If you’re more of a Prada person but on a Primarni budget, you’re in the vast majority of fashion-lovers across the UK. Only a very small number of people actually have the money to buy designer brands at full price, with many of us having to resort to cheaper high street alternatives.
However, help is on hand and we’ve selected a few of our favourite places to pick up a designer fashion bargain so you don’t have to go without your favourite designers.
Designer Outlet Villages
Discount outlet stores have spread rapidly across Europe in the last 10 years and the UK is home now to a fair few. These include Bicester Village
, Cheshire Oaks
and Gunwharf Quays
in Portsmouth; all host to hundreds of designer stores.
Traditionally you can get discounts of up to 70% on the RRP which quickly adds up to huge savings across a new wardrobe, bringing the price more in line with mainstream high street brands.
They’re all free to visit (some parking charges may apply) and you’ll often find a warmer reception that the stern face of a shop assistant that you may encounter elsewhere when they twig that you may just be punching above your weight.
You do often find that some of the fashion collections may not be the most current season, but don’t worry as they still offer great discounts on wardrobe staples and are certainly top of our list.
Luckily the stigma of being seen in a charity shop has started to go in recent years. Gone are the days of just finding old books and ornaments, now there’s an eclectic mix of vintage fashion treasures if you take the time to dig a bit deeper. Stories we’ve encountered are Chanel handbags being discovered, racks of vintage cocktail dresses and designers galore.
It’s true, not all charity shops are like this, but many will offer hidden gems from time to time (especially on the vintage side) so they’re worth an afternoon of hunting around each month.
Clearance stores and discount fashion retailers
Discount fashion stores like MandMDirect
have come a long way since the 1990s, scaling up massively and getting more and more designer brands onboard. It’s current portfolio includes the likes of Hunter, Diesel and UGG Australia just to name a few, all with discounts of up to 75% off.
MandMDirect isn’t unique; on the high street we’ve had TK Maxx, which has recently had a major overhaul, and new discount fashion stores are popping up all the time.
They aren’t for every, as like the outlet village stores, they tend to rely on stock that isn’t taken from the most current season. However, if you aren’t looking only for the ‘must-haves’ each season, they’re definitely worth a try.
Flash Sale sites
Flash sale websites, such as SecretSales.com
, offer huge discounts of a variety of luxury fashion items, ranging from handbags and footwear to clothing and jewellery. They work by having a limited amount of stock and cutting the price for a short period (usually under a week), in effect offering a ‘flash’ sale.
Most work on a membership only basis (which is often free) so you’ll have to sign up before browsing. After registering you usually get a daily notification of current and upcoming flash sales for specific brands – it’s then up to you to hit the website and bag yourself a luxury designer fashion bargain.
When it’s gone the item really is gone, so you always need to try and view the sale as soon as it goes live so you’re not left with the remnants.