Dani’s Inside Track on
Online Shopping

It’s that time of year and I’m looking for life-saving shopping bargains so I can buy my holiday splurge outfits and fabulous party get-ups. Not to mention that must-have little black dress!

But time is running out, and I keep bumping into my social rivals who are shopping at all my regular stores. Help! They’re buying the dress I’ve had my eye on for weeks, but couldn’t afford ‘till I got my year-end bonus. I’m scrambling for something new, tearing my hair out because my butt keeps popping out the curtain of the tiny changerooms on offer, and I’m sweating bullets because most of my money’s already been spent on Christmas presents. I find a bargain but feel faintly nauseous—what if my bargain priced cocktail outfit is the exact same bargain that five other women are adorned in at the office Christmas Party? OMG! I’m gonna have to pull out the same sparkly black dress from last year—

Thankfully, I had a brainwave and made a desperate call to my favorite fashionista, Dani Molina. She’s Katya’s BFF from Luke’s Redemption.  Fun-loving, gorgeous, and an expert in unearthing top brands for a fraction of their retail price. She advised me to take a deep breath, suck down a shot of tequila…and listen up.

If you want to find great bargains, but still stand out from the masses and look super-trendy, the place to shop is online,” Dani said. Over the next fifteen minutes I paid close attention. And even though I had a second shot of tequila, by the time she finished with her sage advice, I had a list of her favorite sites.

You’ll find a vast selection of brands that range from top luxury one’s like Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana, to quirky brands like Rag & Bone and A.P.C.—ultra stylish Parisian store—to US favorites like DVF and DKNY.  The site offers up to 80% discounts because their merchandise is primarily hand-me-downs from their ultra luxurious big-sister site—Net a Porter.

Dani says: I’m not a Hollywood star so it doesn’t bother me that the ranges are often from the season before. When you are buying Jimmy Choo sparkly evening shoes at less 60%, who cares!

This is the place for gifts that bring beaming smiles to your BFF’s. And to yourself! Many believe Topshop wrote the London fashion manual, so if you have a notion to achieve that certain London fashion edge, this is the place to shop. It’s no Prada or Gucci but then it doesn’t aim to be.  Not only did they invent the concept of ‘Fast Fashion’—weekly merchandise drops—but they’re also quick to interpret catwalk trends from Milan, Paris and New York, and have them in-store within a matter of weeks.

Dani says: I’m lucky my job allows me to travel internationally. I’m convinced the finest Topshop worldwide is the flagship store at Oxford Circus in London. It’s HUGE and a destination store in its own right. But it’s insanely busy with long lines, and unless you pop in once a week, the best stuff is gone in a flash.  So you can imagine how pleased I was when I discovered Topshop Online packed with all the latest trends ready to buy. What’s more, the UK and USA sites have a personal shopper channel that assists you to put looks and designs together.

This may be an obvious choice, but I’m an Amazon Addict. I even pay extra to be an Amazon Prime customer for speedy delivery. I’d eat my hat—or favorite little black dress—if there is something that Amazon doesn’t sell. They cover every imaginable item, from high-tech goods to luxury cosmetics, and even groceries! Take a look at their Best Sellers list. It keeps you abreast of what is selling most, and is brilliant for giving you inspiration

Dani says: The best shopping day on Amazon is Black Friday. There are thousands of deals at crazy prices…and no lines running around the corner! Last year I snared a pair of expensive binoculars at less 60%. I gifted them to my father for Christmas, and he was beaming all day! 

Surprise! Your gorgeous alpha hotty is treating you to an island getaway, but it’s mid-winter. All the stores are filled with sheepskin boots, winter woolies and puffer coats. Aargh! Where do you buy your romantic summer wardrobe that’s going to show off your golden beach tan?

Take a look at ASOS.com. They have a dedicated year-round holiday section with daily updates. Another great plus is that they don’t only sell their own ASOS labels, they carry over 800 additional fashion brands.  AND, they have free delivery.

Confidential! In-house Fashion Magazine Sales

Shhhh! This is one of the best-kept secrets in the fashion magazine industry. Magazines require an extensive selection of fashion items to use for their photographic shoots, accessory stories, feature editorials, and cosmetic articles. This merchandise ranges from designer clothing, shoes and bags, to cosmetics, fragrances and countless accessories. Annually, around Thanksgiving, the fashion & beauty directors have a massive sale of all the un-returnable items from the year.

Unfortunately, these sales are hush-hush, and only available to people that work on the magazines. But they are the SALES to beat ALL SALES, so if you have a friend or contact that works on a fashion magazine, place your order!

Dani says: Every year, I buy special face creams and cosmetics for myself, and the women in my life. For a few dollars, I score stuff worth hundreds! When I was an intern, I got lucky and found an amazing pair of Gucci boots for Katya. Last Christmas she told me—drunk on Tequila!—that Luke still makes her wear them on those naughty nights.

Dani’s biggest Inside-Track Tip—Designer Brand Sample Sales

Twice a year, luxury designer brands hold sample sales of the season’s merchandise. These sales are rarely publicized, and those in the know keep silent because they don’t want to compete for these fashion treats. After all, who wants to scramble in a line, pushing and shoving with a thousand hungry New York gals who also have a taste for that must-have Gucci Saddle Bag.

Admittedly, most sample sales are held in the big cities like LA and NY, so add it to your must-visit list when you are next on a holiday or business trip. The best way to unearth these sales is to bookmark specialist fashion-news sites that give daily updates. Here are two of Dani’s favorites—she refused to give me any more!

For Sample sales in New York, Miami and San Francisco, go Racked.com and choose your city. Example: http://www.racked.com/new-york/2016/8/25/12649092/nyc-sample-sales

A favorite site for NY samples sales: https://thestylishcity.com/sample-sales-calendar

That’s all I’ve got for you today. If you have any fantastic tips on where to find the best bargain shopping, help us out and leave a note in the Comments below.

Happy Shopping.

PS. This month we are part of  The Winter Blog Hop brought to you by author, Marin McGinnis. Click on the banner to follow the Hop

4 replies
  1. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    Fun post Anni and I like the hop Marin-I hope I can participate next winter! To these ideas I would add rent the runway a genius idea and fabulous site for one time wear outfits..:


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