Monday, January 3, 2011

Smart Shopping: Affordable Clothing and Accessories

It's important to look nice in college. No, not just to impress that cute nerdy girl in Molecular Biology or that hot, sweaty drunk guy at the tailgate. There are also job interviews and career fairs to consider, impressions to be made on faculty members who will become your networking connections in the future, and occasionally in-class presentations in front of industry professionals. Having a nice wardrobe that consists of more than college-logo sweatpants and north face jackets is definitely worth spending some money on. But, duh, we're all broke as sh*t. So we have a few alternatives: hunt for for clearance-rack scores at T.J. Maxx, spend hours looking through thrift stores for incredible deals, or shop online. Wait - shop online? That doesn't really seem to fit, right? I mean, clothes at are just as expensive as clothes in the stores. Well yes. But that's not what I mean. And NO- I'm not referring to sites like Ebay, where what you see is sometimes the complete opposite of what you pay for. I'm talking about low-risk, high-reward shopping for affordable, legitimately nice clothing and accessories. Even designer stuff!

So where can you get a $40 Calvin Klein jacket, or a $10 American Apparel tee online? The answer: websites that sell designer and brand name clothing at drastically reduced prices during brief private sales. The sites are basically online members-only sample sales of all your favorite brands, and the best part is that they are totally free to join. Not only are they free, but they actually reward you with my favorite thing ever, free money, if you refer your friends to the site! If, like me, free money is your main goal in life at all times, this ends up being a very worthwhile venture. I've purchased over $200 of completely free stuff off these sites, and I have free money (in the form of credits) waiting to be spent. Each day the sites send out bulletins about the brands available, ranging from men's and women's clothing and accessories to home furnishing, gourmet foods and even vacation getaways - all with significantly reduced prices, sometimes up to 90% off. So what are you waiting for? Because these sites are members-only, you'll need to sign up before you can shop, but I've got invites for you to some of my favorites: is definetly my favorite overall. Their products are typically the most affordable, and they tend to have my favorite brands, plus "blowout" sales where things are even MORE discounted. Many, many things in my closet were purchased from HauteLook, and I'm sure many more will be to come. Best finds so far? A $600 Swiss watch for only $50, (Christmas gifts for guys, anyone?) LORAC and Urban Decay cosmetics for $4, an adorable turqoise cross-body fringed purse for $6. I recommend this site if you only sign up for one! You'll get $10 for a referred friend who makes a purchase.

RueLaLa is another good one. There stuff tends to be a little higher end than HauteLook but they have a really good variety of brands.

Gilt Groupe is the cream of the crop. They get the nicest designers and often have the most sales going on at once. I've seen everything from off-the-runway Chanel and Galliano to gourmet knife sets and designer tea cozies. You can get every luxury item you need at Gilt for the best prices you'll ever find. Even better, you get $25 in credits for every referred friend that makes a purchase - that adds up FAST!

Ideeli is one that I don't have much personal experience with, but it is endorsed by Oprah and has a lot of sales each day. Like Gilt, you'll get $25 when a referred friend makes a purchase.

Are there any sites I missed? Post your invite links in the comments! And of course, happy shopping!


  1. I can't wait to check out some of your shops you have posted on your blog. here is my favorite online store

  2. Thank you for this interesting shops :)


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