Being a good shopper isn't necessarily about getting what's new first; sometimes it's more about finding what's great at an amazing price. For diehards out there, nothing beats the adrenaline rush that comes from the thrill of nailing a steep discount on a great item. While the goods may not be right off the runway, you can find many gems by circling back a season or two, perusing the virtual sale racks. Currently, there's a fresh crop of Stella McCartney citrus-print pieces from the spring 2011 collection at the Outnet. Dig deep at La Garconne and you'll find Isabel Marant at "oh, maybe I can swing this" prices. As with any sale, sizes are erratic and good merch moves fast. Here's a roundup of the best stuff out there right now — supplies will surely not last.
Stella McCartney Carrington faux leather sandals, $302.75, originally $865
Why: A true vegan's delight: this season's chunky leather sandals with none of the guilt. Give them the Ali MacGraw treatment by adding wide leg jeans. Buy them here.
Stella McCartney Tallow silk skirt, $275, originally $795
Why: Pleated skirts were omnipresent on the spring 2012 runways. Pair this with a boatneck tee and nude T-strap sandals for a modern spin on a Daisy Buchanan feel. Buy it here.
Robert Clergerie Fana patent loafer, $367.50, originally $525
Why: A shoe like this is timeless. Wear it with cropped and faded blue jeans and a white cotton shirt to get that Parisian off-duty look. Buy them here.
Proenza Schouler long-sleeve batik top, $215, originally $425
Why: Once you've owned a Proenza cotton tee, you can't go back to that drugstore three-pack. This one's in line with all the tribal prints happening now; play up the pattern by wearing it with tomato red or acid yellow. Buy it here.
Celine jacket, $754, originally approximately $1,400
Why: Utility jackets can be bulky, but this one, thanks to the peplum detail at the waist and the sleek white silhouette, has a polished, tailored feel. Belt it and pair with trousers in a similar hue for a fashion-forward play on the everyday suit. Buy it here.
Etoile Isabel Marant Coat, $430.50, originally $615
Why: Pre-shop next fall's boxy, nubby wool coats as seen at Celine and Chanel. It's painful to spend a lot of money on a coat, but it's more painful to be shackled to a bad one. Get this now and save it for October. Buy it here.
J. Crew cotton mesh sweater, $39.99, originally $78
Why: If you're not sold on the sport trend, take it for a spin with a sweet cotton sweater that has an athletic feel to it. This mesh one is reminiscent of the spring 2012 Alexander Wang collection. Buy it here.
Madewell denim midi shorts in Lasso wash, $49.50, originally $65
Why: There's absolutely no reason to spend a lot of cash on pre-distressed denim, and these have a wash and cut that is more grown-up than most other styles floating around. Buy it here.
Wren tie-dye skirt, $90, originally $249
Why: You shouldn't have to break the bank on the tribal trend. This skirt's kicky and sits high on the waist — pair it with toe-cleavage pumps to make your legs look longer. Buy it here.
Current/Elliott stiletto leopard jeans, $164.99, originally $198
Why: Because leopard-print pants have become a whole lot more acceptable over the last couple of years. This version, with an abstract pattern and a slim cut, has a sophisticated feel. Buy them here.
Markus Lupfer mohair biker jacket, $273.95, originally $456.58
Why: Be prepared to see a lot of red-inspired fashion editorials this September. Style this moto jacket with bold pinks and soft creams to create a Celine-like color-blocking effect. Buy it here.
Thom Browne oxford shirtdress, $262.50, originally $525
Why: It's a sartorial blank slate. Make this one evening-appropriate by undoing a couple of buttons, rolling up the sleeves, and slipping on stilettos. Buy it here.
Alexander Wang silk cowlneck dress, $404.99, originally $675
Why: You never know when you're going to need a non-black fabulous dress, so it's good to be prepared. The casual drape makes this one easy to wear with chunky boots and a shrunken sweater for an upscale neo-grunge effect. Buy it here.
Stella McCartney bonded cotton-poplin trenchcoat, $533.75, originally $1,525
Why: A good tailored trench is hard to find and oftentimes not cheap. Don't worry about its lack of sleeves — that's a blessing in disguise. Wear it now with a T-shirt, trousers, and loafers; when the weather starts to chill, do the whole double-coat thing by slipping a blazer or biker jacket underneath. Buy it here.
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