Deal or No Deal

bargainshoppingnew.jpgI loved scoring discount designer shopping tips from Pamela Pekerman of and Kathryn Finney of for this week’s Your Looks feature, “Big Style, Small Budget,” because, like most people, my desire for pretty clothes usually outweighs the figure in my bank account.

I personally have an admittedly arbitrary budgeting system when it comes to fashion. I’ll happily fork over $250 for gold python heels, but I might balk over spending $40 on a shirt from The Gap. In my mind, I don’t mind paying a lot for special, unique pieces with designer cache, but I want to get my basics as cheaply as possible.

Sample sales are a great way to save too ( is a terrific resource for finding listings, FYI). Once you get past the awkwardness of trying on clothes in public, you can find really good deals on designer merchandise. Just make sure you’re making a purchase because you absolutely love the piece, not just because it’s on sale and has a fancy label. A $10 alteration can fix a fit that’s off, but there’s nothing you can do about a regrettable design. Remember – all sales are final!

And if you can’t come to the designers, make them come to you. I’m loving the new trend of high-fashion labels at mass market prices, whether it’s Jovovich-Hawk at Target, Pierre Hardy shoes at The Gap, or Tara Subkoff at Bebe. It’s egalitarian fashion, and it’s good.

-Erin Donnelly, Your Looks Editor