INSTYLE / AMY BANNERMAN
My name is Amy. I am 34 and I am an eBay addict. And Etsy. And Vestiaire Collective. And YOOX. And, er, Covetique.
What's the lure of these online retailers that means most of my hard-earned cash is spent there? Well, each of these sites - whether they're resale or selling past season pieces first hand - stocks beautiful designer buys at totally affordable prices, proving that you don’t have to spend mega bucks to look stylish, and you certainly don’t have to pay full price on designer labels. And I never do.
Instead of rushing to buy the season's newest pieces when they hit the store, be patient and take time to go through all the beautiful things from past seasons. The feeling of finding that item that I lusted after years ago, but couldn't justify buying for its original price tag at the time, gives me such a feeling of satisfaction - it's like winning the lottery!
Here are some of my all-time favourite outfits, and how much I paid for each...
1. Barbara Bui mongolian sheepskin jacket, original price £3000 - Vestiaire price £600. Topshop has an identical version on SALE now, online. Givenchy bandana, £8 eBay – there is a similar one for sale now on Luisa Via Roma for £220. Or Urban Outifitters has vintage ones almost exactly the same as my one for £6. Saint Laurent boots, original price £530 - Vestiaire price £360.
2. Sheepskin jacket, £60 Blitz. I fell in love with this amazingly warm sheepskin jacket from Blitz after the seeing the Prada version on the catwalk. Sadly, the Prada number was WAY out of my budget at £4185 and sold out in weeks, but I was thrilled when I found this bargain-priced close match.
3. Saint Laurent's skate shoes start at an investment price of £355 from Matches, but Vans are eternally stylish and my graphic printed pair are vintage and were a mere £18 from Blitz (this store specialises in vintage Vans, FYI).
4. I have lusted after this Balenciaga jacket which is about six seasons old. It was origninally £1500, but I eventaully found it on Vestiaire for £600, under half the price. Marks and Spencer also has this amazing version (below) which is coming in to store mid May priced £75. I have this date in my diary in pen - and you should too.
5. My Chinese dress was just £32 from The Vintage Store, and is inspired by Anna Sui’s AW14 show (below), which had loads of chinese inspired pieces, but was sadly out of my budget. Saint Laurent style boots: these babies were £69.99 from Mango. (The latest version of the Saint Laurent Cat boots are a serious investment piece at £885 available from Net-a-Porter.)
6. This slightly cropped boyish trouser was seen everywhere on the catwalk. Topshop has done the prefect version and they look seriously luxe. Actually, they've transformed my wardrobe. Trousers, £22, Topshop.
7. I have lusted after these studded beauties for years. They are the perfect balance between rock n' roll and city slicker. Church’s loafers £459, Vestiaire price £280. KG Kurt Geiger has a VERY similar pair on SALE online now (be quick!)
8. These were my favourite sandals of last summer and shall continue to be my faves this year. Originally £290, I bagged these MM6 red sandals for £110 from The Outnet. Autograph at Marks and Spencer has a very similar pair online now for a bargain £55.
9. This is an old favourite of mine because it instantly makes a dressy outfit look cooler. And guess what? It was a bragainous £7.50 from Cancer Research. Bella Freud has a beautiful logo sweater with a similar retro vibe, but it's more of an investment piece at £160. Truffle Shuffle has a whole host of really similar band and slogan tees at very affordable prices.
10. Vintage bomber jacket, £23 eBay. If you've got a bit of cash to splash then Jil Sander has a similar one which is £440, available now from Matches. My cashmere sweater is from M&S men’s department. Uniqlo also has some of the most affordable and stylish cashmere on the high street.