How to Save Money on Luxury Fashion
There’s a lot to love about luxury fashion: the artistry, the quality, the cache. Of course, couture clothes and a handbag worth more than gold are probably out of the question (or just plain silly); but there are plenty of ways to get high-end goods for less. If you’re a fashionista who wants the real thing instead of just a look, check out these six ways to save.
Someone Else’s Neighborhood Thrift Shop
Scout out local charity stores, such as Junior League thrift shops, and consignments. The key is to find ones that serve wealthier ZIP codes. It’s in places like these that you’ll find the spoils of estate sales, last year’s capsule wardrobe castoffs and seasonal impulse buys. My own favorite all-time scores are a Christian Lacroix embellished raincoat for $100, a Burberry Blue skirt for $40, and a pair of Tory Burch strappy sandals for $20.
Retailer Coupon Codes
It may sound counterintuitive, but you would be amazed at the number of high-end department stores that offer promo codes and coupon codes. They include:
The best way to shop their websites is to go first to a coupon website like valpak.com and use it as a portal. Type the store name into the search bar or look under Apparel and Accessories and find your store. Then look for a deal. Also, don’t overlook online-only stores, such as YOOX.com. and Rue La La.
Most often you’ll find a sitewide discount, a specific brand sale, or free shipping. This discount can usually be combined with other deals you find once you’re directed to the store site. Head directly for the Sale or Clearance tab and shop from there.
In addition to department stores, some higher-end and trendy designers offer their own coupon codes. They include:
- Ann Taylor
- BCBG MaxAzria
- Betsey Johnson
- Cole Haan
- Henri Bendel
- Joe’s Jeans
- Kate Spade
- Michael Kors
- Rag and Bone
- Rebecca Minkoff
- Tory Burch
High End Consignment Stores
Like resale shops, consignment stores in better neighborhoods offer perfectly good castoffs to add more posh to your closet. Prices are generally higher than resale shops, but the quality is consistently better. Don’t be afraid to look at online consignment stores for women and children. Two reliable resources are Haute Look.com, and Tradesy.com, where gently-used, half-price Louis Vuitton handbags are the norm. The condition of the piece is always disclosed and photographed so you can make an informed decision.
Estate sales and pawn shops are wonderful ways to find luxury jewelry, but you can also look for one-of-a kind pieces from up and coming designers on Etsy. Look for jewelers who are going out of business; it may be a ploy (a common one) but you can get half price if you’re willing to haggle. Also check out online jewelry retailers and wholesalers. Many of them also offer coupon codes to give you a little extra off their sale prices: GILT, JomaShop and Blue Nile are among the most reliable.
Warehouses and Outlets
Just about every top brand has a warehouse or outlet store online. Saks Off 5th, Barney’s Warehouse, Nordstrom Rack and Last Call Neiman Marcus are among the most popular. Just remember that the clothes here are often custom-made for the outlet and may not be the same quality you’d find in the parent store.
Do you like to plan ahead? Do you have a good eye for seasonless classics? Shop end-of-season sales at your favorite luxury stores. Also check auction sites like Amazon for last season offloads.
If you’re not accustomed to buying luxury fashion online, reassure yourself by reading the site’s return policy. With major chains and brand-specific stores, you won’t have a problem with knock-offs. With resale websites, look for a money-back authenticity guarantee.