Shhh: How to Get the Prada Discount

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Whenever I tell acquaintances that more than 50% of my wardrobe is secondhand, I get a LOT of crinkled noses and gyrating, quizzical eyebrows.

“Ew,” these naysayers murmur. “Don’t those clothes smell?”

I am delighted whenever I hear this type of nonsense. The more people who are grossed out by consignment shopping = the more clothes for me to nab!

Case in point? This Prada poplin blouse, which cost me a grand total of $70.

Ruffled Blouse: Prada (Consignment) | Floral Pants: H&M | Bag: Red Krakoff (The RealReal) | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Ruffled Blouse: Prada (Consignment) | Floral Pants: H&M | Bag: Red Krakoff (The RealReal) | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

This blouse wound up in my closet rather serendipitously. Let’s back up to a few weeks ago, in the middle of the “legendary” (I use that term generously) Shopbop sale. During the commerce frenzy, I snagged a white Rachel Comey cotton poplin blouse. It had ruffled, voluminous sleeves and a tied bow in the back:

This Rachel Comey shirt inspired my look.
This Rachel Comey shirt inspired my look.

The blouse normally costs $345 (I KNOW, that’s a crazy price), but it was on SALE (25% off, it’s practically free), and in a haze of insanity I clicked order.

By the time the blouse arrived at my apartment, I was in the throes of paralytic shoppers remorse — and those fears weren’t allayed when I saw how thin, crumpled and ordinary the Rachel Comey blouse was once it had been untangled from its plastic coccoon.

I immediately returned the blouse — along with every single other order from the sale.

Two days layer, this nearly identical Prada blouse appeared. Try telling me that’s not fate.

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The blouse is like a mushroom — it will take on any flavor you wish. For today’s post, I paired the blouse with a printed trouser, uber-businesslike bag and prim pumps for an outfit that could work for either the office or a “ladies who lunch” outing.

But the blouses’ versatility is unrivaled: I’ve also worn this blouse with a casual twist, tucked into high-waisted with leather sandals and paired with a plain “grocery-getter” tote bag.

These are the types of consignment finds that are worth waiting for — and dealing with the secondhand stigma has never seemed so sweet.

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