I'm poor. Let's face it, there are only a fraction of people on the planet who are dedicated enough to fashion to spend their entire paycheck (after rent and food, of course) on gorgeous, $700 stilettos. I make do with a very generous mother (I've lost a lot of weight and had to buy a new wardrobe- ideeli to the rescue!), as well as about $230 a month. I spend a lot of this on food and concert tickets, but the rest is usually dedicated to new clothing. I'm going to share with you the secrets of buying good quality, fashion-forward, and interesting pieces without spending more than you have to.
NEVER buy anything not on sale unless you absolutely need the item.
I haven't bought anything at full retail value in almost a year, and I still get good quality and current clothing.
What shouldn't matter when purchasing clothing:
1. What season it's from (clothing is about having fun and expressing yourself- who cares if it's this season's latest design?)
2. Who the designer is
What should matter:
1. It makes you feel pretty/sexy/confident
2. It was worth the money
3. It won't fall apart after one wash
Sites like ideeli, hautelook, swirl by daily candy, and Beyond the Rack have daily sales with pretty high-quality mid-low level designer clothing at great prices. Even though it may take almost a month for the purchases to arrive, you can often get free-shipping codes (just google the name of the site and "coupon codes" etc) and always get a good deal. Instead of paying $98 for a sweater, you can pay $39. That's a lot of money saved and a lot of money to spend on something else. It's called expansion of the closet. : D
These are some of the things that I've bought from such websites- yes, sometimes they even have American Apparel stuff. The sweatshirt was originally $45 and I paid only $20. The black coat in the middle was originally $550- down to $79 (by Nicole Miller). It's pretty amazing. The Custo Barcelona dress was originally about $200, and I got it for $40.
If you are looking for outdoor/sporty/casual type things of good quality, Sierra Trading Post has amazing deals on items from Calida (a Swedish company that makes divine underwear and clothing) and Columbia, Marmot, and other outdoor outfitter companies.
Plus, if you do have extra money, there are plenty of other online shopping places that have flash designer sales, like Editors' Closet. Ideeli often has designer sales as well- sometimes even D&G or Emilio Pucci. Neiman Marcus' Last Call always has good stuff, too. : )
If you plan on shopping in stores, I recommend always going to the back of the store first- that's usually where all the sales are. Going at certain times in the year can get you really great sales, as well.
If you'd like an invite to any of the above websites, just ask me! I'd be happy to send one your way.