7 Hacks to Make Designer Clothing & Accessories Affordable

smiling woman trying on designer clothing
Published on May 25, 2022
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The anticipation and excitement that comes with saving up for a designer purchase, and the rush of adrenaline you get when you finally have it in your hands, is something you just don’t get when buying from the high street. 

But unfortunately, habits like this can become very expensive, so here are some tips on how to make the designer tag not have such a high price tag.

1) Buy Pre-loved Items Online

There are so many sites out there where you can bag a bargain on a designer item if you are happy to buy second-hand!

Second hand doesn’t mean second best, and it also means you’re doing your bit for the planet by not buying brand new, as you are giving the item a new lease of life. Sites such as Depop, eBay & Vinted are a great place to start when looking for pre-loved. 

Most people tend to look after their designer purchases, meaning you are getting a first-rate product at a second-rate price. eBay also offer an authenticity guarantee, which means that you can shop in confidence, knowing that you are going to receive an authentic designer item. 

2) Visit Vintage or Charity Shops

Vintage and charity shops can be a hidden gem for designer items! You may even find yourself a fancy designer item from Whistles! You just have to do your best hunting!

Not everyone has the time to resell their designer clothing & accessories and instead sometimes choose to donate their goodies to charities to allow them to make money in their charity shops. 

These stores tend to put a much more affordable price tag on the clothes & accessories, resulting in a treasure trove of bargains. Not all charity shops will have this calibre of clothing, so doing your research into the second-hand market in your area can be helpful to make sure you’re not wasting your time, but you never know you can bag yourself some bargain Karen Millen designer clothing.  

3) Buy Out of Season  

You will struggle to find a high-end designer that discounts their current line of clothing & accessories, however, the sales they will run tend to be in the last season's range. This doesn’t mean it's any lesser in quality! Just check out Maniere De Voir – we love their designer stuff.

It’s a really great idea to buy out of season high-end items, when they are discounted, as classic designer gear tends to stay in fashion for longer than one season, and the quality means that it will last a long time. Take a look at stores like Flannels to see what sales are available

So, as strange as buying coats in April and swimsuits in November might feel, it’ll be worth it when the season rolls around again! You'll be kitted out in the designer gear at a much lower price tag, just by being savvy with your purchases.

4) Look Out for Discount Codes for Department Stores

As we said earlier, you’ll struggle to find a high-end designer store offering a discount code. However, that doesn’t mean that their retailers won’t. So make sure you do look online at stores like Farfetch to see if there are discounts available

Department stores sell a large variety of designer goods and are sometimes able to offer a discount to their customers. This could be online or in-store, so be sure to check online as well as your local stores for these discounts. 

You may find a retailer like Tessuti offering a welcome discount for a first-time purchase on their website which can often be used across their site, meaning you might be able to bag a discount on a designer item that you won't get anywhere else! Just be sure to check the small print, as not all discount codes will work across all designer brands.

5) Swap with Friends or Family

Another top tip you may not have thought of is to raid your friends and family's wardrobes! 

Designer items can sometimes get stored away and not used as often as they deserve. Chances are, you probably have a few designer items in your own cupboard from great stores like Ted Baker collecting dust. So why not offer a swap with someone you know?! 

This is a great way to add something new to your wardrobe or find the perfect colour bag to go with a new dress for a night out you had planned, without having to break the bank. It’s a great way to give items a new lease of life. 

6) Rent Instead of Buying

So you finally find the perfect dress for your next event, but the price tag attached is a little more than you had hoped for! 

With designer items such as bags and belts, it's common you will use them more than once. However, with a less classic item that is more of a statement piece, it's likely you will only wear it once - so that price tag doesn’t really seem worth it for one wear. 

This is where you could consider renting designer clothing. Yes, it’s a thing! For example, Selfridges offer its own rental service, renting out pieces such as Givenchy dresses that retail for £1740, from only £169! There are also other sites that offer this service, and it is a great hack to find show-stopping pieces at a fraction of the price. 

7) Only Invest in Statement Pieces

If you really do want to splash the cash and get an item to keep, make sure it’s an item that will last the seasons. We love browsing through the designer goods at Harvey Nichols, you are bound to find something that you fall in love with.  

Classic silhouettes will keep you looking on-trend year on year, and ensure you make the most of your purchase. 

Another tip would be to look into the quality of the product you’re buying and the materials used to manufacture it. You will want to pick an item that is durable, will work hard for you, and will have a long life in your wardrobe! Don’t forget to check out Brand Alley too for all your designer dream items


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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