Whether you already have a boutique or are thinking of starting one, buying wholesale clothing can bring a wide range of benefits.
You can negotiate the best prices if you build a good relationship with the wholesaler. Plus, you can request exclusive rights to sell a certain clothing line, giving you a competitive edge in the market. The question is: Where do you buy wholesale clothing for a boutique?
There’s no shortage of clothing suppliers for boutique businesses, but finding the best ones requires some work.
To help, here's a list of the top wholesale boutique clothing vendors who ship around the world. If you’ve been wondering where boutiques get their clothes, the vendors covered represent the sources they use to keep their shelves stocked.
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What is wholesale boutique clothing?
Wholesale boutique clothing means buying high-quality, unique, and trendy clothes in bulk and reselling them to customers at a markup. There are a lot of small, specialized clothing retailers in this sector that specialize in offering distinctive, stylish stuff.
Wholesale has become very popular since 2017. Total wholesaler sales in the US amounted to $697.3 billion in July 2022, compared to $467.9 billion in July 2017. This represents an increase of about 49%.
9 best sources to buy wholesale clothing for a boutique
Faire is home to thousands of independent wholesale clothing brands. These vendors offer a wide range of wholesale apparel suitable for boutique customers, from gorgeous drape dresses to long stylish coats that make perfect fall outfits. Each supplier has been handpicked and carefully vetted for quality products and customer service.
Faire also has other collections, spanning jewelry, candles, soap, and more. Suppliers on Faire have different policies for shipping, order minimums, and how many units go in a pack—but there are lots of clothing suppliers with no minimum order. Additionally, Faire is home to many US wholesale dropshipping suppliers that make it easy to run a business.
Wholesale7 is another wholesale supplier of boutique clothing. It offers various products based on the wardrobe styles in different countries, like ripped jeans (Korean fashion staple) and kimono dresses (fashionable Japanese garments). Trendy designs and vibrant palettes are some of the details present in apparel by Wholesale7.
This supplier also offers high-quality boutique clothing with custom logo designs. You can use your own logo or brand on the label and packaging, meaning you can launch your own private label clothing line with Wholesale7 powering your supply chain.
Don’t have space to hold inventory? Wholesale7 also provides the option of dropshipping. In this case, they will ship the clothes directly to your customer, meaning you can save on storage costs.
Sugarlips is the vendor of clothing brands like Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, and many more. This supplier is located in the US, and it holds a versatile inventory of fashion apparel for women. From dresses and jumpsuits to rompers and tops, Sugarlips offers a good range of boutique categories to pick and buy from.
Sugarlips has a team of creatives who’ve created lookbooks for retailers to take inspiration from. Their designs are classy and timeless, and they update catalogs with trendy, fashion-forward clothes for boutiques every month.
The wholesale distributor offers free shipping for orders of more than $49 within the Continental US. International customers get the usual standard and express shipping options based on their destination.
4. Bloom Wholesale
Founded in Los Angeles, Bloom Wholesale is a wholesale distributor of dresses, blouses, pants, and other boutique apparel. The vendor ships across the US and offers dropshipping, so you don’t have to store products or ship them personally. There is no minimum order required.
Bloom Wholesale’s clothes are easy to dress up (or down) with the change of a few accessories. They feature fun style details like cut-outs, statement sleeves, peplums, and more. Your customers will appreciate the fresh and playful vibe of its clothing, which is an updated twist on classic fashion.
You can return any item if you’re unsatisfied with the size, color, or quality. However, the supplier will charge a 5% restocking fee plus shipping.
5. Tasha Apparel
Another US-based boutique clothing supplier, Tasha Apparel sells clothing in bulk, mostly in packs of six items. It offers a huge range of sizes and a ton of different styles, so retailers of all kinds can shop trendy wholesale clothing at up to 60% to 80% below the standard wholesale price.
Tasha Apparel offers products to wholesale buyers without minimum order quantities. It also supports dropshipping and lets store owners use images from its website for their products. Additionally, its bulk shipping and bulk rates ensure dropshippers have access to the trendiest products every season.
Tasha offers free shipping for orders over $300. Flat rate shipping starts from $9.95.
6. Kiyonna Clothing
Next on our list of wholesale boutique clothing suppliers is Kiyonna Clothing. This plus-size clothing supplier is known for offering a stylish line of apparel designs to delight the curvy customer. To shop wholesale at Kiyonna clothing, you need to sign up with your boutique name and place an order.
