Back when I lived in Boston, Filene’s Basement was right down the street from me. If you made your way past the cheap luggage and picked-over t-shirts, you could find a room at the back frequented by frugalistas and fashion snobs alike: the Vault. Crammed into one small room were racks and racks of discount designer duds. This is where I found an amazing lace Gianfranco Ferre dress one day, and a timeless cashmere Ungaro coat the next. It took some time to sift through racks and racks of items in search of that one gem, but I was young, I was single, and I had all the time in the world.
It’s been, oh, a decade or so since my carefree shopping days in Boston, and I have significantly less time to shop than I ever did, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy a good bargain – especially when the discount is on items I truly want and love. That’s why I am so obsessed with the flash sale sites. If you’re among the uninitiated, here’s the deal: for a set period of time, usually a couple of days, these sites offer steeply discounted prices on everything from designer merchandise to gifts, home decor to trips. I now buy most of my girls’ clothes through these sites – they are so addictive. You need to be a member to access the sales, but signing up only takes a minute and the payoff is big! My favorites include: Gilt, Hautelook, Ideeli, RueLaLa, One Kings Lane, Beyond the Rack, The MiniSocial, Zulily, and Editor’s Closet. Here are some other insider sources for great deals and steals:
1. The Outnet: If you are familiar with Net-a-Porter, one of the web’s premier destinations for top designers, including McQueen, Theyskens, Miu Miu and, of course, Louboutin, then you’ll love this sister site, which features drastically reduced prices on the same a-list labels.
BeautyMommy’s Pick: This chic Alexander Wang pencil skirt is timeless yet completely current. At $140, it’s already oodles off the original $400 tag, and you get an extra 40% off at checkout! Yippee!
2. 6pm.com: This site’s more famous sister, Zappo’s, needs no introduction. Here you’ll find the same amazing service and deep collection of shoes, clothes, and accessories, at deep discounts.
BeautyMommy’s Pick: Cesare Paciotti pink-beige booties, $567.90. Sigh. Yes, I am fully aware that this is a very large amount of money to spend on a pair of shoes, but just LOOK at them. And they are 55% off the original price. I wish I had the kind of life that made owning a pair of shoes like these a necessity. Again, sigh.
3. lastcall.com: I used to consider a trip to my favorite outlets something of an annual event, but since my friend Aimee alerted me to the fact that my favorite outfit of all, Neiman Marcus’ Last Call, is now online, my outlet-shopping days have changed forever. Last Call is where I first discovered designer kids lines like Beetlejuice and Baby Sara, and where I found my all time favorite bag, my black patent Prada Gauffre tote. And now I can browse anytime I want. Gulp.
BeautyMommy’s Pick: Ella Moss is one of my favorite names to turn to for high-quality, stylish, casual clothes, and this tunic is one reason why. Easy, effortless, elegant, and only $59.