Unique Clothing Finds That Won’t Break the Bank
There is an art form to the deal. No we aren’t talking about the book by the former president, we’re talking about saving money by finding good deals. Perhaps one of the most important deals to master is the clothing deal. Where to go to get quality clothing at a reasonable price. As a savvy freelancer this should already be something you’re adept at, but it can never hurt to improve. The way to level up your clothing-seeking skills is knowing where to find singular or uncommon pieces. Not necessarily because you need to stand out (although nothing wrong with that if you do), but as you’ve certainly figured out already, you aren’t the only one who knows where to find deals on clothing. This can lead to you looking the same as everyone else. However eccentric your tastes are, everyone wants to look a little unique. The worry is that the more special an article of clothing is, the more expensive it will be and you just can’t afford that. Worry not, there are troves of cheap, quality, and novel clothing out there waiting to be found.
If the lesson of this article was “you should be thrifting” then you should leave this page immediately. We all know how to thrift shop, that’s nothing new. Probably the best way to do that is to get to know your local thrift stores. Especially if you live in a major city, thrift shopping opens a whole universe of clothing possibilities. Unfortunately, not everyone lives in a major city, and some people don’t feel comfortable combing through other people’s clothes during a pandemic. Totally understandable. Lucky for you there is an even larger world of vintage shopping online, and we’re not just talking about Poshmark and eBay.
If you’ve ever been to London, you’ve probably heard of this iconic shop. If you haven’t you can still shop their wares online without having to eat shitty British food for days. Beyond Retro has made a name for itself as one of the most sustainable vintage options over the past decade, and one of the coolest things about their online store is you can browse by decade. From '60s-inspired denim to '80s-style Hawaiian shirts, you can look like Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Without the muscles and natural good looks of course.
Founded by PIG magazine creator Simon Beckerman, Depop is Poshmark's edgier little sister. The global marketplace has over 21 million sellers, stylists, designers, collectors, creatives, and influencers offering unique preloved and vintage items. With an interface that resembles Instagram, buyers can interact with their favorite shops and vendors through follows, likes, comments, and messages. You can even search for pieces by hashtag. With a global community of over 15 million-plus users, you'll be sure to score some vintage finds on Depop.
Sure there's a certain pang of guilt you feel when an expensive purchase goes unworn, but what's even worse is when you pass on a purchase, only to never find it again when you’re ready to buy. Luckily, Vestiaire Collective is here to save the day. Founded in 2009, Vestiaire Collective allows buyers and sellers to interact with each other about item details before ever engaging in a purchase. This way you can be extra sure whether an item is something you want. Vestiaire Collective has over 25,000 new items submitted by their community of sellers every week, which enables buyers to search over 3,500 new and unique pieces a day.
LUXURY FOR CHEAP
Sometimes you just can’t beat opulence. There is a whole world of luxury items that are out of reach for many people and those brands want it that way. They don’t like to be associated with discounts and so rarely if ever have sales. The more exclusive they can seem the better. Fortunately, there are plenty of marketplaces on the internet where you can buy designer goods for less than designer prices (and not just Nordstrom’s).
There are a ton of online marketplaces for high-end clothes at reasonable prices, from Mr. Porter to Farfetch. We like SSENSE because there aren’t too many online retailers with as robust of a lineup. Its lengthy selection includes everything from streetwear like Aimé, Leon Dore, and Noah to luxury fashion houses like Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. The wide scope of style it caters to makes SSENSE’s seasonal sales a cause for celebration no matter if your style is grimy street urchin or Gordan Gecko. With discounts that go as deep as 70 percent off of retail for certain items, it’s worth navigating through the hundreds of pages to fill your cart.
Everyone knows the European are always a step ahead when it comes to fashion. Which is why this European retailer is another necessary stop for anyone trying to add some unique items to their closet. With hundreds of brands to choose from, including popular names like Stone Island, Fear of God, Gucci, and Human Made, as well as foreign brands you’ve probably never heard of like Kenzo or Needles (both real), you’ll surely find a piece that your friends are jealous of. The vast number of products also guarantees that the sale section is always going to be loaded with worthwhile options at as much as half the price. Shipping and import duties are built into the prices too, which makes overseas shopping with End. a breeze.
Founded in New York, in 2007, Gilt is an online retailer that sells luxury items and designer apparel at steeply discounted prices. Their sales were one only for exclusive members, but now to become a member all you need to do is sign up. Gilt doesn’t only sell clothes either, but home goods as well as lifestyle and travel experiences at discounted prices. Their sales sections are updated every day with new items so if you don't like what they have today you only need to wait 24 hours. Their flash sales, which happen every so often, only last a few days and come with stupidly low-price tags. Items typically fly off those shelves quickly, so if you want it, buy it now.
THE JOY OF DISCOVERY
There are too many clothing brands out there to count, and if you really want something unique, try and find one you haven’t heard of before (this might be why you’re reading this article). There are loads of smaller brands out there that need support and these are a few that are quite fairly priced.
Mott & Bow is a solid alternative if you’re looking for affordable and dependable basics and want to break away from the H&Ms and Everlanes of the world. Their flagship items are their denim, but their shirts, sweaters, and sweats are all quality as well. It’s classic without being too “I’m about to go golfing.”
Roots isn’t so much a small business, but little known outside of Canada. It’s in that happy middle where they’re obscure enough that not everyone is wearing their clothes, but big enough that they ship anywhere, aren’t overpriced, and rarely run out of stock. Roots sells a variety of wardrobes but really they are the place to go to if you want some ultra-comfy, beaver-emblazoned lounge or casual wear.
Trendy, but not in the $500 dollar hoodies kind of way, and unique, but not in a way that makes you look like an alien. River Island is one of those rare indie stores that are able to pull off edgy without being brash or in your face about it. When you first see their top-quality clothes you’ll wonder “how have I not heard of this already?” It’s because they’re British. Ahh, those sneaky Brits.
Personal style is a big part of one’s identity. Just don’t break the bank trying to find it.