Welcome to I Actually Bought This, a series where we share our online-shopping successes of personally carted and coveted goods. Seriously — we have the receipts. Discover the IRL buys that surprised career product-hunters in our quests for the ultimate score.
Liz here, R29's lifestyle market editor. I'm taking a break from my usual home to food and travel programming for a departure into fashion land — because I actually bought the dress (that's me on the left in this photo) on final sale for $36.99, wore it to a wedding, felt chic without trying too hard, and now need to shout it from the virtual rooftops. Warning: if you aren't here for a good shopping success story, no harm no foul — we've got plenty of other shopping content for you.
As a market editor on the Shopping team, I live and breathe picking product for others. Shopping dilemmas get me fired up. And hunting for the sweetest deals? You better believe I'm game. However, when it comes to fashion, I surprisingly tend to overspend and under-search. With one of the many weddings I'd attend this summer creeping up, I started my search for THE perfect dress (an elegant, careless-romantic number). I scrolled the site depths of trending brands and Instagram accounts. I lusted over and bookmarked my dream (read: bank account crushing) options. But nothing felt quite right and I was running out of time. Mid-workday moaning about my troubles caused a fellow R29 editor to steer me towards a site I hadn't considered: Need Supply. I took a fateful scroll through its stocked summer sale section and stumbled upon a dress from one of the site's more affordable private label brands, Farrow. On surface level, it was a high-risk shopping decision: final sale, non-returnable, and tight next-day shipping to make it in time for the wedding. But somehow pulling the impulse-buy shopping trigger felt strangely right. Was it the ethereal print, the one-shoulder ruffled cut, or the 68% off price that enticed me? Whatever it was, I succumbed to its siren song — and I did not live to regret it.
Not only did the package arrive promptly at 10 a.m. the next day, but I was shocked at how light and luxe the seriously affordable fabric looked in person. It felt and fit better than the pricier options I had unsuccessfully tried before it. To make matters even more unbelievable, it somehow remained wrinkle-free post 6-hours in a suitcase and awed other wedding attendees with its unexpected low price tag. Through searching a site I wouldn't usually consider, opting for a silhouette I already knew flattered my figure, and choosing a tapered midi-length that wouldn't require alterations, I had serendipitously stumbled on the ultimate score: a quality dress for $36.99.
Scroll on to shop my look (along with my two roomies' too!) and a few other surprising under-$50 sale finds for the upcoming onslaught of fancy summer occasions. Discover your own best dressed wedding guest destinies and share the, "I actually bought this," love with us below.
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