Updated: Jun 13, 2022
The whole universe knows how much we all adore finding a good designer item, but I think we all know how much we LOVE to find an item at a fraction of the retail price.
I am here to reveal all the secret little places I’ve been keeping to myself on a “less-really-is-more” mentality. I will tell you where to shop, I will tell you which shops to go to. You might be surprised, but some of the things that I have scored are actually 70%- 90% under retail value.
The first things first I will say is DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy trendy luxury items at full price unless you personally feel it is a CLASSIC piece to you.
Because once you walk out of the store with your new shiny designer piece; the resale value of that said item goes down. If you ever wanted to sell it, you would never get what you actually paid for it and you would have to list it under what it’s worth even if it has never seen the light of day. But for “classic, timeless” pieces you are bound to get the most bang for your buck if you decide to sell it. For example think of the Chanel Boy Bag: Retail Value for a Chanel Boy is currently $4500. Now say that you want to sell your Boy Bag, you would have to sell it for less, but let’s be honest it’s CHANEL someone will buy it no matter what. You also don’t want to buy brand new because you will be so concerned with trying not “ruin” the bag that you wouldn’t have any time to enjoy it. You would be miserable with worry about things like a pen leaking on the inside of the bag or God forbid there would ever be any denim transfer. If you buy pre owned you don’t have to worry about these things at all. The only word coming out of your mouth will be “vintage”.
Another place I like to go to in order to keep my wardrobe up to date is Crossroads Trading Company; Crossroads Trading company is a Buy, Sell and Trade shop. I do sometimes sell my clothes to them and use a trade to shop or I just sell my clothes and cash out or just simply shop. It is a good place if you know what you are kind of looking for. Link to website here
The main reasons I love to shop at Crossroads is because they have 3 locations in Chicago. They also even have clothes with brand new tags on them. They have new clothes that will not break the bank. They get merchandise everyday all day. It varies in sizes from 00-18 you might even get lucky and get something past a size 18. A decent portion of the designer merchandise they receive is in season and if not, just a season or two behind. The staff is helpful and nice so every time I go in there I feel welcomed. Crossroads is a good place to get both trendy and casual clothing.
Since there are 3 Crossroads locations in Chicago you are probably wondering which is the best one to go to. The two that I love to visit the most are the Evanston location and the Lincoln Park location. I personally feel they both get great stuff and keep up with trends.
As for Outlets and malls in the Chicago area the best locations for designer outlets that I personally love are Off 5th, Barney’s Warehouse and Nordstrom rack. I go to the Off 5th located on State Street in Downtown Chicago as well in the Rosemont outlets. I love Off 5th because not only is it the baby sister to Saks 5th. It is also a place I feel that the staff is really attentive. They know their product and the knowledge behind said product. For example if you are looking for a Proenza Schouler PS2 in black with white piping from the runway fall-winter season 2015 nine times out of ten they know which bag you are referring to and they do there damnist to find it for you. If they can’t find that particular item for you they know similar products to show you.
These places are guaranteed to have some good stuff. I personally, have scored 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Miu Miu, and many other designers at places like these and for 60-80% off (Yep. that Phillip Lim bag I wear all the time I scored it for just 200$ 80% off!!!) Stores like these are the stores that get the inventory from their big brothers because they didn’t sell at that location and would like a second chance at having a loving fashionable family or it could be overstock. Be sure to check out the Rosemont Outlet in Chicago. These are places I try to keep up with their inventories
If you are ever in Downtown Chicago on the magnificent mile be sure to check out Nordstrom rack! it is one of my favorite locations because not only is the Nordstom Department Store just a few blocks down, it is a store that carries the most fashionable unique things. I have found pieces that I absolutely love to death and couldn’t think of getting rid of them.
One of my top kept secrets is visiting your local consignment shops. In Chicago the one that I really like is Luxury Garage Sale. They have an E-Bay page here. They also have a store located on Well’s near Downtown and in the 900 shops located on the mag mile. They just opened a pop up shop. I would also suggest just seeing what’s in your neighborhood. Make sure to instagram me pics of yourself finding something amazing at one of my recommendations or at your own place and SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE!
Since the world is moving toward one-click purchasing on-the-go. The apps that I use on the daily to score good designer pieces are: The sisters to Net-A-Porter. They are The Out Net, Yoox, and Vestiare Collective. Just to clarify Net- A-Porter is a website that sells multiple designer merchandise at full price unless they are having a scheduled sale which is happening now ironically. Net – A – Porter has multiple other sister websites and is one of the biggest online fashion retailers.
The Out Net (Middle sister to Net-A-Porter)
The Out Net is one of places I go to if I am just in a shopping mood and I want to see what they have. To be honest it is more of an impulse shopping destination, but that is OK. It’s a destination if you are looking for something trendy that has a designer label and something that you don’t mind buying. Something that you at least enjoy.
Yoox (Baby sister to The Out Net and Net-A-Porter)
Yoox is a great website to get a few seasons behind goodies. I do mean they are goodies; think of the Stella McCartney bag that you have been having your eyes on for the last year and a half and didn’t want to pay the full price because you knew deep down that it might be on sale. Nine times out of ten it is on Yoox or at least something similar to it.
Vestiare Collective is 100% guaranteed AUTHENTIC you will never have to worry if what you are getting is the real deal. Vestiare Collective is similar to E-Bay but for Luxury pieces ONLY. The company has a special team that personally looks at the items that are being sold before someone lists it so it can be authenticated. It is also very product specific, if you are looking for a pair of Christian Louboutins in Python in a size 38 you have to put all of that in the search bar. This is a specific website that goes by what you are currently trying to find. Vestiare Collective leads me to the love I have for…..
E-BAY!!!! I am currently searching E-Bay for Alexander Wang Gabi Boots in a size 41 Here Be careful on E-Bay. It is for expert shoppers only. There are so many fakes and it’s important to know what you are getting for bidding etc. I will do a how to shop via E-BAY post soon.
Well now that you know all of my secrets I hope that the fashion gods bless you this year with all the things on your wish list – at a fraction of the price of course.
Until Next Time
Photos by: Triphose Khonde