As much as it pains me to admit it, I am beginning to wonder if my wardrobe will rely as heavily in the coming years on the amazing deals I have, for the past few years, been fortunate enough to find on the flash-sale sites like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La.

The economy is improving, if inordinately slowly. And should it continue to improve, how many designers will continue to peddle their overstocked or overproduced goods via the discount-driven online retailers?

Gilt, lagging behind new concept sites like Groupon and Livingsocial, is on the way to revamping its cost-centric image, courtesy of a nascent major investment of  62.5 million dollars from Japan’s Softbank. One element of the plan? A full-price menswear site.  If others shift or diversify their focus in a similar fashion, we’ll end up with ten new net-a-porters. And, frankly, they’re already doing it extraordinarily well.  [Their recent menswear addition, Mr. Porter, being my homepage, of late.]

With Rue La La being Boston based (and with many of my close friends and some of the city’s most creative people working there), don’t get the wrong idea: I want these sites to succeed. But as with all things, particularly in this fickle game of fashion, you can only be innovative for so long, and I’m both curious and excited to see how these merchants will reinvent themselves in the months, and for the successful some, years, to come.

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