I have expensive tastes, not gonna lie. My great-grandmother and grandmother were EPICALLY fashionable, my mom had glorious clothes when I was a child, and I learned early to fill my closet with quality pieces that are or will become vintage classics. (There’s actually an entire blog post coming at some point about the fashion ladies in my lineage and their wardrobes…)
I ALSO love playing with fashion in all it’s nuances. The obvious downside is that it is not particularly budget friendly. I, like many women, often find a piece that I covet and have to determine how to reasonably add it to my wardrobe. This is not always and easy task and definitely requires patience. I have many tips and tricks up my stylist sleeve, but this first is an EPIC luxury website, Vestiaire Collective.
The Backstory on the Arrow Coat
In December 2014, I was in New York City for work and holiday shopping. The tree at Rockefeller Center and windows at Bergdorf Goodman were in their glory. My friend Amanda and I hit all the best that Fifth Avenue has to offer, in particular, the flagship Saks store.
As we browsed the racks of Dolce and Gabbana, Lanvin and more, I spotted a glimmer that stopped me in my tracks.
This is the actual coat I saw at Saks, photographed and sent to my sisters!
I was in a sorority in college (Pi Beta Phi) who’s pin is an arrow, so I’m more than a little obsessed with arrows. Imagine spotting a simple black pea coat with sparkly rhinestone arrows ALL OVER IT!
Of course, I immediately checked the price tag because I had to have it and then YIKES! It was nearly $3000.
Welp. It was nice while it lasted. I took the photo, posted it to Facebook for all the Pi Phis to drool over, and went on my way, defeated.
The following year, Facebook did that “on this day” posting. I scrolled through all the fun of my trip and spotted this photo, AGAIN. Sad, AGAIN, I re-saved the photo to my phone.
I had nothing to go on at this point and decided that PERHAPS I could find it, or a replica of something similar. I googled “black coat with rhinestone arrows” and up popped the coat from Carven.
It seemed that Saks had moved it to their Off 5th Outlets for $995. MUCH better, but still way more than I would have spent. Apparently EVERYONE ELSE was willing to spend that since it was totally sold out also.
Frustrated at the loss, I took a short break until I got some CA$H for my birthday. I decided to start searching again and there it was. In FRANCE.
Vestiaire Collective is like Ebay for luxury. Founded in 2009, it has grown from a strictly French resale site to a global luxury consignment resource. Because I’d never heard of them, I did some research and found nothing but great reviews. They verify EVERY SINGLE ITEM sold for both quality and authenticity of brand. Very reassuring.
My coat (which I’d been calling MY coat for some time), was listed at $500. Condition was excellent. As I researched the process, I realized there may be high shipping costs and import fees. The particular seller had, like Ebay, a “make me an offer” option, so I crunched some numbers and came up with my offer–$375 (figuring it would cover those costs). To my delight, the seller accepted it and I had a countdown to purchase.
Here’s the extra trick I will share with you–I do not buy ANYTHING on the internet anymore without checking for coupon codes and promotions. This particular search yielded free shipping and import fees!
So let’s do the math: a nearly $3000 coat for $375 (and I had bday money, so it was about half that to me)!
When it arrived, verified as authentic and excellent condition, I found it was even better than that–It was NEW WITH TAGS (I believe perhaps overstock from a Parisian boutique). Needless to say, I was one happy lady!
Look at the sparkly detail of those arrows!
Recently, we found some Gucci belts for about $120 each as well. The same belts retail for $450+
A little wear and tear but these are in fabulous condition!
From Chanel to Hermes to YSL, this site is a great resource for all things designer! The security of knowing that it is all verified (I’ve actually had them NOT certify an item and credit the sale) makes the hunt really fun with this site.
Poshmark, the Real Real, and others offer the same services and are great for reselling any items that you are no longer using as well–more to get the next coveted item! I personally find that the effort put into hunting that special item and really waiting for it makes it even more of a treasure. My arrow coat has become my most favorite item! (It will be part of another feature coming soon)
I will keep sharing my tips and tricks for finding amazing items for less, as well as when it makes sense to invest in those wardrobe staples.
Let me know what other goodies you want me to share! Don’t forget to check out Vestiaire Collective HERE.