When it comes to designer pieces, knowing what’s worth buying is just as important as knowing where to shop. Certain retailers will often run sales throughout the year, offering competitive prices that you can’t find anywhere else. Additionally, there are plenty of off-price retailers as well as pre-owned boutiques that allow you to score a designer piece for less if you don’t want to pay full price. With all the options that are available out there, you might be wondering where the best place to shop is in terms of price and service. I often get questions about where I shop for my designer pieces, so I wanted to break down all my favorite and most-trusted online luxury retailers today.
Nordstrom Leopard Shirt (sold out, similar here) | Nordstrom Ear Crawler Earrings | Anine Bing Lace Bralette | Black Denim Shorts | Gucci Belt (wearing a size 70 – read my ‘Gucci Belt Sizing Guide’ HERE) | Similar Sunglasses | Tamara Mellon Heels (run TTS) | Similar Gucci Velvet Bag
Mass Market Retailers…
Department Stores – You can never go wrong with the major retailers, such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales. I’ve purchased many designer pieces from all of them and have never had a bad experience with the customer service or return policy. Since they are legitimate and authorized retailers, you can shop confidently knowing you’re getting the real deal and that you can return something if you’re not 100% satisfied.
One reason to shop at Nordstrom would be if you’re a cardholder and want to take advantage of earning points to score free Nordstrom notes. The same goes for Bloomingdales and their Loyallist program. At Saks Fifth Avenue, I typically shop when they have their gift card event, which allows you to earn a free gift card to be used on future purchases when you spend a certain amount. Neiman Marcus also runs amazing Friends & Family sales throughout the year that are worth shopping.
With all these retailers, you can shop online and in-stores – and I find that most of them carry similar brands and product lines. When you can’t find something at one retailer, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find it at one of the others.
Online Boutiques – I also shop for luxury products at various well-known online boutiques, such as Intermix, Shopbop, FWRD (which is owned by Revolve), Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi, Luisaviaroma, and MyTheresa. What I love about these online boutiques is that shipping is often super fast. Since they don’t have a physical store front like the department stores, they often go above and beyond with their customer service. I always appreciate the speedy shipping, beautiful packaging, seamless return process.
Shopbop and Intermix carry more similar brands and affordable price points, with the exception that Shopbop also carries vintage designer products from What Goes Around Comes Around. This means you can shop a limited selection of Chanel, Fendi, Prada, and Celine products while enjoying the perks of Shopbop.
The other online boutiques carry even higher end brands, such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Fendi, and the likes. I’ve shopped all of them at one point and have no complaints whether it’s a designer handbag, a luxe dress, or a pair of shoes. I highly recommend keeping an eye out on them during the summer, Black Friday, and winter sales as you can score some really impressive discounts on brands that hardly get marked down. Lots of sales are still happening right now!
Balmain Blazer (wearing a 34, better for budget here) | Gucci Tee (wearing an XXS, better for budget here) | Levi’s Denim Shorts (wearing a 24) | Christian Louboutin White Heels (better for budget here) | Saint Laurent Red Wallet
SSENSE – For lesser known boutiques, I’m a huge fan of SSENSE. I often shop here for Saint Laurent, Balmain and Golden Goose pieces, especially during their sale events. They also tend to have a good selection of Levi’s and GRLFRND denim. The only thing to be mindful of is that they are a Canadian company so your purchase could be subject to import duties. I have only had to pay customs once (on a very large order) and I’ve ordered from them quite a bit. They still have a great sale going on right now – I linked my favorite pieces below for you guys!
Cettire – I haven’t purchased anything from here, but I’ve heard nothing but great things and know that they are 100% legit. I’ve browsed the site many times and love that they have a great selection of pieces. Plus, they also offer free express shipping – that’s always a bonus for me!
Farfetch – This online site acts as a middleman to over 700 boutiques and brands around the globe, so you can basically find any designer piece you’re on the hunt for. That being said, the level of service may not be on par with some of the other online retailers since they’re coming from different places – but they are legit. I’ve personally bought a few Balmain pieces from here and haven’t had a bad experience.
Superdown Faux Leather Skirt (wearing an XXS, also love this one) | Vince Tee (on sale now, wearing an XS) | Tamara Mellon Heels | Prada Cahier Bag | Tom Ford Sunglasses (sold out, better for budget here) | Dior Necklace (sold out, similar here)
Flash Sale & Off-Price Retailers…
Gilt – You definitely can’t go wrong with Gilt as long as you catch the right sales at the right time. Being a flash sale retailer, they have limited designer events and the prices are unbeatable. Some of my favorite and recent ones have included Gucci, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, and Dior. I once bought a Rolex from them and can vouch that they are 100% authentic. If you’re not already a member, I would recommend signing up so you won’t miss the next event.
Rue La La – This is another flash sale site owned by Gilt, which explains why they often have very similar selections to Gilt. However, that’s not always the case. I do feel that it’s worth creating an account for so you can browse the designer events when they happen.
Saks OFF 5TH – With off-price retailers, I always recommend perusing Saks OFF 5TH. The shop is attached to Saks Fifth Avenue so you know that everything you’re buying is 100% authentic. You’ll find similar offerings as the parent company but at a much lower cost. I’ve purchased Prada, Burberry, Celine and Tom Ford pieces from here.
Nordstrom Rack – As the name suggests, Nordstrom Rack is the clearance store for Nordstrom. I find that they often have very similar selections to Saks OFF 5TH in terms of designer brands like Burberry, Saint Laurent, Gianvito Rossi, Givenchy and Vince.
Revolve Black Jumpsuit (wearing an XXS) | Gucci Belt (also here, wearing a size 70 – read my Gucci Belt Sizing Guide HERE) | Givenchy Sunglasses (better for budget here) | Chanel Bag | Manolo Blahnik Heels (better for budget here) | Similar Necklace
Fashionphile – As most of you know, I have no qualms about shopping pre-owned designer goods as I always try to get the best price on my designer pieces. One of the first places I recommend shopping for pre-owned handbags is Fashionphile. I’ve purchased a Chanel bag from them and know that it’s authentic. Plus, Fashionphile guarantees their listings to be genuine. Unlike other consignment shops, such as The RealReal, I appreciate that they accept returns.
The RealReal – All items offered through The RealReal are authenticated through a rigorous process overseen by experts so you can shop safely knowing the pieces are guaranteed authentic. You’ll be able to find popular designer pieces from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, and more.
eBay – Although eBay has gotten a bad reputation over the years for selling fakes, that’s not the case any longer. Today, they offer an “Authenticate program”, which makes it so much easier to shop for designer pieces. I recommend shopping through this program since the products have been inspected and are guaranteed to be genuine. When shopping on eBay, you can opt to only show products that are marked “Authenticity Verified” in the lefthand column that way you can be 100% confident in your purchase.