Photo-Illustration: The Cut
As fashion enthusiasts, our whole personality becomes the Ssense sale each time it rolls around. I mean, how can it not when there are very few places or times that coveted Margiela Tabi boots are almost half off?
The Montreal e-retailer is known and loved for carrying a number of luxury brands, like Gucci, and tons of up-and-coming and under-the-radar designers, like Elena Velez. In short, we love a good opportunity to shop the most niche pieces, the things that will make everyone ask, “Where’d you get that?”
And while tempting, you can’t just add everything to your cart. Well, you can, but it’s better to be strategic to get the best deals. After all, this sale is more like a marathon and not a sprint. That’s why we’ve recruited a few self-proclaimed Ssense expert shoppers for their tips and tricks for navigating the sale and, of course, their shopping picks.
Former Cut fashion writer Emilia Petrarca adds things to her Ssense wish list all year long in preparation for the sale. Her best advice? “Go for accessories, since they’re low-risk and aren’t something I would normally buy myself,” she says.
Content creator Shanice Sousa wholeheartedly agrees. “Making wish lists is important because as someone that tries to be fashionably sustainable, I don’t go on shopping sprees or seek to spend my money that much,” Sousa explains.
Another pro tip Petrarca suggests is to check out Ssense’s “Everything Else” section: “It also has a good home section that seems underappreciated where you can get nice Tekla sheets and towels or a fancy soda machine for less. I’m hesitant to even tell you about some of these things because there are so few left, but you’re welcome.”
Digital creator Shenea Walker, who keeps her Ssense finds well documented on TikTok, recommends keeping a close eye on your favorites, especially when there are plenty of pieces left. “If there are enough items in stock (as in, it doesn’t show ‘three remaining sizes in stock’), don’t purchase immediately, but add it to your Ssense wish list and check back daily throughout the sale — the percentage off can increase and you save even more,” Walker explains.
You have a good idea of the designers you like, suggests content creator Jesica Elise. “I have fallen asleep and dropped my phone on my face scrolling through pages of jeans and tops,” she explains. “I found that shopping by designer really helps limit the volume to what I want to see versus scrolling endlessly through styles or labels I’m not particularly interested in.”
Influencer and recurring Ssense shopper Ashantea Austin recommends avoiding the hassle of grabbing your wallet by using the Ssense app: “Create an account to have all your information readily available when you want to checkout.” If you haven’t been convinced to make a wish list already, Austin calls it a game changer.
Things go quick, maybe even quicker than your group chat can respond with a unanimous decision. If you really love something, give that return policy a thorough read-through and buy it. “‘You snooze, you lose’ is my motto for online shopping; you can always return something, so I buy now and ask questions later,” Austin says.
My (Chinea here!) tips for approaching this sale are the same as any other sale. I start by saving things on a Pinterest board to curb impulse spending and give myself a visual of what I’ll potentially be adding to my closet. With Ssense specifically, I usually have brands in mind already, so I filter for the brands I like, colors I’ll actually wear, and then, of course, my size. What I’m usually looking for is something I can’t find anywhere else. When it comes to clothing, I won’t buy a plain black T-shirt I could also buy from Everlane, but I will buy a strappy cut-out top.
With accessories and shoes, I’m a little more lenient. Ssense tends to have good deals on Doc Martens, Nike, and Converse. Lastly, you should always do a quick Google search of the pieces you really want to make sure you’re getting the best deal. For example, during last year’s sale, I found a now sold-out Ottolinger dress on another site for $30 less.
The Cut’s senior shopping editor, Bianca Nieves, would like to remind you all that Farfetch and Net-a-Porter aren’t the only retailers that carry beauty. While she normally goes straight to Aesop to see if it has its hand wash on sale (it has had it in the past), she also likes the selection of perfumes and skin-care oils Ssense carries.