The best ways to bag 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!
SheLikes has an amazing selection of party dresses under £35, a 20% student discount and free UK delivery on all orders over £40!
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.
For sports gear, give Get The Label a go. It stocks discounted products from Oasics, Lee, Timberland and Diesel. Students get a 10% discount to boot.
As its name suggests, Then and Now sells current and previous clothing lines. It’s the ‘Then’ we want to focus on, with up to 75% off past collections.
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.
You may have heard of Secret Sales before. It offers new sales every day on 600 different brands. Sales last for two-four days with discounts of up to 70% off.
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 Samplesaleslondon.co.uk, Designersales.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?
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.
Vinted is slightly different in that you either pay or swap. With a Pinterest-like set up, you can find individual pieces which have been massively reduced.
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 in recent years. The UK’s first ‘vintage department store’ even opened in East London four years ago. But there are still bargains to be had at vintage and pre-owned fairs.
Judysvintagefair.co.uk holds events regularly all over the country. There are events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London over the next month. Vintassion also has a list of vintage fairs taking place in the UK throughout the year.
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, TK Maxx and the like.
More money-saving tips:
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