Sampling the Online Sample Sale Sites

high fashion models - online sample sale
high fashion models - online sample sale

So you've been inspired by the tuxedo looks, flowing maxi-length dresses and puffy outerwear on the runway during Fashion Week, but don't want to dig into your 401k plan to buy something akin to that cool camel-colored cape you were lusting after.

You might not have to. The hot private sale websites -- the modern day, online version of the sample sale -- offer the promise of the hottest designer looks at up to 80% off the retail price.

Sites such as Gilt Groupe, HauteLook(which was just acquired by Nordstrom), Rue La La and Ideeli have quickly gained a fan base among fashionistas.

These private sale, (also known as "flash sale"), websites offer big discounts, usually for 36 hours to 48 hours, on upscale, designer merchandise in limited quantities.

We checked out how these sites work and perused some of the fashion deals you'll find there.