I saw a quote once that fit my life perfectly. It read: “I’m a rich woman trapped in a working woman’s body.” If you’re like me and you have five-star dreams on a three-star budget, here are five tips that can help you dress like an international jet-setter without breaking the bank:
- Luxury brand outlet stores are great sources for finding expensive clothing and accessories at discounted prices (sometimes up to 75% off). To find outlets in your area, go to Outlet LocatorOutlet Bound. You can also search the websites of your favorite designer brands – Gucci, Prada, Tory Burch, D&G, etc. – as well as up-and-coming local designers to find their outlet locations.
- Mix and match. Fast-fashion coupled with some lux items can create a really nice look. No one will ever know that you’re wearing H&M, Celine, Zara and Giuseppe Zanotti in the same outfit unless you tell them.
- Accessory rental. There are quite a few websites and stores where you can rent designer handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and watches. Here are a few resources to get you started: Bag, Borrow or Steal; From Bags to Riches; Kiss My Bag; and Rent Me A Handbag.
- One of my favorite ways to find designer fashions at affordable prices is sample sales. These events, held in stores and showrooms, offer clothing, accessories and housewares at 50% to 75% below retail prices. Some sample sales are held regularly; others are held only a few times each year. Not all stores and showrooms are open to the public every day so you should call ahead. Websites like Shop It To Me, as well as members-only shopping communities such as Ideeli, TheTopSecret, Beyond the Rack and Gilt Groupe, offer sale announcements as well as links to online sample sales. (If you’re not yet a member, add your name to their waiting list for an invitation.)
- Trade designer clothes and accessories with friends. Make it festive by having a monthly “exchange party” with some of your close friends. Naturally, you will all agree to take good care of each other’s belongings.
What’s most important is to remember that being a jet-setter is not just about wearing designer clothing and accessories. Your style should be coupled with confidence and civility. In other words, always be fabulous, inside and out!
Ava Pierce is a 30-something jet-setter-in-training who shares her shopping, traveling and socializing resources at Ava Pierce: The Blog. Whether you’re a jet-setting dreamer or an experienced globetrotter, you can enjoy her Jet Set Tips of the Day as well as her rants and raves about everything from traveling around the globe to learning how to sashay in her stilettos without breaking an ankle.