Kiyonna has a $500 initial minimum opening order and a $250 minimum after that. The wholesaler lets customers mix colors, styles, and sizes as needed. It never does prepacks, because what works for you is its number one priority.
The best part is, Kiyonna lets you view line sheets for the upcoming seasons. Whenever they have something new, you’ll be the first to know. Order forms accompany all sheets to make ordering a breeze.
7. Magnolia Fashion Wholesale
If you’re interested in stocking your boutique with swimwear, dresses, and suits, Magnolia Fashion Wholesale is a distributor you should have on your list. The vendor takes inspiration from the rich history of Miami’s Fashion and Arts District. You’ll find the latest styles and celebrity-inspired looks on its website.
However, this vendor only sells in packs, so you cannot buy single pieces. Also, you cannot use Magnolia for dropshipping—the company only accepts retailers who can get the items shipped to their physical location.
When it comes to shipping, Magnolia offers three- to five-day US deliveries, as well as international shipping to more than 80 countries. It doesn’t have a fixed shipping fee, as freight depends on the location.
8. Catwalk Wholesale
If you’re in need of fashion-forward pieces, Catwalk Wholesale is worth checking out. This UK-based wholesale boutique distributor has trendy jumpsuits, bottoms, tops, and dresses. And, unlike many other vendors, it allows you to buy individual items as opposed to packs with multiple pieces.
Catwalk Wholesale offers free delivery in the UK on orders above £250. Worldwide shipping is also available. Once you’ve paid the order, the wholesaler will prepare the items for shipment and email you the tracking number.
LAShowroom is a renowned B2B online wholesale fashion marketplace based in the Los Angeles Fashion District. It connects retailers with reputable brands and designers from around the world, and stands out as an excellent platform for boutique owners seeking high-quality, trendy, and unique fashion items to stock their stores.
LAShowroom offers a variety of discounts and deals on its products. For example, it offers a 20% discount on all orders from Bella Victoria Boutique. The specific MOQ for each item depends on the vendor and the product.
How to find reliable wholesale boutique clothing suppliers
Researching potential suppliers
You’ll have to identify and assess various wholesale boutique clothing suppliers in your journey. The goal is to find the ones that meet your product quality, quantity, and pricing requirements. Proper research guarantees you partner with the right suppliers who can contribute to your business’s success.
Here’s how to research suppliers:
- Identify your needs. Clearly outline your business’s specific needs, like product types, quality, quantity, pricing, and delivery times. This will help you focus your research and evaluate potential suppliers more effectively.
- Use multiple sources to find suppliers. Explore various online wholesale marketplaces, industry directories, and trade shows. By diversifying your sources, you increase your chances of finding the right match.
- Reach out to suppliers you like. Gather information about their product range, MOQ (minimum order quantity), pricing structures, and lead times.
- Request product samples. Evaluate the quality, texture, durability, and other relevant aspects of the products by requesting samples. This guarantees the product is up to your standards.
- Compare and choose suppliers. Gather enough data and compare suppliers based on your criteria, then pick the ones that fit your business needs.
Review your suppliers’ performance periodically and make adjustments as needed. This ensures that the supplier’s offerings are aligned with your evolving business needs.
Evaluating the quality of suppliers
Now that you have your quality standards in place, it’s time to evaluate your suppliers. Ordering samples is one step, but you can go a little further to guarantee that they are a good fit.
Investigate a supplier’s track record regarding product quality, adherence to standards, and reliability. Seek references and read reviews to learn about other customers’ experiences with the supplier. If possible, visit the supplier’s production facility to observe manufacturing processes, quality control measures, and overall operations.
What to look for in a wholesale boutique clothing supplier
After you’ve scoured the distributors above, you probably have a list of wholesalers in front of you. The next step is to refine that list in order to find the best vendor for your storefront. Below are some of the factors you’ll need to consider:
Knowing where the wholesaler is based is crucial because this affects cost. With overseas vendors, duties, shipping, and taxes can quickly add up and limit your margins. If you have profits in the back of your mind, go with a vendor operating in or around your region.
