DIAMONDS IN THE RUFFLES
LUXE FOR LESS
In an ideal world, designer clothing and accessories would be obtainable for a fraction of their price tag, as would flights to Milan and Paris to fondle them in their exquisite showrooms. Well folks, I’ve found that fantastical universe – one that aligns the designer greats with desirable prices – and right here in Sydney.
01 . Hock your frockS
If you’re not following @hockyourfrocks on Instagram, then hurry the frock up! Nikki Veale is in the business of hocking. She posts images of designer shoes, clothes, accessories and occasional jewellery pieces regularly. Most items are pre-owned, but usually for a mere minute, so they’re in mint condition. Beneath clear visuals you’ll see their price and details (‘new with tags’ or ‘pre-loved’). Either way, they’re authenticity is guaranteed.
Be prepared, most items are one-off’s, so you’ll have ugly sister moments when a pair of Golden Goose trainers don’t cater to your size. But I guarantee, within a short time you’ll find something that slips on like a proverbial glass slipper.
If you spot something on the Insta feed and want to try it on Nikki will welcome you into her home in the eastern suburbs, or you can simply give her the ‘all clear’ via email and an online bank transfer (standard delivery post is just $10). The rules are simple: first in, literally, best dressed.
Better still, only about 5% of Nikki’s stock makes it to Insta, so look out for Hocky HQ posts where she opens her doors for you try on the designer greats on over several days. And for those of you wanting to sell any of your pre-loved Valentino, Gucci, Marni et al, you can detox your wardrobes via Nikki. It just takes an email to arrange consignment sales. Cash for your closet and retail revival. Now that’s gotta make you feel good!
02 . Vestiaire Collective
Shopping for stylish second-hand goods has never been easier thanks to Vestiaire Collective, the French-based fashion mecca that launched an Australian platform earlier this year allowing you to buy (and sell) genuine luxury goods amongst a community of over six million global users. Essentially, it provides access to key designer pieces at affordable prices and inspires people to invest in vintage products with long-lasting appeal like a Tank Must Cartier watch or a classic 1970’s Hermès leather belt. A nifty feature is the ability to set email alerts, letting you know when a particular item you’re hunting for is listed.
03 . The Outnet
An offshoot of Net-a-Porter, The Outnet not only features heavily discounted and never been worn before designer wear (think Chloé, Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney), but offers clothing and shoes in a variety of sizes. Most pieces for sale are last seasons, so don’t expect vintage finds. New stock comes in on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings (so it’s perfect for scannnig when the kids are in bed) with flash sales on Fridays, so it’s worth a regular glance. Look out for the bi-annual sales. One starts before Christmas, so hold off on Santa orders until then!
04 . The RealReal
As the name suggests, authenticity is one of the most important things for sale at The RealReal which has become one of the most powerful second-hand e-tailers since its humble beginning in 2011, counting thousands of vintage and brand-new products in its archives. Unlike competitor sites such as Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal’s tops, bags, necklaces, watches and even works of art are photographed professionally which makes perusing visually cohesive. Don’t forget that for anything over AUD$1,000 (included combined items in your cart) attracts a 10% import duty
05 . Di Nuovo
Situated in William Street, Paddington, Di Nuovo is an old school bricks and mortar store selling pre-worn designer pieces – both clothing and accessories – making sales super easy for those who like to try before they buy. If you’re wanting to off-load unworn pieces, simply drop in your bag and Di, the owner, will sort through and sell items she thinks will garner a sale. You can also visit the website to see images of updated stock. It’s conveniently located next to my favourite coffee spot, Alimentari, so be sure to save time to order a salami and mozzarella baguette with a latte and park yourself out the back in its sunny courtyard.
For the inside scoop on how to shop online confidently, see my Clique Bait story