I’ll confess: I’m a shopping addict. But unfortunately, as a college student, I don’t exactly have an unlimited disposable income. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to be frugal. But the reality is that I’m not done with college, I don’t have a full-time job yet, and I can’t spend thousands of dollars on that Prada purse I’ve been drooling over. That’s why I’ve spent the past several years of my shopping experience finding bargains in every nook and cranny.
Today, I want to share my list of places to find great clothes for affordable prices. You’d be surprised how much high-quality, on-trend, and designer clothing you can find for cheap. You just have to look for it.
First, I’m going to share an outfit with you that is entirely thrifted (minus the accessories) just to show you the kind of awesomeness you can find in the places on this list.
Top: Purchased from Civvies New & Recycled Clothing, $12
Skirt: Purchased from Plato’s Closet, $6
Shoes: Purchased from Goodwill, $3
Clutch: Stella & Dot (not thrifted), price unknown
Rings: Pandora Jewelry (not thrifted), prices range between $50-80
As you can see, the main pieces in this outfit didn’t cost me much at all! You can easily express your personal style without breaking the bank. In the list below, I’ve shared some of my secret bargain-hunting locations for when I shop for clothes.
So, here’s the list you’ve been waiting for. I hope you find it helpful!
List of Places to Find Amazing Clothes for Cheap
Plato’s Closet/Style Encore
Once upon a time, I used to work at a Plato’s Closet. There, I discovered some of the best bargains on high-quality clothing I’ve ever seen. Plato’s Closet is a resale clothing store that purchases used brand name clothing from guests and sells it for affordable prices. I love Plato’s Closet because the majority of the clothing there is on-trend and gently used. If you’re looking for great bargains on the same clothing you’d find at the mall, Plato’s is the place to go. One drawback of Plato’s Closet is that it is mainly targeted to a teen and young adult age group. Therefore, if you’re looking for more sophisticated clothing, you might not have much luck. I also don’t recommend trying to sell your clothes to them because it’s kind of a hassle and they won’t pay you much. But if you’re looking to buy high-quality clothing for cheap, it’s one of the best places.
Style Encore is exactly like Plato’s Closet except its clothing is targeted to women who work, so mainly women in their 20s and older. Therefore, Style Encore carries mainly business casual and professional clothing at extremely affordable prices. Style Encore is one of my favorite places to look for clothes for my job. It’s excellent if you’re looking for stuff to wear to an interview, work, or a dressy event. Check it out!
thredUP labels itself as “the largest online consignment and thrift store.” It definitely lives up to its name! With thousands of designer clothes and accessories listed for affordable prices, thredUP is great if you’re looking for higher end pieces. They also have a wide selection of handbags, shoes, and other accessories. If you’re looking to sell your gently used designer stuff, you can try thredUP. Basically, you ship your clothes and accessories off to thredUP, they process them, and then they try to sell them for you on their website. If an item sells, thredUP makes a small commission, but they credit the rest of the sale to you. If your items don’t sell, they will either send them back to you or donate them. You can use thredUP to clean out your cluttered closet and then fill it with new and improved pieces!
Tradesy is a website where people can buy and sell new and gently used designer items. On Tradesy, you will find high end clothing, bags, shoes, and accessories for discounted prices. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, and Chanel are just a few of the brands featured on the website. I highly recommend Tradesy if you’re looking to buy high end items without going broke. On each item, users list the quality of the item along with the price, and they also show pictures of the item so there are no surprises when it arrives at your doorstep. And if you don’t like something for whatever reason, you can send it back for a refund! Tradesy is a relatively risk-free way to buy used designer items.
I’ve had a lot of luck in thrift stores over the years that I’ve been bargain-hunting for clothes. Going to thrift stores requires a little more patience because it takes time to sift through all of the low-quality items, but there are some real treasures buried in those racks. In a thrift store I visited in Gulf Breeze, FL a couple of years ago, I snagged a genuine leather Banana Republic jacket for $12. The original list price of the item was likely around $300, so it was a steal. Recently, I’ve had great luck at Goodwill. Just check out thrift stores in your area and see what you find!
Consignment shops work a little differently than thrift stores. Consignment shops are where people go to sell their used items instead of donating them. Usually, the consignee (the shop owner) pays the consignor (the person who owns the item) a portion of the proceeds when an item sells. So, some of the money goes to the shop, but the rest goes to the original owner of the item. Pretty neat!
Naturally, consignment shops are great places to look when searching for bargains. I’ve been to a few, and I have definitely found some deals! Your best bet is to search for consignment shops in your area and go check them out. You never know what you might find.
VarageSale is an online community and app where people buy, sell, and trade items in their area. While some VarageSale communities are larger than others, it’s definitely worth checking out to see if there are a lot of transactions happening in your area. I found out about VarageSale from a friend, and as soon as I downloaded the app, I was hooked! Most of the items I bought through VarageSale were handbags, including authentic Gucci, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade purses. I never got kidnapped, I never got ripped off, and I was never disappointed! VarageSale is a great way to find bargains close to home.
When in doubt, try good ol’ Amazon.com. I’ve found some great bargains on designer items on Amazon. Several months ago, I found a pair of Jack Rogers sandals for just $30! Check out the clothing section on Amazon. You might like what you see. And if you’re an Amazon Prime member, FREE SHIPPING!
Vintage clothing stores
If you love vintage clothing, check out some of your local vintage clothing stores! While some vintage clothing can be expensive, it is often affordable and unique. I would recommend Googling vintage clothing stores in your area and going to check them out. You might find some great bargains.
Want to support small business while finding great bargains and rocking unique handmade pieces? Etsy is the place to look! Many Etsy shops have items that are extremely affordable. And when you purchase from an Etsy shop, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re supporting someone’s passion. One amazing Etsy shop I discovered recently is SaturnCollection. It lists unique and vintage items that are beautiful and super affordable. I just ordered a dress from SaturnCollection that I am super in love with. (I will definitely feature it in an OOTD post when I receive it in the mail!) If you live in the Pensacola, FL area, you can also browse SaturnCollection items in person at Miles Antique Mall on Bayou Blvd.
Bargains might be hiding in places you wouldn’t expect. Check out local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups to see if anyone is selling nice clothes in your area. I’ve bought a number of pieces from listings I found on Facebook groups, so I can say that they’re definitely great places to look! There’s one Facebook group for my area that is dedicated to buying and selling high-quality designer clothing. It’s fantastic!
That’s it for my list! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to pin it and enter your email in the box below to subscribe to me. Thanks so much for reading!