It’s no secret that you can often find better deals online than you can in the store. And, you know, sometimes you don’t have time to make it there in the flesh, or the place it’s easiest to get to isn’t fashion-conscious enough or doesn’t have the label you’re looking for (if you’re on a designer-specific mission), or the shop’s hours don’t mesh with your work schedule, or they never have designer sales….there are a multitude of reasons for doing your shopping from your computer.
Below, you’ll find the three sites that I feel are the best out there for online fashion and shopping, especially if you’re looking for stuff on sale. I’m very designer label-conscious and always looking for a great deal (designers are just so expensive – yet I want to own them all…well…except Emilio Pucci…or Etro…anyway). If you order stuff and it doesn’t fit, you can always send it back – and if you’re purchasing a designer you’ve owned or tried on before, you probably won’t veer too far off in the wrong direction. If you want to play it really safe, then just stick to accessories: handbags, shoes, scarves, jewelry, and the like.
1) Gilt Groupe. Hands-down one of the best fashion and shopping sites out there. It’s members only, but free and easy to join, and each sale has a shelf-life of about a day-and-a-half. Gilt not only has the most fabulous A and B list designers (I’ve seen everything from Juicy Couture and Free People to Roberto Cavalli and Valentino), they have relatively unknown and inaccessible couture designers, jewelry, handbags, shoes, make-up, skin care lines, luggage, men’s (Gilt Man), children’s, and travel (I kid you not – the site is called Jet Setter, and they have deals on all the most fabulous hotels and spas all over the country. The best part? On average, the merchandise is on sale at around 70% off retail – so you’re getting a great bargain, too.
2) Rue La La. These guys are in a tie for first place with Gilt Groupe for fashion and shopping sites. They have similarly fantastic lines (at the writing of this article, they had all three MaxMara lines, plus Hermès and Chanel accessories – including the timeless Birkin bag, made infamous by Samantha on Sex and the City), and an excellent sizing chart. They operate in the same way Gilt does, which means you need to be a member (free), and each sale has a shelf-life of about 36 hours. And again, each designer is on sale for around 70% off retail. The only thing these guys don’t have over Gilt Groupe is the travel site – and their presentation isn’t nearly as glamorous (it’s more frou-frou in nature – but don’t let that fool you).
3) Shop It To Me. This fashion and shopping site works a little differently than the aforementioned two. They give you a list of all the designer labels they are authorized to sell, and you check them off. Then, they scour the web for you, compile a list of all the designer labels you requested that are on sale, and they email that sale list to you twice a week (they suggest Tuesdays and Fridays, and I see no reason not to take their recommendation on this). You get a little preview pane for each item, and if you want it, you just click on it, it takes you right to that page, you can order it in your size, and it’s on its way. The sale prices vary on these items, since they are collected from all over the web – but it’s fashion done your way, with your favorite designer labels, and you’ll find them all on sale to some extent. These guys add designers to their ever-growing list all the time, so make sure you go back and update your choices.
With these three sites, you’ll have access to the store of your dreams: all the designer labels and lines you want, filtered by your sizing specifications, and all on sale. What could be better than that?