If you’re going for fast fashion, quality might not be that much of a concern for your business. But if you’re planning to sell something high-end and unique, quality quickly becomes a priority. If you’re unsure about a vendor’s quality, you can always place a small order to evaluate quality before making a larger investment.
If you want to expand beyond clothing, it would be best to choose a wholesaler who can support your growth. Vendors who sell wholesale boutique accessories, footwear, and other fashion items could offer valuable business opportunities.
Tips for sourcing wholesale boutique clothing
Find wholesale boutique clothing vendors via directories
Directories can help expand the wholesale clothing distributor and manufacturer options for your boutique. The vendors listed on directories are generally safe to work with as they undergo a strict verification and authentication process before they’re accepted into the search database.
Check out reputable online directories like Sqetch, if you’re based in Europe, and Maker’s Row, if you’re from the US. For overseas product sourcing, Kompass is an excellent option to consider. Steer clear of unknown directories because the vendors listed there might not be wholesalers but rather a middleman charging a fee to connect you with the actual producer.
💡 PRO TIP: While browsing directories, make sure to read customer reviews. They can help identify which clothing vendors are reputable and which ones to avoid. You can also request information on the whereabouts of their production facility or showroom (credible wholesalers won’t hesitate to share these details with you).
Attend trade shows to connect with boutique apparel wholesalers
Trade shows are a great place to find up-and-coming wholesale boutique vendors, so you can get your hands on the latest styles before your competitors. And talking face-to-face is a lot more effective than other types of communication. Plus, nothing beats being able to see and feel the product in-person.
Check out the apparel and clothing events happening in and around your locality and plan a visit. Use the Trade Show News Network to search for trade shows by date, city, state or country, event name, or industry. It’s the largest directory of trade events online and makes it easy to find relevant trade shows.
💡 PRO TIP: Before attending, make sure to have your business license on hand. This can literally be the difference between being welcomed and getting to buy items or being shown the exit. Wholesalers need to know that you’re legit.
Visit nearby clothing markets
Nearby apparel markets are a great place to find cheap wholesale boutique clothing. Since a lot of vendors gather in these markets, you can negotiate to get the price down. More than just negotiating, visiting the market allows you to see which products are currently in fashion (vendors often promote the latest clothing through displays).
Another option is to visit showrooms, which are shops managed directly by a wholesale distributor or vendor. The aim is to buy unique boutique clothing wholesale—pieces that haven’t made their way into retail shops (yet). Showrooms also stock items from foreign clothing brands with good discounts at reasonable prices—an easy way to stand out.
Explore online communities
Experienced fashion entrepreneurs often know a lot about wholesalers, but they don’t share what they learn with everyone. Your best bet when it comes to picking their brains is to engage in some networking. Search the online forums where veteran boutique owners hang out and strike up a conversation.
Some forums to join:
Network and build relationships to find the best boutique wholesalers for your business.
You can also search within social media communities, where fashion entrepreneurs give and seek advice. For example, Bag It Up Boutique is a Facebook group with more than 7,500 members who are mainly fashion enthusiasts. It’s also worth checking out Facebook Marketplace to find vendors in your local community.
Additionally, follow discussions around wholesale clothing on Quora to get ideas about vendors and even products. Besides learning from ongoing discussions, you can also post your own questions and get advice.
Choosing the best wholesale boutique clothing suppliers for you
There are illegitimate wholesalers out there intending to make easy money off of new boutique owners. These wholesalers are actually middlemen who buy clothing from manufacturers and distributors and sell at a higher price. Sourcing products from them means you will price yourself out of the market. You don’t want that.
Fortunately, there are some telltale signs of fake clothing wholesalers:
- The vendor does not require your business registration or tax ID to do business with you. That’s because a fake wholesaler doesn’t care whether or not you meet government regulations.
- The company does not state where it is located or mention its name when communicating over email or phone, leaving you wondering about the shipping fee and who to contact.
- They refuse to send you samples or behave strangely when you place a small order. This is often a sign that you’re dealing with an intermediary who’s looking to make a profit by selling in bulk at higher prices.
- Fake suppliers selling counterfeit items will also deny sample requests, as samples give an idea of clothing quality.
Choosing a wholesale boutique vendor is a big decision for your business, so take the time to research your options and filter out fake wholesalers. The extra time you spend now will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Keep the above tips in mind, and you should be able to find the best wholesalers who always provide you with genuine quality products at reasonable prices.