How to Get Designer Clothes for Free
Getting Celebrity Style for Less
So, I thought I would share with you some ways to get celebrity-style clothes when you're on a shoestring budget. Fashionistas have to get creative nowadays because of the slow economy and limited shopping budgets. Bartering is the new money and works well for me. It can work for men, women and children's clothes.
Times are hard, but that doesn't mean you have to look like you do not have any money. Believe me, you can still look fabulous for less. I see proof of this every day on television, especially reality TV. Just make sure that you do not fall for the many imposters and fake designer labels being sold on the web.
- Organize Closets for the Wealthy
- Become an Image Consultant
- Start a Clothes Barter Club
- Help a Non-Profit Organization
- Check Pawnshops for Jewelry and Shoes
- Try Shoe Swapping
- Pick Up Unwanted Gifts
- Get into Bartering and Thrifting
- Find Stores Going Out of Business
1. Organize Closets for the Wealthy
The first thing you can do is to offer a free closet de-cluttering service in your city or town. Many people have too many clothes and not enough space for them. If you offer a home service where you help them organize, de-clutter and donate their unwanted clothes, they will jump at the chance. So pass out flyers or run a small classified ad and offer to clean and de-clutter their closet or garage for free.
Now this option will work best if you do it in a very expensive area, which means the homeowners are high net worth and spend lots of money on designer clothes. Run an ad and connect with those who have retired from well-paying careers. They will be glad you want to help them out.
2. Become an Image Consultant
Are you good at coordinating outfits? Do you know what looks good for formal, casual and business attire? If so, you can help others look the best they can look. You may not realize how much style you have naturally.
Becoming an image consultant is fun and a great way to meet new people at the same time you get free designer clothes. So many people need some designer style trend tips and you can help them pick out the right looks for themselves from their own closet or be their personal shopper. Instead of charging a fee you can just get free clothes for your services. Let your clients know ahead of time what you're expecting from them. Once you start looking at how your skills and talents are valuable, you'll see new ways of getting the celebrity style you want most.
3. Start a Clothes Barter Club
Another idea is to get some shopaholics together and trade fashion clothes and shoes at home parties. The easiest way to do this is to start a shopping interest group on sites like meetup.com and find other girls in your town who love to shop.
Members who join your group must bring with them one of their favorite designer shoes or apparel to the get together. Then when everyone shows up they can trade it for someone else's fab fashion accessory. Some people may even still have items with the tag still on them.
Start a Menswear Club: Let's not forget the men in our lives. The great thing about designer clothes for men is that most of the pieces are interchangeable. Although menswear is expensive, the thread count and the type of fabric in men's shirts, slacks or suits can last literally for years and years.
Some popular men's fashion brands include Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Burberry Prorsum, Hugo Boss, and Armani.
Start your own swapping party. You can also check out online swapping as well.
Who are Your Favorite Fashion Designers?
4. Help a Non-Profit Organization
You can partner up with a non-profit organization and tell them that you would like to help them raise money for a cause. Charity events are always needing extra hands to help.
Organize a Clothes Fund Raiser: Helping organizations in your community can be a great way to get designer clothes for free. The reason this works so well is because most non-profit organizations need ways to raise money to keep offering free services.
Become a fashion advocate and ask for donations of designer apparel from people who want to get a tax write-off and help at the same time. Then, as the organizer of the event, you can pick out some of the clothes, handbags or shoes to keep. The rest you can sell online or auction off at a fundraiser event. All the money you receive will be given to your favorite charity.
It can be a city by city project that allows you to travel, wear celebrity designer clothes, and help people at the same time. Try recruiting stay-at-home moms who like to organize small events with online meetups.
Vintage Baby Clothes: Children's and toddler's clothes are usually still in good condition due to the fact that many kids grow out of their clothes before they have a chance to wear out. Designer baby clothes are made from the best material and can be used on boys and girls.
Moms can have house parties where they swap or trade gently worn designer children's clothing. Most of the time, the two-piece outfits have been washed in Ivory Snow or Dreft which keeps the colors bright and the fabric soft without fading.
5. Check Pawn Shops for Jewelry and Shoes
Clothing accessories can make or break an outfit. This is why it is a good idea to try to match your jewelry, shoes, scarves, belts and ties together.
One of my favorite pastimes is to go to vintage stores and pawn shops in my area and look at designer jewelry and watches. I have often found antique rings for low prices.
Vintage Designer Watches: If you find an expensive watch that has a nice face, but the wristband is broken, try using a watch repair service to get it back working again.
Use Jewelry Cleaner: Diamond earrings are always special and if you find colored diamonds or rare gemstones take them to a jewelry cleaner to get them back that sparkle.
High Heel Shoe Replacement: If you are a shoeaholic like myself, it can be hard to find designer shoes in great shape. Most of the time, they are worn down on the heels. This is where you can use shoe heel replacements to get them back in good condition.
6. Try Shoe Swapping
Start a shoe bartering club in your area or look for pre-existing clubs where you can come together and swap your favorite high heel accessories.
Expensive designer shoe outlets will have special one-day sales where the prices are marked down really low to 75% off regular price. You may have to buy your favorite accessories out of season to get the best deals.
