These wildly popular “events,” where clothing companies off-load their excess or overstocked goods at the end of a selling season, hawk brand-name clothes and accessories at up to 60% off. The catch is that there are limits on both inventory—maybe just a few items in each size—and timing, as the shopping window is usually confined to 24–48 hours. The male-friendly leaders in this category include MyHabit (myhabit.com), JackThreads (jackthreads.com), and, of course, Gilt Groupe (gilt.com). Though these sites tout their exclusivity—which you’ll never forget, thanks to their relentless e-mail campaigns—know that “membership” isn’t terribly hard to come by. All you have to do is sign up.
MyHabit, which is owned by Amazon, contains the biggest selection of clothes across the fashion spectrum. Unfortunately for guys, it lacks any sort of intelligent curation. So unless you know exactly what blazer you want, prepare to scroll through 476 identical navy jackets. JackThreads, which was founded in 2008 by a college grad to help his buddies buy clothes, specializes in more youthful attire, such as skatewear. The best site for flash sales, bar none, is the original: Gilt Groupe, thanks to its trimmed-down, upscale selection and overall user-friendliness.
When navigating a flash sale, I recommend adopting a singular mindset: Scroll with the purpose of replenishing the staples of your wardrobe from designers you’re already familiar with. This is because the return policies of these sales can be tricky. (Gilt, for instance, issues site credits rather than refunds.) And the sales are littered with what are known in the fashion business as“off-price” products: merchandise hastily assembled to be sold at places like outlet malls. In other words, the stuff is cheap, but not necessarily a bargain. But it’s easy to spot the frauds: Use the image’s zoom function to check the label on a garment’s neck or waistband. If it isn’t identical to one from the same brand hanging in your closet, but rather a slight variation or different entirely, it’s off-price.
And remember: Most flash sales start at noon Eastern and stock depletes fast, especially among standard sizes. So either shop in the first hour or skip the sale entirely.