OK, so Winners isn't my only secret weapon to Badgley Mischka totes and Coach flats.
I know designer names you haven't heard of till you hit the streets of NYC thanks to Gilt Group. They sell designer stuff at a discount -- the kind of designer stuff that never gets discounted anywhere else. Think Marc by Marc Jacobs knits that retail around the 350 USD range selling online for 128 USD. I think the worst sale price was a 30% discount on gold earrings; but since the price of gold has skyrocketed in the last couple years, any discount is welcome! Typically, you can expect 50-80% off. They don't ship to Canada -- yet -- but that's where great American friends and the Ship-It Shop come in handy! Oh, but if you're going to join, let me know and I'll send you an invite: you get a $25 credit for every friend that signs up and buys something ;) Even if you never buy a thing, I guarantee you drool weekly at the couture items you wish you could touch in person.
Another weapon in my armoury is Shop It To Me. I love the once-a-week emails of the brandname and luxury items I can actually afford. I love that I can custom tailor what brands, sizes, and types of items they keep me up to date on. Basically, this is simply a "Let us help you stay up to date on everything you love" email system that allows you to input your fave brands, current size, and types of items (bikinis, CK undies (my all-time favourite), DVF dresses, etc.) and then lets you choose how often you'd like to be updated on new sale items at online stores across North America. Suddenly I am in-the-know; I can tell you that J.Crew is having a 30%-off sale on everything white in the store and they don't even have locations in Canada. People are amazed when I know this stuff, but I'm willing to pass on my knowledge, grasshoppers.
OK, so you actually have to visit Chelsea Premium Outlets in the real world, but the online coupons (if you're willing to sign up for a seasonal email update) are so worth it I can't begin to tell you. They've got a slew of these places across the U.S. of A. I'm an avid Waterloo, NY, Outlet visitor (about 35 minutes outside Syracuse) just for the Banana Republic outlet dresses and CK undies (I did mention it was my favourite, didn't I?). But things you need to know if you want to shop in Americaland: You have to stay 48 hours -- Saturday morning to Sunday night doesn't count -- if you want that $400 tax-free spending allowance. Otherwise, be prepared to pay taxes on all your items. If you are a Quebec resident, you only pay Quebec tax, not GST.
Hope these links help someone out. I couldn't live without them anymore!!!