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Purse Strings: If you’re looking to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank, try online outlets and flash sales says Kara Gammell in Telegraph Wonder Women’s weekly money advice column.If you are running out of room in your wardrobe, you are not the only one.
New figures from Sainsbury’s Bank suggests that the average consumer owns more than £1,890 worth of clothing and footwear.
If this sounds like you, you will know that looking good doesn’t seem to come cheap. So now might be a good time to start looking to bag a bargain when it comes to updating your wardrobe further. Read on for three ways to stay stylish on a budget.
1. Online outlets
Many high street retailers try to shift their end-of-the-line stock, ex-display items or returns by slashing the prices and selling through their online shops – and if you know where to look you can save a fortune.
If you need a new pair of shoes for the Christmas party season, check out Shoeaholics ( shoeaholics.com ), where you can find shoes from high street retailer Kurt Geiger for as much as 80pc off. Also on the site are accessories and men’s products.
Similarly, Marks and Spencer ( outlet.marksandspencer.com ) has an online outlet which can be good for some wardrobe staples. While Figleaves ( figleaves.com/uk/outlet ), Monsoon ( uk.monsoon.co.uk/uk/outlet ) and Joules ( joules.com/Outlet-Clothing ) are also worth a look.
2. Ebay shops
If you have shunned looking for fashion finds on eBay before, it’s time to look again. Many retailers sell their products through the eBay Fashion Gallery which is a designated area within site selling over 100 fashion brands. Each store within the eBay Fashion Gallery is either directly managed by the brand itself or by a trusted retailer who has established relationships with the brands they sell. Postage rates and delivery times vary depending on which brand you buy from, so always check before you click ‘buy’.
Brands available include Pied a Terre ( stores.ebay.co.uk/piedaterre ), House of Fraser ( stores.ebay.co.uk/houseoffraser ), French Connection ( stores.ebay.co.uk/frenchconnectionoutlet ) and Office ( stores.ebay.co.uk/OfficeShoes ).
3. Flash sales
There is no reason to pay top dollar for designer labels – especially when you can find discounts of up to 80pc so long as you know where to look.
Flash sales are exactly what their name suggests – sales in a flash. With an air of exclusivity and luxury brand names, flash sale websites host time-limited sales for members only.
How these websites work is simple. They order stock from designers after the sale has closed, enabling them to pass on the biggest savings. And with free membership and discounts of up to 80pc, shoppers are now logging on in their thousands.
The only drawback from these sites is that delivery can take up to four weeks, but many shoppers will think it is worth the wait.
Worth a look is Brandalley.co.uk which sells big-name fashion and beauty products for a fraction of the price.
Sales this month have included Ted Baker, Joules, Miu Miu and Prada.
Cocosa.com is an invitation-only website where each week different designers offer discounts on clothing and accessories. Recent sales include Missoni, Michael Kors and Alice by Temperley.
It’s free to join, but you do need an invitation from a friend who is already a member – your friend will get a £15 voucher when you make your first purchase.
If you don’t know anyone who has signed up, you can join the waiting list on the website, but it will only take a few days for your account to be activated.
Another site to check out if you are looking for a good deal is SecretSales.com which offers discounts of up to 70pc off fashion and beauty products. Fashion sales this month have included Dior, Converse and Valentino.
Keep in mind that as with all items purchased online, ‘distance selling’ regulations entitle you to a cooling-off period of seven days from the day your goods arrive, during which you can change your mind and ask for a refund, no questions asked.
Telegraph Wonder Women wants to hear what’s on your mind when it comes to money. Are you perplexed by pensions, enraged by energy bills or confused by childcare costs? Email your questions or comments to [email protected] with ‘Purse Strings’ in the subject line and we’ll consider including them in future columns.