my Groupons for myself--but you can absolutely purchase them and give them to friends and family as gifts! In addition to discounted spa and salon services and deals at restaurants, they often offer some really interesting stuff--for instance, I purchased a discounted certificate for some pole-dancing fitness classes (which I really need to remember to use before it expires at the end of the year).
And finally, I'll tell you about my newest obsession: endless.com. I had no idea Amazon had a sister site for fashion-related stuff, but now that I've discovered it, I can't stay away. This site features mainly shoes, handbags, and other accessories (like sunglasses, jewelry cases, some jewelry, etc). I bought this amazing Marc Jacobs bag for myself a couple weeks ago--not only was it cheaper than in stores like Bloomingdale's, but endless.com offered free overnight shipping! In fact, they offer free overnight shipping for all items newly added to their site, and free two-day shipping on many other items. Not every item on their site is on sale, but consistently saving on shipping fees, even on full-priced merchandise, will definitely save you a few bucks.
Below, check out my favorite endless.com picks/recommendations best suited for fashionistas aged anywhere between 13-40 years old or so. Recommendations are based on product quality and price--yes, I own quite a few of these myself (and if not the actual product itself--I own multiple items from each brand I'm featuring), so I can absolutely vouch for their high quality and value for the price. Most of these designer goodies are on sale, and all offer free overnight or free two-day shipping:
Happy shopping! :)