Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by The RealReal.
Recently, I wrote an article for The Breast Life on lingerie diffusion lines, i.e. when a brand releases a cheaper version of its own products. It gives you a taster of what their lingerie is like, but it’s not the same as the real thing. So how do you get hold of actual high-end lingerie when you’re shopping on a budget? Can you?
I don’t think I’m a lingerie snob. I buy and enjoy lingerie at a whole range of prices, from high-street pieces through to the fancy stuff. But the more I’ve learnt about lingerie, the more I’ve come to appreciate and desire those finer details you only find from expensive brands.
Like many of you though, I struggle to afford them. Dropping £500 on a bra set is just not within my current means. So while I like to support smaller brands by shopping at full price, I do buy a lot of my luxury lingerie at a discount. And over the years I’ve scored some pretty amazing deals!
So, as a seasoned ‘bra-gain’ hunter, here are my money-saving tips when you’re shopping for fancy underthings:
Sign up to brands’ newsletters
I’d also recommend following them on social media, but it’s harder to miss a sale announcement when it comes by email. Almost all brands, even the expensive ones, will run offers, discount codes or sales at some point during the year.
Joining their mailing list means you’ll hear about them all, and sometimes even receive early access to nab your sizes before they sell out. Many brands even offer a small discount immediately just to say thank you for subscribing!
From unwanted gifts to gently-worn pieces that no longer fit, there is a ton of pre-owned lingerie for sale on the internet. And almost without exception, it costs less than the original price tag – even if it’s new!
There are two ways to go about shopping for pre-owned lingerie:
Buying from other people
You can see what your fellow lingeristas are clearing out from their collections on sites and apps such as eBay, Depop, Wallapop, Reddit’s Bra Swap group, and The Lingerie Addict’s Facebook group. Many lingerie bloggers also run blog sales from time to time.
Buying from consignment stores
Consignment stores are businesses that sell people’s pre-owned pieces for them. They come with less risk than buying off an unknown individual, for example by having a clear returns policy and providing a guarantee that that Dior robe you’re eyeing up is authentic.
For fashion, The RealReal is the name to know. They’re sponsoring this post but I’ve personally shopped there three times, and the savings potential is huge. You’ll find items by high-end lingerie and hosiery brands such as La Perla and Wolford, indie labels including Chromat and Morgan Lane, and lingerie and loungewear by the types of designer labels everyone has heard of, such as Dolce & Gabbana. All the items featured within this post are available now at The RealReal.
Shop at outlets
Outlet stores exist for brands to sell off old stock at heavily-reduced prices. I once bought a Mimi Holliday bra for £5 in a TK Maxx! Simply Google for outlet stores near to you, or check out Yoox and The Outnet which are online only and both carry premium lingerie brands.
Look for sample sales
The name ‘sample sale’ is a bit misleading, because often the lingerie on offer is not actual samples (garments sewn just to test a design, ones that are slightly imperfect, pieces loaned to the press or worn for photoshoots etc.), but is simply old stock the same as an outlet would sell. The key difference is that a sample sale runs for a very limited time only.
Offline lingerie sample sales exist, but only really make sense to attend if you live in the local area – if you have to pay for travel you’re defeating the point of buying the lingerie at a reduction. Chicmi will help you find sample sales in major cities of the US and London in the UK, just search the site for ‘lingerie’.
Online, there are a ton of sample sale websites to choose from. MySale (UK shipping only) is my absolute personal favourite.
Finally, don’t forget that you can also check out my lingerie sales list. I update it frequently and newsletter subscribers get a weekly round-up of the best ones.
Do you have any more tips on saving money on luxury lingerie? What’s the best designer bargain you’ve ever bought? And which The RealReal piece pictured here is your favourite?