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How to Buy Designer Clothes on a Budget


Want to buy big fashion brands on a bijou budget? Read our article for six ways to get the most bang for your buck.

Designer brands are defined by quality and exclusivity. The trouble is, owning a prestigious item of clothing usually doesn’t come cheap, and most of us simply can’t afford to keep up with the latest luxury trends.

Whether it’s Superdry Jackets or HyperAdapt sneakers, most branded clothing and premium footwear come with a hefty price tag attached. However, there are several tips and tricks you can use to help you attain the ever-elusive discount. Read on to find six ways to get designer brands for less.

Look at alternate collections

Many designer brands have a high-end range supplemented by other, less expensive brands. These cheaper items can be found in diffusion lines, capsule collections bridge lines and other lower-cost brand deals.

Capsule collections contain a handful of pieces that typically receive a limited run. These items are more affordable due to their mass production, but the fact that they have limited production means that these products can be hard to find when demand is high.

Bridge line clothing is a collaboration between a luxury brand and a low-cost retailer. Essentially, you’re getting the designer label from a cheaper manufacturer, which cuts costs for the consumer, although it can also lead to a reduction in overall quality.

Keep an eye out for flash sales

Hunting for bargains is one of the most common methods of acquiring excellent deals. This will take a fair amount of work from your end in terms of browsing and researching, but the effort is worth it if you can find a deal you’re happy with.

Flash sales can come and go at the drop of a hat, so it’s important that you check your favourite outlets as often as possible. It’s a high-maintenance method of shopping, but it’s incredibly effective if your priority is to find good sales.

Many brands offer to send alerts and emails when they have a flash sale on the way. This is a bit of a double-edged sword; your inbox can quickly become swamped with cries for attention, but you also get first pick when a good sale does come around.

Understand seasonal stock

Most clothing brands tend to separate their offerings into two categories: winter clothing and summer clothing. Seasonal clothing always goes on sale towards the end of that particular season, which is the perfect opportunity to grab a few discounted items.

Retailers are trying to make space for new items, and getting rid of old stock can lead to significant savings for the discerning buyer. The best part is that you enquire about potential price adjustments even before any sales have begun.

Most stores will let you know when a sale is coming, and you can select any items you want long before they go on sale. The only things you have to watch out for are clearance policies, as most outlets don’t allow the return of items purchased during a sale.

Buy secondhand

Thrift stores and consignment outlets are excellent for finding good deals. You can find designer goods for less than half of their original price at secondhand establishments, but there’s a subtle difference between thrift and consignment.

Thrift stores rely on donations from the public, which means that the odds of finding a good deal are relatively low. Consignment stores, on the other hand, either purchase goods from their owners or sell the products for a split profit.

If you consider yourself a frequent shopper, consignment stores are the better choice by far. The products they sell may be regarded as rejects by the designer brands who make them, but most of these discarded items are a patch or a stitch away from perfection.

Consider rentals

Many people make the mistake of buying an expensive item for a special occasion, only to wear it once and never have the garment see the light of day again. Don’t be like those people.

Need an elegant dress or a flashy tuxedo? Head to a rental outlet, and you can get all the style you need for a fraction of the cost of ownership. Rather than paying £1,000 for a designer outfit, you can pay £100 to have it for a day or two instead.

You still get all of the benefits of wearing a high-end getup, with none of the cost or closet space of owning it. What’s more, most establishments are more than happy to hand your deposit back to you once the rental items are returned safely.

Trade with friends and family

If you want to take cost out of the equation, you can always barter with someone who wears the same kinds of clothing as you. Friends and family are your best bet, but you can also check online sources for a community of like-minded individuals.

Imitation products are a dime a dozen nowadays, so you will have to keep your wits about you if you’re getting your clothes from an informal source. The last thing you want is to walk away from your exchange with a knock-off brand.

Swapping designer clothing can even become a social activity, where you and your friends get together to swap good memories and good clothing in equal measure. Make sure you have an even number of people and clothing sizes so that nobody feels left out!

Top intro image by Dyana Wing So on Unsplash

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