Hey Skint pals,
Hope your weekend was good. Mine was one of those chore-filled ones, yawn, which involved trips to bathroom stores when really I’d rather have been out shopping for vintage. Still, I managed to snag a hefty discount on the bathroom suite after a lot of haggling – more on that another day. For now I’ve had enough talk of waste pipes and grout, so I’m escaping to a more glamorous place in my head and using today’s post to dream of all the clothes I didn’t get to see at the weekend.
Inspired by last night’s Oscars I’m dreaming of how to get red carpet style on a linoleum budget – and figure the only way is to turn to some of my favourite money-saving fashion websites. In a matter of a week or two the high street stores will be swamped with copies of last night’s Oscars hits, but if even the high street versions are still out of reach where do you go for a red carpet fashion fix on a teensy budget? Step forward these beauties, which tick the style-on-a-shoestring box for me:
1. Buyosphere: Our Oscars actresses didn’t go out shopping for their dresses. They didn’t spend hours in sweaty changing rooms, listening to chart music. Instead they called no 2 on their speed dial and briefed their personal stylist. For us skint girls, Buyosphere is as close as we’ll get to ringing Rachel Zoe, allowing us to tap into a large network of fellow shoppers and ask their advice. Need to find some skinny red jeans, pronto? Buyosphere readers will tell you where to go. Looking for the perfect orange minidress for less than £40? Buyosphere to the rescue again. Really, it’s so heroic it should wear its pants on top of its trousers.
2.My Celebrity Dress: Remember the scene in the first Sex And The City film, in which Carrie’s assistant rents a Louis Vuitton handbag from a company called Bag, Borrow Or Steal? Well, the same service is now available to us all! The trend of renting dresses, shoes, bags and jewellery that you can’t afford to buy has taken off over the last couple of years, and MyCelebrityDress has a great range to choose from. Costs vary depending on the popularity of the item with a Louis Vuitton Judy GM handbag, valued at £1570, for example, typically costing £45 for a seven-day rental. Items can usually be hired by the evening, the week or the month and prices get proportionally lower the longer you hire. For those super-special occasions, designer rental is an option worth knowing about, but don’t get carried away. It’s as far from investment shopping as you can get and normally you’ll need to give your credit card details for the full value of the item, just in case it gets stolen or spoilt in your care. See also www.kennedypurple.com
3. Fashionvouchers.com: This is a new site but I’m liking it already. A one-stop shop for fashion vouchers and deals, from House of Fraser and Karen Millen to Oasis and New Look, don’t go shopping without checking in first.
4. www.bigwardrobe.com: Billing themselves as ‘the world’s biggest online fashion swap party’, bigwardrobe offers designer brands and high street brands, as well as accessories and fragrance. Clothes swaps are a terrific way to make space in your wardrobe and bag some gorgeous freebies into the bargain. Invite some pals round with their cast-offs, organise snacks and get swapping, or ‘swishing’ as it’s called by those in-the-know.
4. Poshmark: Like eBay, but for clothes only, Poshmark makes it easy to sell clothes by uploading pics straight from your phone and browse fellow sellers sites easily. If you’re having a wardrobe clearout before spring comes, Poshmark is a good place to connect and sell with like-minded fashion lovers.
5. Brand Alley: One of the flash sale sites that I blogged about here, Brand Alley is perhaps the best known, though Achica has been snapping at its heels lately in terms of PR. Flash sale sites are basically websites that advertise massive sales at very short notice for a limited time only, typically just 24-36 hours. So, you’ve got to be speedy to get what you want, but the savings can be massive. You generally have to sign up first – often just your name and email address – then you’ll get notified before a sale starts.
My favourite dress from the red carpet last night? Gotta be Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar’s outfit. While
I was buying a new toilet she was wriggling into this dreamy number. Oh, but I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything. Ha.
Today’s Daily Record Woman section features some tips from yours truly about ways to deal with debt, including a couple of extra money-saving fashion tips. If the spirit moves you, you can check it out here.
What’s your favourite money-saving fashion tip? And your favourite Oscars dress from this year’s red carpet? I’d love to know.
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