I have to preface this article by declaring that my experience with online shopping has mostly involved women's fashion and accessories. So naturally my list of favourite websites is targeted at girls. In the last year or so I've become obsessed with online shopping - there's such a wide range of products available online. And on top of that, it's so much more convenient browsing through webpages than physical stores. Here's my list of national and international online stores that I frequent. For those who are in dire need of some retail therapy, I hope you can appreciate my picks.
Australian Online Shopping
1. The Grand Social The Grand Social website heavily features Australian and New Zealand designers. It's great to find a marketplace that cultivates local talent. Founded in 2009, this relatively new website is a wonderful addition to the Australian shopping scene. Feast your eyes on the up-to-date clothing lines from the likes of Bec & Bridge, Ellery, Nookie, Talulah, and Romance Was Born.
The Grand Social also has men's fashion and accessories on offer, but the range is noticeably smaller than the women's. To make it even sweeter for us fashionistas, The Grand Social now offers free shipping in Australia. So get on that website, and stock up on your favourite local fashion.
The Grand Social also has a blog section, which covers everything you could imagine: interviews, sneak previews, news, events, lookbooks, and projects. Recently The Grand Social also brought forward a competition, which had one lucky winner score the ultimate Fashion Week experience - flights to Sydney, 6 nights of accommodation, tickets to Fashion Week, and a $3,000 shopping spree on The Grand Social website.
Side note: it's good to have The Grand Social on Facebook here or on Twitter here if you'd like to stay informed on the website's new products, sales, and other fashion updates. Look out for the sales - I bought a Bec & Bridge dress for a bargain.
2. My Catwalk Established in 2002, My Catwalk is a website with seasonal clothing lines from Australian and international designers. From Alice McCall to Zimmermann, My Catwalk has a respectable range of fashion lines. Get your hands on some clothes from Sass & Bide, Shakuhachi, Kirrily Johnston, and Ksubi amongst others.
My Catwalk also has men's clothes, but the focus is on women's fashion. Check out the sale section if you want to save on some cash. Understandably, the sale items are usually from the previous season.
On orders over $250, shipping is free. Otherwise you'll be paying $9.90 for delivery. I like that My Catwalk offers free gift wrapping. On top of that, you also get chocolates with your order - Lindt, Baci Kisses, Ferrero Rochers or Guylian. It's a nice touch.
Add My Catwalk on Facebook here and on Twitter here. 3. My Clothes Horse Budget-friendly My Clothes Horse is a website that features Australian and international designers, though the focus is more on Australian brands. This is an amazing website with unheard of discounts (mostly 50% off). Some labels include Milk & Honey, The Cassette Society, Melinda & Narina, Wayne Cooper, and Fleur Wood.
There are even more discounts on Friday super sales which last over the weekend. I bought a Fleur Wood cardigan for $38, which originally cost $225. Sign up to their newsletter or Like their page on Facebook to find out about sales.
I love this website. The only thing that needs improvement is the range. But we can't fault My Clothes Horse for featuring fewer products and brands because the website cuts the designer prices to such affordable markdowns. And to be fair, the website tries to add new brands and products when they can. One of the newest additions is Flamingo Sands swimwear.
If you want to save on shipping costs, you can also opt to pick up your order at the warehouse in Surry Hills. Alternatively, pay from $11 to get your order delivered to your doorstep.
Follow My Clothes Horse on Twitter here to receive a special discount on your next order.
4. Princess Polly
This website is an online shopping forum that keeps evolving. Founded in 2005, it started off as a small boutique in Surfers Paradise. Princess Polly stocks over 50 Australian brands in its physical stores and e-boutique. Labels include Finders Keepers, Stylerstalker, Iikoy, as well as Nicole Richie's jewellery line House of Harlow.
However, be careful when the website doesn't list the designer. I've bought non-branded dresses on Princess Polly that cost $70, but they turned out to be from Sunny Girl or Live Girl.
