I have a few things I’d like to get off my chest. It’s about fashion. Online shopping to be exact. Please bare with me as I do so, and keep in mind that there may be few others who have quite the same amount of experience as I do on this subject! Oh, ok, so there may be a few others out there in online-land who do, but for now, I’d like to self-proclaim MY experience as a true expert on the subject…
A few years ago due to ongoing health issues (don’t worry, I’m not about to bore you with all that!) my Personal Styling business took a necessary shift from the traditional Personal Styling and associated Personal Shopping to the ONLINE variety. Out of necessity I simply utilised all of my existing Styling skills and methods of finding the perfect outfit for my clients, to doing so for a slightly broader cross-section of the community (aka global!) via the wonders of the internet. Cool huh?! Well…
Fast-forward a couple of years or more… and lo and behold! The rest of the world has caught on BIG-TIME! Not to mention the retailers (now often dubbed e-tailers) who are now taking advantage of the fact that online shopping is here to stay and it really does help all of us who are becoming more time-poor.
We’ve all seemingly twigged on to the fact that the internet can and does offer us all a solution! We can now shop at any time of the day or night – and many e-tailers (God LOVE ’em!) are finally recognising the pulling-power of offering both FREE shipping AND FREE RETURNS! The initial hesitations of most of my clients had regarding buying online is slowly being replaced by an understanding that it really is “risk-free”. The hesitation backed by the excuse “But I like to see/feel/touch/try what I’m buying” is actually no longer relevant. Because you still get to do all of that! Just in the comfort of your own home, in your own time, without the pressure of some pushy salesperson, AND with your own wardrobe around you to see if it truly does mix and match. If you decide it doesn’t work, you simply return it FREE OF CHARGE! So now what’s your excuse?
Well, back to my original rant….
You wanna know MY frustration? ‘Cos it’s ME that spends hours scouring the net for YOU (not complaining. It’s an honour. It’s my job, and honestly, I don’t mind a bit!). And the reason I get frustrated is that I see far-too-often, far-too-many fashions for skinny-little-young-things, and not enough for the “slightly more mature but still just as gorgeous” set! What is it with fashion? Why can’t we see more STYLISH pieces available to us online that are targeted to those over 30?!
Sure, there are LOTS of shops which have already embraced a strong online presence and do cater for all shapes/ages/sizes, but everyday in my quest to find the perfect piece at amazing prices for my clients, my inbox is constantly inundated (trust me, I MEAN inundated!) with sites offering the latest bargains which are all in either only the latest passing fad/trend and at least six inches above the knee. They therefore can only be worn safely by: those under 25; those under 25kg; those with a 25cm waist, or those wanting to spend $25. Items which clearly only fit that “under 25” criteria, and on way too many levels!
Oh sure, there are plenty of STYLISH pieces available – many of which also still make it into my coveted inbox – but they are often priced at well above $250. Even up to $2500 – certainly not $25! Lets be real shall we? Unless we have the income of a celebrity, how many of us in the real world can honestly look at these sites and buy their gorgeous pieces? I for one cannot. I also don’t feel comfortable even showing these items to my clients! Why, to purchase one of those pieces would surely feed a small African community for a year! I just can’t justify even spreading the word about prices like that! I doubt I’d ever sleep again if I did!
So why have I bothered even writing this post? Because I’m hoping that someone will read it and share with me some other great sites which even I may not have yet discovered (hard to believe, I know!). I have a great little stash (below) which I happily scour daily and send particular pieces to my faithful clients – but I’m hoping that some of you may also have a few other sites you’d like to share with me – to show me that not all the online shopping is relegated to the (in the words of the late Michael Jackson) “PYT’s”. That perhaps even more of it can be utilised by us POT’s! That’s Pretty Old Things, in case you’re wondering!
Here are some of my favourite online sites which DO meet my strict Style Counsel criteria.
That is, they either represent great value for money, great service, great savings and/or suit a variety of styles/ages/body shapes. Mind you, these are only SOME of the sites I love/use! What I’d really love is for you to share YOUR favourite site with me! Don’t be shy! Adding a comment to my blog not only makes me VERY happy, it will also help so many others. And that’s got to be a good thing, right?
www.countryroad.com.au – for edgy/modern classic women’s, men’s, kid’s & homewares
www.trenery.com.au – for slightly more classic women’s, menswear. The sister-store to Country Road but slightly more conservative.
www.jcrew.com – a selection of great styles for the whole family. Some can be a little exxy, but some great buys as well. Good quality.
www.gap.com – affordable classics for men, women & children. Stores in some major Australian capital cities. Still waiting for a Brisbane store though!
www.asos.com – You can’t go past the sheer size of the range of clothes and accessories available on this site! With FREE shipping and FREE returns, you have nothing to lose!
www.styletread.com.au – An online shoeshop with FREE Shipping and FREE Returns. An incredible array of trusted brands to choose from. You just have to check this site out if you haven’t already!
www.birdsnest.com.au – A great array of labels from Sacha Drake to Esprit and everything in between. The service is amazing and very personalised. No risk shopping and they even give you style tips as they go. Check them out!
www.clubqt.com.au – A one-stop shop for such a broad range of clothing and accessories – way too many for me to mention here! Free shipping for many brands/stores. You must check it out!
www.witchery.com.au – We all know Witchery, right? Worth checking out for the pieces you missed out on in-store. Lots of great sale items to watch/buy!
www.boden.co.uk – Very classic, somewhat traditional – but great quality and pieces that will stand the test of time.
www.ezibuy.com.au – What a site! There’s nothing you can’t get here! From women’swear to homewares! And with incredible bargains every day! No risk returns policy. Great shopping to be had here!
www.sportscraft.com.au – Styles that generally are considered suitable for the more “mature” yet still up with the times and with a modern twist. Good quality and always have great VIP deals/sales too. Well worth keeping an eye on!
www.davidlawrence.com.au – Classic, conservative but very stylish pieces. Good prices – not cheap per se – but good quality and will last the distance.
www.barkins.com.au – Super-affordable, stylish pieces.
www.dotti.com.au – Slightly younger styles, but often really great prices and sales/offers. Don’t ever rule out a store as being “too young” for you. Even stores which are traditionally considered young can have some great little classics at great prices – just like here!
So! What’s YOUR favourite online shopping site?! Please don’t be shy! Share it with us all below…we’d really love to know!