My Favorite Sustainable Shops to Score Luxury Items – While On A Budget

As part of my personal metamorphosis continues into my 30s, I have found that I live for shopping more consciously. If you haven’t discovered my love for thrifting, you can read more about my obsession here. I admit, thrifting does have it perks, yet my current wardrobe needs are calling for more refined items, moreso those memorable pieces that can add more of an “level up” aura. Enter luxury shopping 101.

I never really considered myself to be a “luxury” girl. But, as I did more research on how I could, possibly, obtain added ounces of glamour into my everyday look, I became hooked. I partly blame the COVID-19 quarantine for providing me with the readily available time to shop online, day in and day out.

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In addition, there are those who may be thinking, “How could you shop at such a time as this?” Well, the answer is simple: retail therapy. We all cope in different ways, no? Some individuals choose to eat, some choose to exercise, while others may choose to indulge in a Netflix binge to escape their troubles… I tend to shop.

All in all, luxury shopping is not unattainable. I believe that designed duds deserve to be in everyone’s closet, even if it’s just a single, timeless piece. If you’re looking to penetrate more elevated accents into your sartorial rotation, keep reading to find out my essential destinations for ballin’ on a budget.

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1) Vestiaire Collective

I discovered Vestiaire Collective, via one of my favorite YouTubers. The Notorious KIA. Vestiaire Collective is a treasure trove of all things dope. Founded in Paris in 2009, the online giant’s specialty involves buying and selling pre-owned designer clothing and accessories. Prices usually vary, depending on the brand that you are hunting for. Personally, I’ve seen tons of gems from Louis Vuitton, Dior, (old) Celine, Hermes and many more.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I purchased a stunning pair of Tibi wedge fringe sandals for under $150. For a ballpark figure, the original price of the sandals rang in well over $500. In addition to their low prices, Vestiaire Collective also has a wonderful streetwear sweet tooth, for those who are more into the likes of Rick Owens, Yeezy, Off-White, etc.

2) The Real Real

The RealReal is another fave of mine! Unlike Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal does amass overwhelming popularity from fashion-forward celebs, social media influencers and content creators everywhere. No matter where you turn, there is always mention of The RealReal. Wildly popular for their mind-bending variety of designer pieces, The RealReal does not disappoint.

Get this: when you add an item into your cart, there is an “On Hold” status placed on it for a total of 20 minutes! Talk about convenient. This definitely comes in handy when you need a little extra time to contemplate your purchase.

I also love to cultivate my “Obsessions” list, which grants me the privilege of saving items I adore for future reference. Beware: as these items do sell out quickly! My latest purchase: a pair of Fendi PVC statement sandals from the brand’s 2014 Spring/Summer collection.

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3) Rebag

Rebag is a consignment destination that I have not personally shopped yet. I’ve heard many great things about their brand; from the ease of navigating and shopping the offered items to the immaculate authentication system behind its operation. Rebag is a luxury dealer that focuses primarily on buying and selling pre-love designer purses and handbags only.

I am currently on the hunt for a JW. Anderson “Pierce” handbag, but my luck just has not been too keen in finding the right deal, at the right time. So, the search continues! Be sure to check out Rebag for all your luxury handbag needs.

4) Local Vintage, Consignment and Thrift Shops

Of course, I cannot forget to mention local vintage, consignment and thrift shops! My first thrifted designer find was a vintage Vivienne Westwood sheer dress. I believe I thrifted it around 2015; it still proudly sits in my wardrobe. Other designer pieces I’ve thrifted include a vintage Escada silk shirt, a pair of crème Christian Louboutin slingback pumps and two vintage Coach handbags. Many of my designer thrift finds were discovered at local Goodwill stores.

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Hands down, my fave vintage shop in Houston is Retropolis, located at 373 W. 19th Street in The Historic Heights.

E Tip: When searching for designer duds, don’t fall victim to trends. 9 times out of 10, the item you find may not be the “it” item of the season, yet always remember that you are building a cohesive wardrobe – one that can be refined and elevated over time. Also, develop an eye for spotting designer quality. It’ll take you far, my friend!

*Honorable Mentions: Tradesy, Fashionphile, Depop,

Are there any other destinations that offer mind-blowing pre-loved deals? Dish all the tea below. Thanks for reading!

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” – Gianni Versace

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Writer. Fashion Enthusiast. Dopeness Curator.

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