The trick is to take your own discount designer shoes and try to swap them for two pairs of an exclusive brand.
7. Pick Up People's Unwanted Gifts
How many of you were given a gift by a friend or relative that you did not like or will never wear? Think about how many other people are in the same situation. Did you return it? Probably not because you did not have the receipt.
Since this is such a common situation, why not start an unwanted gift exchange club. It sounds odd but just because your neighbor does not like the diamond watch or gold plated necklace doesn't mean you won't.
Run an ad in your local paper and pick up people's holiday, anniversary, birthday, gift items for free. Offer to take any items they may have stored away in their storage unit such as gift items, jewelry, watches or shoes.
8. Bartering and Thrifting
Just because you can get free items does not mean that you do not have to spend any money. If you're willing to spend a little money, you can even make money by finding nice things at pawn shops or thrift stores and selling them or swapping them with nicer items.
It works like this. I go to a yard sale, estate auction or pawn shop, and I find a really good vintage piece of jewelry that is selling for $50 dollars and retails at $200. I will buy it and use it to swap for some other designer stuff worth even more money.
Example: I had a friend who did this with a pair of Michal Negrin Vintage Chandelier Earrings which can sell for $60 dollars or more a pair.
She found some at an estate sale that were stuck in a bag of old earrings, so she paid $40 dollars for a bag of earrings to get the one designer pair.
Later, she was at a clothing swap party and she saw a pair of Jimmy Choo Shoes that she wanted. As you know, these designer shoes retail at $600 or more a pair. So she swapped the Vintage chandelier earrings for them and then after wearing the shoes a few times she then sold them on eBay for $300 dollars. Not bad for a $50 dollar investment.
For the Die Hard Fashionistas: The name of the game is to use what you have to barter for bigger and better items. You want to have items that other fashionistas will want to trade you.
Sometimes it will take some research. Learn what is in season and what is in high demand. Get a personal assistant or a best friend who is in love with fashion and share notes.
It is cool to get free stuff but the goal is to get expensive, fashion label, designer, rare or exclusive items. Those who know what they are doing can spot a fake immediately, so do not get an impostor brand.
9. Find Stores Going Out of Business
Places to look for "going out of business" sales:
- Your local newspaper listings. Check businesses for sale, public notices, and the auction section.
- Online. Look for websites that have listings of businesses liquidating or getting rid of inventory.
- Sign up for notifications from a paid service (may be worth it).
- Contact moving companies who specialize in commercial property.
Tips for Wholesale Buying and Selling
Getting free designer clothes is an art in itself. The shoppers who have become experts at it know all the best places to get fashionable attire for pennies on the dollar. Many of those places are wholesale lots and liquidator outlets due to so many department and retail stores going out of business.
For example, I just was reading an article the other day of a bridal store that was closing all of its 30 or more locations and the designer bridal gowns were going to be destroyed. As you can imagine, protestors demanded the wedding dresses be donated to a charity. If you can contact and get in touch with companies who pick up these closeout items then you could end up with multiple fashion pieces to keep, trade or sell.
Shop for items in the off-season months: Another idea is to look for clearance items during the off-season. For instance, in the summer months, look around for winter coats, boots and gloves. I know it sounds silly, but that is when you get the best deals. The same is true during the winter months. You will want to find any swimwear or beach attire that is marked down. I have seen some stores that will mark items down to $3 dollars or less because they just want to get rid of the inventory.
Buy in bulk: Try to buy in bulk if you can because you will get a better rate than if you bought each item separately. This will only work if you have a place to sell the extra stuff, such as eBay or Etsy. Most of the time, you will have duplicates of the same item. Find out how much the item is selling for currently so that you can be competitive in your resale price.
Get Inventory from other auction sellers: Lastly, if you sell items on an auction site, check with other sellers and see if they have inventory they want to get rid of. It's pretty common for an auction seller to change their mind and want to try a different product line. This could be good news if you know you could make a profit. The best part is getting the inventory for free.
Deadline Shopping Video by CNN
Travel to the shop or outlet yourself: Go to yard sales, estate sales, consignment stores and pawn shops in wealthy geographical areas. Take the time to travel to the location and look, feel and smell the fabric. Build relationships with the shop owners and get them calling you when items come in their stores. You will have to do the legwork, but it is worth the effort when you get that million dollar piece of designer clothes for less than you could have thought possible.
Beware of "deadline shopping" sites: To score big-ticket items for less, don't lose your cool (and your wallet). A good example of this is called "deadline shopping," where you are given a certain amount of time to get bargain basement prices on designer label items as you compete against other shoppers. To win in this game you have to know what you are looking for. You want to buy low and sell high or swap low and trade high.
The downfall of buying items online: Avoid too many online shopping stores because they are more likely to have fake and counterfeit items. In addition, shopping online leads to impulse buying, and that is the worst thing you can do because you will lose your better judgment and then you will be stuck with items you can not use or trade.
Try bloggers for online items: If you must shop online, try to find bloggers who list items they find at thrift stores in their area on a personal blog. You will be surprised at how many treasure hunters there are online who like to blog about their discoveries. Most of the time they will take Paypal and send you the stuff to a mailing address.