Big budget month day 16: where to find cheap clothes
Robert Powell takes a look at the best ways to bag a fashion bargain...
Here are a few ways to nab a fashion bargain...
The net is a good place to start looking for fashion bargains.
ASOS is one the largest online fashion retailers stocking thousands of branded and own label clothes for men and women. ASOS Marketplace is devoted to the buying and selling of pre-owned and vintage gear while blogs, YouTube channels and forums allow you to share your top fashion tips. The site even has an iPhone and iPad app!
Quick fingers are required at luxury site Cocosa. The store uses time-limited sales across both male and female ranges – but once the clothes have gone, they’ve gone!
Brandalley.co.uk is a similar site that offers up to 70% off top designer brands. Clothes for men and women are chosen by the site’s team of buyers and 5-6 new sales launch daily.
And if you’re on a strict £20 budget, try my987wardrobe.com, a woman’s clothing store where every item is either £9.87 or £19.87.
Marketplaces and outlets
eBay is a fashion resource in its own right and plays host to the clothes of thousands of traders, makers and plain individuals. However the auction site also has its own outlet centre. Here you can find discounted clothes from brands and shops such as Superdry, Schuh, M&M Direct, and Bench.
Hardlyeverwornit.com is another marketplace portal that offers high-end, luxury clothing for low prices. The site allows users to bid on uploaded items of clothing that have only been worn once or twice. It’s perfect if you’re looking to snap up, or sell off, a designer dress, pricey shirt or unwanted piece of jewellery.
Instead of wasting hours of your life checking to see when that little black dress will go on sale, Styloko.com is a free website which will do it for you. Users keep a scrapbook of ‘wish list’ items they're watching from across the internet and then an email alert is sent out once something goes on sale.
Sample sales are flash sales used by retailers to shift excess merchandise. They often spring up at short notice in temporary locations and are always packed with bargains. To receive alerts about these sales get signed up to sites like Dailycandy.com, Samplesaleslondon.co.uk, Desingersales.co.uk and Stylebible.com.
Lovefashionsales.com is another good site to sign up to if you’re after a specific brand or item. The site monitors 400 UK fashion retailers daily and alerts you when an item you desire is reduced in price.
If your wardrobe is bulging, why not swap out your old clothes in return for some new ones? Bigwardrobe.com allows you to throw your old clothes into a virtual wardrobe and exchange for a new set. Members can propose swaps, straight cash sales or a combination of the two.
Covertcandy.co.uk is a similar site that allows you to trade items – no cash involved at all!
Mrs Bear’s Swap Shop holds swapping events across London run in the WWII ‘make do and mend’ mould. All you need to do is dig out up to seven swaps and bring them along to a sale. From here, you’ll be issued with a clothing ration stamp which you can then exchange for new clothes.
Swishing.com is another portal that organises swapping events across the country. In January alone sales are being held in Milton Keynes, Oxford, Glasgow, Coventry, Bristol, Luton and Brighton.
Charity shops are the classic destination for cheap, used clothes and a hotspot for vintage rags. Yes, you may have to wade through a rack of dodgy floral dresses before you strike gold – but when you do find something, it’s nearly always a bargain.
In her Yahoo! money saving column, Felicity Hannah went in search of the best charity shop deals. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom she gleaned from a few shop volunteers:
Save the Children: “If you’re looking for something really special, it can be a good idea to visit charity shops in more affluent areas. I’ve found designer dresses and shirts in some of our shops.”
The Shaw Trust: “The trick is perseverance. What’s in the shop changes every week, so you need to pop in as often as you can in order to find a real gem.”
Oxfam: “Timing makes a difference. We get loads of donations at weekends, so it’s worth visiting early in the week if you want to have first pick.”
Vintage clothing has boomed in popularity and indeed price recently. The UK’s first ‘vintage department store’ even opened in East London late last year. But there are still bargains to be had at vintage and pre-owned fairs.
Vintagefair.co.uk holds events regularly all over the country. January will see them haul up in London, Tunbridge Wells and Norwich, while Chester, Lancaster, Cambridge, Durham and several other cities will hold events in February.
And if you’re in London for the day, head to the Spitalfields area near Liverpool Street Station. Along with several permanent retro and vintage shops, fairs and markets frequently spring up over the weekend. Camden Market and Portobello Road Market are further hotspots for oldie rags in the capital.
Of course, there are still bargains to be had on the high street; so don’t rule out a visit to Primark, Topshop, H&M, Zara and the likes.
What are your top tips for bagging a fashion bargain?
Let us know using the comment box below.
This is a classic lovemoney article that has been updated
Big budget month so far:
Big budget month day one: how to plan a budget
Big budget month day two: looking at your spending
Big budget month day three: setting your goals
Big budget month day four: make sure you're not missing out on money
Big budget month day five: cut your transport costs
Big budget month day six: save money on food
Big budget month day seven: save money on your energy
Big budget month day eight: cut your utilities spending
Big budget month day nine: have a posh packed lunch on a budget!
Big budget month day ten: how to eat out for less
Big budget month day 11: cancel subscriptions and memberships
Big budget month day 12: how direct debits can save you money
Big budget month day 13: save on music, TV, movies and games
Big budget month day 14: save money by stopping smoking
Big budget month day 15: how to have a holiday for less