You may have seen a lot of sites popping up recently that offer you the chance to save 20 percent to 90 percent off designer clothing and home decor items. But have you ever wondered whether they can really deliver, and whether the designers they offer are worth it? I have made several purchases from Hautelook, and will attempt to explain the process, and review the site.
Hautelook is one of the first sites of this type- that offered the chance to get enormous discounts on top fashion lines. And having been a fashion writer for years, I was naturally intrigued. I know how much some of these outfits cost, and how hard they are to obtain in my part of the country, without a dedicated boutique nearby. So naturally, I had to join and find out what they had to offer.
The way these sites typically work is by offering the sales according to a start and end time. You can only buy during a very short window of time- typically three to five days. Also, they only have a very limited number of items, and when they sell out, that’s it. Most sites typically offer a wait list for items, however I have never had an item become available once it says its sold out. Finally, because these are top name fashion designers, they typically don’t make anything for plus sizes. If you wear above a size 12, you usually won’t have a lot of luck.
Now, there are two questions that every fashionista wants to know. 1) How good are the sales? 2) How good are the designers? The short answer to both questions is that they are very, VERY good.
How good are the sales? Although they usually advertise 20 percent to 90 percent off, the sales tend to usually be 40 percent to 65 percent off. And even better, when it does deviate outside of this range, it’s usually towards giving a higher discount. I have seen more 90 percent off sales than 20 percent off ones. But remember, we are talking about prices that sometimes reach into the thousands, so even when you’re saving 80 percent, you’re still shelling out a significant amount of cash.
How good are the designers? I have been pleasantly surprised at how many top name designers are listed on the site. With people such as Christian Lacroix, Ferragamo, and Rolex, the quality speaks for itself. Still, there are simply some brands you will probably never see. Brands such as Louis Vuitton do not need to show up on sites such as Hautelook, and I cannot ever see them discounting their merchandise, even in limited quantities. But the nice part is, it’s not ALL top name designers. I recently discovered a smaller label where I was able to pick up dresses that normally sell for about $150 each for less than $20. I bought seven, and found a new favorite designer. Being open to the experience of finding new favorites mixed in with some old ones is what makes this a great experience.
There are a few things you need to remember if you want to use this site successfully. First, try to shop on weekends. They seem to have a lot of shipping specials on the weekends, and it can save a lot of money. Second, if you find something you want, buy it immediately. Trust me, it won’t stay up long. The quantities are extremely limited, and you will miss out if you wait. Third, if you are on the fence about getting an item, put it in your cart. You only have fifteen minutes to decide whether or not you want to buy it, but that fifteen minutes might be enough time to make up your mind. Fourth, Hautelook is especially nice because it has so many different sections. Whether you are looking for women’s clothes, men’s cufflinks, baby toys, or a new rug, they have many different types of items. Some of the other sites are much more limited, and it can be frustrating if you really want a good deal on a man’s watch, but all they are offering is clothing for women. Fifth, look ahead and see what designers are coming up soon on their upcoming sales. For example, I see in their upcoming sales a lamp manufacturer that looks interesting, and a pearl ring that I want to have a closer look at. And sixth, shipping takes a while. A long while. Be patient when you don’t get your new clothing for a month or two. Trust me, it will come.
Keeping these hints in mind, it’s a site that I couldn’t recommend more highly. I make sure to check them several times a week. Even though something like a $15,000 watch is still out of my reach, it’s nice to dream. And it makes it even more sweet when I can find a suit by one of my favorite designers that is easily within my budget, but looks like a spent a lot of money.