Money Saving Week: Saving on Fashion

As much as I love fashion, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pay full-price for things when there are so many deals to be had these days. It just doesn’t seem to make that much sense. Don’t get me wrong – I have my moments, when I see something I love and immediately buy it, even if it’s not on sale. But those moments don’t come nearly as often as they used to, as my priorities change and saving money gets easier and easier. Here, a few of the top ways to save on fabulous fashion:
1. Sign up for the Flash Sale Sites: I am obsessed with these sites, and I’ve turned so many of my friends on to them. After they are hooked, they all say the same thing: Once you’ve bought a Valentino skirt at a fraction of the price, paying retail really loses its appeal. The process is simple: You sign up, and you get daily emails with Flash Sales, which are essentially online sample sales that last for about 48 hours. The designers are generally top notch, and the deals are unbelievable. My favorite sites include Gilt, Ideeli, Hautelook, and RueLaLa. Others include Beyond the Rack and Editor’s Closet. But be warned: These sites are addictive, and the time limit may induce you to buy more than you intended.
2. Sign up for the Customized Sale Sites: These ingenious sites allow you to enter in all of your own criteria, including sizes, designers, styles, etc, and then daily you get emails with sales on all of your favorite things. These sites include MyPerfectSale, ShopItToMe, and Covet.
3. Sign up for the Online Outlets: You may not know this, but many of your favorite sites have online outlets where you can nab some incredible deals. Check out NetAPorter’s outlet site, cleverly named The Outnet, and Zappo’s outlet site, 6pm.com.
4. Sign up for Store Emails: Your favorite stores want your email address, and in exchange, they’ll send you coupons, sneak peeks at special sales, and free shipping notifications.
5. Don’t be a Snob: I used to be one, and I never considered shopping for clothing in discount stores. Now, I realize that style is where you find it, and if you have great taste, you can find gorgeous stuff anywhere. My friend Laura turned up at a charity ball Saturday night looking incredibly chic in a little black dress from Target, and everyone’s jaw dropped when she told us where she bought it. Whenever guest designers do one of those limited edition lines for Target, I try to pick up a few pieces. They are usually spot-on with the trends, and the prices are unbeatable.
6. Check out the Trend Stores for the Right-Now Pieces: It really doesn’t make sense to spend the bulk of your wardrobe budget on clothing that you’ll only want to wear for a limited time, so don’t be afraid to shop the youth-oriented trend stores, like Forever 21, TopShop, and H&M, for great deals on those right-this-second pieces. And don’t be afraid to venture into those cheesy, cheap mall stores for some of those deals as well. As long as you have good taste and an eye for quality, you can usually pick up a great, inexpensive find or two.
7. Hit the Outlets: My husband and I make a couple of trips every year to an amazing outlet mall near his parents’ house, where I stock up on basics like high quality tees (Theory tees for $8!) and leggings, as well as cocktail dresses (I always love having a few of these hanging in my closet, ready for the next occasion), shoes, and sunglasses.
8. Start with Your Closet: Follow my friend Yvonnne’s advice, and use your closet as a starting point before you go shopping. Make note of what you have and what you need. Ask yourself if there is an item that you find yourself reaching for over and over, but don’t have, like a basic black tee to wear with a hundred other things, or a great pair of jeans that you can actually move in.
9. Spend teh Most Money on the Things You Wear the Most: It sounds like common sense, but I am always amazed by how many people I know who spend a bundle on an evening gown, but think its foolish to invest in a great pair of premium denim jeans. Spend the most money on the things you will get the most use out of.
10. Keep the Best, Consign the Rest: At least once a year, you should be going through your closet and purging it of the items you no longer want or need. The easiest way to unload these pieces? Take them to a consignment store, or sell them on Craigslist or Ebay.

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