Many of you after hearing the word “designer” are probably already picturing a price tag of $500+, but in the case of Shopbop you don’t necessarily have to dig deep into your pockets to extend your personal collection of designer styles with items from renowned labels.
If you missed out on Shopbop’s up to 25% off promo code last week, don't worry too much, as there are still ways to bag a bargain with this giant online fashion retailer. For starters, if you head to their Fashion Finds category, you'll see that it offers a selection of clothes, shoes and accessories by international designers, each of them priced at below $200 USD. Considering that you’re getting top quality clothing from fancy labels, paying under $200 is what would be described as the “lower budget” range in designer terms. So if you're aiming at getting good value for money, this is definitely the category to begin with at Shopbop. It’s also a good starting point if you’re after an affordable designer item, but don’t have anything in particular in mind.
So let’s take a closer look at Shopbop's ability to offer good value for money, when comparing product quality versus the prices being charged by checking out what's available in their Fashion Finds section.
If it was me buying, I would most likely pick up a pair of Steve Madden booties for the autumn. A pair of black leather heels never go out of fashion and could be worn with any outfit, being elegant or just casual. The design is simple and classy with a moderately pointy toe, where the sole is made out of rubber and the booties themselves from sheepskin leather. This pair which was given the name Splendr is still available in various sizes from 5.5 to 10 for $111.30 USD which currently converts to $142.79 AUD. You’ll be charged in USD though, so I would recommend you checking the exchange rates on the day you decide to make the purchase.
Comparing the price thought to similar style classic black leather booties, I think paying $150 isn’t bad at all. ASOS has their own brand booties, which aren’t exactly Steve Maddens for around the same price. A pair of designer leather boots over at DJs start from $300, and you’re looking at paying roughly the same for a pair of good quality pair at Florsheim or even Tony Bianco’s. You’ll find Steve Madden shoes over at The Iconic, Myer and Styletread, but currently they seem to have mainly sandals in stock.
Another brand which caught my attention in this category was Madewell, from whom you'll find several 100% wool knit sweaters for below $90 USD. No matter how you look at it, paying less than the equivalent of $115 AUD for a designer sweater is a pretty good buy. The Directional Pullover is on sale at 50% off, priced at only $41 USD ($54.85 AUD) and is available in sizes S, M and L; meanwhile their Fair Isle Stripe Mix Sweater is going for its full price of $88 USD. Either of these would make a stylish yet comfy addition to any women's autumn wardrobe.
I went over to DJs just to see how much a 100% woollen pullover would cost from a decent label, and I couldn’t seem to find anything for less than double the price of the Madewell ones. It's good to see that despite the weakening AUD against the USD, it still looks as though Shopbop are managing to keep their prices competitive. Another plus point in all this, is that buying something off their store means you're less likely to bump into someone wearing the same pullover compared to if you’ve bought it around the corner locally.
If you’re looking to buy a gift for somebody, or even to yourself, you can also find various accessories and jewellery in this category. I have found this uber popular bangle by Michael Kors for $95 USD or $121.88 AUD. I have seen this bracelet in almost every magazine and fashion blogs, not to mention Pinterest women’s fashion category is flooded with images of this and similar looking bangles, often worn together with other bracelets and watches. This exact same Michael Kors gold-plated hinge bracelet is selling for $149 at DJs and over $160 at Neiman Marcus and Forzieri.
Staying with the topic of popular accessories, I have also noticed that besides browsing through the Fashion Finds section, you can also go directly to select a designer. Marc by Marc Jacob handbags for example seem to sell at lower prices than locally in Australia. Shopbop also offers free express shipping on all orders over $100 - so you could essentially save a good 10-20% off market prices on any of these bags, not to mention the ones on sale.
In general Shopbop sales start at 30% off, but can actually get you up to 70% off on certain styles. In addition to the bargains you’ll find in the sale section, from time to time Shopbop would offer extra discounts on selected lines or have an active promo code which would typically get you another 20% to 25% off sitewide. To maximise your savings, keep an eye out for these extra discounts which could slim your total on some sale and even full priced items by 40% off compared to the average Australian market prices.