Fashion

Designer outlets and overstock sites aren’t always what they seem

Katie wears a purple floral blouse with clashing red floral print detail at the cuffs, a mustard corduroy knee length skirt, black tights and white cowgirl style boots.

Designer outlet and overstock stores & sites aren’t always what they seem. Yes, they do carry overstock from past seasons, but they also list items designed specifically for discount sales. And depending on the brand guidelines it’s not always easy – or possible – to tell the difference.

Katie wears a purple floral blouse with clashing red floral print detail at the cuffs, a mustard corduroy knee length skirt, black tights and white cowgirl style boots.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to deny people nice items. But part of making responsible decisions is being critical of the information we receive and fact checking it ourselves. One day there will be regulations for clarity, but till then I think it’s my responsibility to own my decisions. 

Katie wears a purple floral blouse with clashing red floral print detail at the cuffs, a mustard corduroy knee length skirt, black tights and white cowgirl style boots.

So if you want to buy designer, I’d suggest skipping overstock retailers in favour of buying used or directly from brands.

For used, figure out your size and the styles you like by seeing items in person in a department store, then keep an eye on reselling sites like eBay and Vestiaire Collective. That’s how I bought these Carvela by Kurt Geiger boots for £30.

Katie wears a purple floral blouse with clashing red floral print detail at the cuffs, a mustard corduroy knee length skirt, black tights and white cowgirl style boots.

For overstock, if you like in a major city then keep an eye on designer’s social media for updates; that’s how I bought this top, skirt and earrings! Bonus: prices at these brand-owned sales are always better than via the overstock retailers, anyway.

And if you’re super lucky you’ll stumble upon something in a charity shop; it’s happened to me before, so with enough visits it’ll happen to you. 

And when I’ve missed out? I remind myself that never have I ever regretted not buying something. Then I look around my apartment and remember purchases I was excited about and have since fallen out of love with. 

Katie wears a purple floral blouse with clashing red floral print detail at the cuffs, a mustard corduroy knee length skirt, black tights and white cowgirl style boots.

Top: PAW17 Mother of Pearl via 2019 overstock sale
Skirt: AW16 Justine Tabak via 2019 archive sale 
Shoes: second hand Carvela via ebay 2019
Bag: charity shop 2019
Necklaces: Erica Weiner 2018, Missoma 2018
Earrings: AW18 Peter Pilotto via 2018 overstock sale

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