We are all tempted at times to buy women's designer fashion. The media bombards us with images of women in beautiful clothes and Hollywood builds entire shows around wardrobes. Fashion has even been called the fourth star in the popular Sex and the City series. It is practically impossible not to be swept up in the glamour and beauty of the fashion industry.
The good news is designer clothes are available to anyone no matter their budget. In order to buy women's designer fashion all you need to know is where to find it and how to afford it.
Where to Buy Women's Designer Fashion
If money is no object, then fashion shows are the most glamorous and exciting way to buy women's designer fashion. The red carpets, celebrities, paparazzi and parties make for a whirlwind shopping experience. The reality is the vast majority of women will never attend a fashion show in New York or Paris. Therefore, off the rack shopping will have to suffice.
High-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue have a large inventory of mainstream designers. These stores carry clothing from Giorgio Armani, Jill Sanders, Calvin Klein and others. The shoe and purse departments usually have a wide selection of Prada and Gucci shoes alongside Ferragamos and Tod's. Most designer items from these stores are on the conservative side and not too trendy, so they tend to make good long-term investments. Major department stores also have major sales. For example, twice a year Neiman Marcus holds its Last Call sale and slashes prices up to 70 percent.
Specialty boutiques are a great place to buy up-and-coming designers' collections. The best boutiques are usually located in major cities or the downtowns of affluent suburbs. If you can afford boutique prices, get to know the storeowner or buyer. She will call you when the store receives new items, alert you to sales, and possibly even keep your style and size in mind when she is purchasing new inventory for the shop. The downside of boutique shopping is the styles are often trendy and look dated quickly. In addition, the sale reductions are never very deep.
Shopping at department stores and boutiques can be convenient, but there is really no need to pay full price for designer clothes. If you don't mind doing a little work, you can find deeply discounted designer clothes.
One of the easiest ways to buy designer clothes is online. Bluefly.com has a huge selection of discounted designer clothes and accessories. Most reductions start at forty percent off and sale items can be up to seventy percent. Bluefly's site is easy to navigate and they offer free shipping on returns.
Overstock.com also carries a good selection of discounted designer items. Discounts average around forty percent off retail.
The largest selection of designer clothes online is at eBay. On any given day, you can find Chanel suits, Yves Saint Laurent jewelry and Hermes scarves for sale. In addition, eBay carries both new items and vintage clothes. The vintage items are often in excellent condition but sell for less than the current styles. Be careful to buy from sellers with high approval ratings and only bid on items in new and excellent condition.
You can find bargains offline too. Consignment shops are another excellent way to buy discounted fashion. Many consignment shops use an automated markdown system, which means the longer an item remains in the store, the deeper the markdowns. Still other consignment shops allow you to build credit by consigning your own clothes. The money you make from consigning your items goes into an account for you to spend in the store.
Finally, for the truly adventurous, thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army often have designer treasures hidden in their racks. With the help of a good tailor and drycleaner, these finds can become wardrobe staples.
Don't Be a Fashion Victim
Fashion is fun but it shouldn't overtake your look or your bank account. Wearing head-to-toe designer screams fashion victim. If designer suits are beyond your budget, try wearing designer accessories like scarves or sunglasses mixed with your everyday items. This will give your wardrobe a pop without draining your bank account.