Princess Polly offers free shipping on orders over $150, or there's a $10 flat rate for shipping. Check out the sale items if you're looking to snatch up a bargain.
What makes Princess Polly so successful (besides the cute clothes) are the photos presented on the website. They're simple, accessorised well, and really make you want to buy their clothes. And there are also numerous photos available for each item, giving you an idea of all the angles.
Baxter Dress by Finders Keepers $100
Princess Polly also has six stores in Queensland, one store in Victoria, and one recently-opened store at Westfield Sydney Centrepoint. Visit these if you want to try on the clothes.
Like Princess Polly on Facebook here to get frequent updates on new products.
International Online Shopping
This award-winning website is the best global online store. Based in the UK, ASOS has over 50,000 product lines, and 1500 new product lines are introduced weekly. I cannot stress enough how great this website is. I can spend hours just looking through their online store. By far, this is the website I shop from the most. And my ASOS orders increased even more when the website began offering free international delivery with no minimum spend.
Founded in 2000, ASOS not only has clothes on offer, but also accessories, shoes, jewellery, and watches amongst others. Some of the labels that the website stocks include Motel, Diesel, Mango, Karen Millen, and ASOS' own brand. There are even sports brands like Nike and Adidas. ASOS also has a comprehensive men's fashion range, including Calvin Klein, G-Star, and ASOS' brand.
ASOS provides a good search function if you're looking for something specific. And more importantly, ASOS hosts frequent sales, which makes shopping more affordable - even when the items are originally charged in pounds and then exchanged to Australian dollars upon payment.
Like ASOS on Facebook here to stay up to date with their products and competitions.
Hong Kong based StrawberryNet is a valuable website if you're after cosmetics, skincare, haircare, or fragrances. It's been around since 1996 and now caters to over 200 countries. The website has more than 20,000 products on offer from more than 200 brands. What makes this website special, however, is not only their range but also their prices. Most products are cheaper than you would find at Australian Duty Free.
In the cosmetics department, StrawberryNet features leading make-up brands like Christian Dior, Bobbi Brown, MAC, and Lancome. Meanwhile, the website also highlights skincare specialists like Dermalogica, SK-II, and Aesop. An extensive list of fragrances is available, ranging from Chanel, Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake, Ralph Lauren, to celebrity fragrances. There are also men's skincare products and fragrances which I've bought as presents.
The downside is that not always the whole range from each brand is available, but the range of brands is commendable. StrawberryNet guarantees that they only sell 100% genuine brands.
The website also has a few incentives. Other than the fact that it offers free shipping worldwide, it also has a great loyalty program for customers (like me) who regularly buy from the website. You get a better discount for every order you make and also when you order two products or more.
To top it all off, StrawberryNet has very speedy and adept customer service staff. I wanted a refund for one of the products I bought and after explaining my issues with it, received a refund quite quickly.
I'll keep using StrawberryNet to buy cosmetics, fragrances, and haircare in the future. My only recommendation is that they should fix up the website design - it's not the most user-friendly shopping experience, but worth it nonetheless for the prices they offer.
Browse through their product range on the StrawberryNet website here.
Founded in 2000, Shopbop is a New York based online store, which is part of the Amazon.com Inc. group. The website is directed at women's fashion brands with a wide range of clothes, bags, shoes and accessories from sought-after fashion designers. Amongst the international designers are Herve Leger, Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs.
Hey i also found this one they sell Celeb fashion, bandage dresses and jewellery etc, and they have a store in Sydney! www.onehoneyboutique.com
By Anonymous Wednesday, 7th of September @ 03:08 am
Great tips, thanks!!
Another great online company in the UK is www.boden.co.au/ good quality, great designs and they have heaps of sales too.
Another site which has fantastic T shorts is www.threadless.com all by graphic artists and designers who sell through this site. designs are edgy, funky ,boho, you name it!!