Sunday, October 21, 2012

[Discounted] Designers - yes or no?

Photo source here

How do you feel about wearing designers?

For years I coveted Louis Vuitton.  As I wrote before, I scoured the internet for information and deals before I finally landed my Speedy 25.  I carry it proudly, knowing I didn't pay full price.

Others don't know that.

Lately I have been scouring fashion blogs.  I love the pulled-together, feminine, classic styles.  One thing I've noticed about most of the looks I like is that they're generally pieced together using one or more designer pieces.  Even if it's just a pair of Christian Louboutin heels (the tell-tale red soles give them away), the look is so classy and stylish that I have to sigh.

I can't exactly afford to run out and buy high designer clothes, and oftentimes I am able to imitate the look with something much more affordable, but that doesn't stop me from admiring the real thing.  I've joined a few discount sites to try to snag some designer duds at discounted prices, and the latest one seems to be a pretty nice little gem - more on it in a minute - but I have to wonder... even if I buy them on discount, will I be judged for wearing designer brands?

What do you think?

Alright, onto some great places to get good deals... should designer deals be what you're looking for!

Hautelook (OAT-look) (link | referral link)
Hautelook is a daily flash sale site, where you can get women's fashion and accessories, men's clothing, shoes, home goods, and even beauty items at a discount.  I've purchased makeup by theBalm, jeans, a winter coat, jewelry from Amrita Singh, and makeup from NYX.  Their site is reliable, customer service is adequate (albeit sometimes frustrating), and they tend to keep variety circulating.  I have received several things that were broken, which is really frustrating, but they're responsive to complaints.  So feel free to buy away - sales start at 11 am EST and you have 15 minutes to check out once you put something in your cart.  On your mark, get set...

Rue La La (link | referral link)
Rue La La is just like Hautelook, but the site is a little different.  There aren't as many items in stock - many times I suspect they only have one or two in obscure sizes, so it can be very frustrating (I say this after logging into the site immediately after receiving the email only to find that all jeans in any size near mine are already sold out)!  Like Hautelook, Rue La La sales start at 11 am EST, but I have found that the site crashes repeatedly during decent sales.  Also, if you put anything in your cart that is high demand, it can and will be sold out from under you if you take time to look at other items.  I've repeatedly tried to purchase items from designers like Lily Pulitzer, but to no avail.  Maybe you'll have better luck than me!

Gilt (link | referral link)
Gilt is the original designer discount flash sale website, in my opinion.  I joined a couple years ago, and have purchased handbags, jeans, etc.  Their customer service is very responsive, and I've actually enjoyed my shopping experiences.  In fact, the jeans I purchased (Paige, great price) are my favorite jeans.  Gilt sales start at noon EST and are probably the least frantic of the those mentioned so far.

And the newest site I've joined...

The RealReal (link)
This last site has the highest end brands of them all.  Rather than a flash sales site, it's a high-end consignment site.  Prices aren't super low, but you can definitely find some nice deals!  I have only perused as of yet, so I cannot comment on the quality of the sale interaction, but it seems like a nice site.  Take a look around and see what you think!

Are there other sites that you recommend?  Do you wear designer duds, or stick to budget fashion?  Let me know in the comments below!