It’s a gloomy Winter’s day outside and the last thing you desire is to drag yourself out of the comfort of your secluded bedroom to peel off your pyjamas and subject yourself to the critique of countless shop assistants as you try on outfit, after outfit. But you need a dress. And the old lifeless rags that hang in your wardrobe just will not do. There’s not enough time to begin the pursuit of perfection by traipsing through the piled racks of affordable dregs whilst stooping into a depression because your best option may have to be a paper bag or something from your dress up box.
Yet with the current online shopping epidemic this scenario has become a distant memory. With a click of a button the Internet opens a never-ending wardrobe of size only seen in The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy. I can no longer name any of my girlfriends who do not or have not ever purchased an item online. We now joke that they should put this developed skill on their resume because they’ve gotten so good at it! Shopping sites can vary, however, from merely being the online version of a store you visit regularly or you cannot visit in Australia, to the exclusivity of needing an invite before you can purchase $3000 designer brands worn only once by someone on the other side of the world.
For some though it can be a scary venture, for me included, with worries about sizing, shipping and the ability to return. However, nothing beats the excitement that comes with receiving a package in the mail and knowing the ideal item you found online is finally yours, delivered straight to your door.
Here is some information about popular online shopping sites that I hope can help you and hopefully make the jump to the convenience of online shopping a little less scary.
ASOS is what I would consider a good starting point for online shopping. It was one of the first recommended to me and it always has a diverse range of women and men’s fashion. The website enables browsing the wide variety of clothes much easier by offering the user to search ‘new in’ stock or to shop by a specific product such as skirts or dresses. It always has a great supply of sale items and offers free shipping to Australia on all orders. The user is also able to select the correct currency according to the country they reside in. The website currently offers a 10% discount for university students and often advises of other items that may match the garment being viewed.
Solestruck is the perfect place to perve on gorgeous shoes of all kinds and is heaven to those who have a thing for Jeffrey Campbell’s like myself. It caters for both men and women and offers designer brands for those who have a little extra cash. Shipping is free worldwide and their motto is, “to rid the world of ugly shoes one pair at a time,” so you know they have the right mindset. Although it is rare to find a shoe for under $100 on the website, they’re worth it for their durability, the free shipping and the ability to observe the whole collection rather than just what’s on the shelf.
Farfetch is an online store that sources its content from boutiques from 13 different countries worldwide as well as offering designer items from well-known brands such as Stella Mccartney and Yves St Laurent to name a few. It caters for both men and women and offers a currency choice between euros, dollars and pounds. It describes its boutique collection as, “the hub of a global fashion community that unites independent boutiques around the world with fashion lovers.” Farfetch offers returns, and free collection to do so, from the same country the item was delivered and accepts cancellations. Shipping depends on the size of the item and can be tracked via the website.
Shopstyle ultimately works as an online shopping search engine much like Google and Yahoo but for the sole purpose of finding the perfect item of clothing for every fashionista. It caters for men, women and children and also covers beauty and accessories in addition to clothing. The website itself does not have a shipping policy as it depends on the source of your item as to how much you may need to spend. It is the perfect website if you have a particular item in mind that you can’t seem to find anywhere else or you’re not sure where to look in the first place. It also has a mobile phone application coming soon.
Urban Outfitters is an example of an online shopping site for a store that is already in circulation in America. However, in Australia its content has only been available over the Internet and for a while the shipping was quite expensive. The site offers both men and women’s clothing as well as gifts such as iPhone covers, books, headphones and much more. They offer new arrivals, vintage and sales for those who are trying to save money. Shipping costs vary depending on the method and how many days it will take. At most shipping can cost up to $60 for express but economy will only be an extra $10 on top of the purchase. However, the furniture and home wares offered on the site can’t be shipped to Australia if they exceed a certain weight.
To offer a difference to the usual online shopping sites, Rue La La is invite only and offers prestigious designer brands to those who have a few thousand to spend. Headquartered in Boston the site is a, “A place where [members] discover some of the most sought-after brands in fashion, accessories, footwear, home, travel, wine, gourmet food, local services, and more.” If you’re interested in becoming a member you can join a waiting list on the site. Its exclusivity is part of its appeal and its attitude does not differ from the designer stores that many are afraid to enter.