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The Thrifty Threads Guide to Online Shopping

February 15, 2010

I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing like buying a little something new to lift your spirits. And sometimes, it’s necessary and therapeutic to wander through the stores, trying on gorgeous shoes and giving jeans a test-run.

But other times, you get caught up in life and don’t have hours on end to devote to shopping. You’ve got dates, drinks with friends, breakfast meetings, grocery shopping, oh, and trying to fit in some exercise somewhere.

Solution: Online shopping, of course. There are more online retailers than ever out there, and many of them offer extremely affordable clothing, shoes and accessories — often with great return policies.

Plus, who doesn’t love getting a present in the mail, especially a fabulous one you purchased for yourself? Here are some of my favorite online stomping grounds. A personal favorite. They also spend a lot of time developing and maintaining relationships with fashion bloggers, and feature a different blogger each month. Dresses are usually $30 to $80 (sometimes more, sometimes less), and the pieces are extremely unique. I took advantage of their sale last month and scored three dresses and a pair of Oxford heels for $91 (which included shipping). Also, their pop-culture inspired item descriptions are outstanding. No personal experience shopping here, but friends of mine have.  I love the way their items are categorized; shoe categories range from “Vegan-Friendly” to “Under $50” to “Shoes on Sale.” This site also has some unique pieces that look vintage-inspired, but with plenty of modern touches. Zappos’ cheaper cousin. The discounts on shoes here are amazing. A lot of the shoes are not my style, so you may have to do some searching to find something worth buying. But these Michael Kors wedges are available for only $37 (which is 80 percent off their retail price of $185). For that deal, I’ll spend a little time browsing. (Full disclosure: I had to scoop those wedges up while writing this post. I’m weak.) More outrageous prices to be had here. I spotted a Calvin Klein handbag for $44.99 (as opposed to $98) and a pair of Jessica Simpson pumps for $45. (Say what you will about the girl, but a lot of her shoes are surprisingly cute.) These BCBG pumps are more expensive than Target shoes to be sure, but they’re infinitely more special. Carries independent fashion labels we otherwise might not even know about. Categories for women’s clothing include “Modern Basics,” “Edgy,” “Throwback” and Urban Fresh.” Some stuff is a little pricey, but there are some great deals to be found. It’s the thrill of the hunt. Upon arriving at this site, I was informed that pale jeans are back in style. That may be the case, but most people can’t pull them off, so that little promo was almost a dealbreaker. I recommend sticking to the sales, but for special pieces for special occasions, this Web site is worth taking a look at. Plus, I love their little style guides, such as “How to wear spring boots” and the way they organize each different shoe trend: Platforms, Wedges, The New Gladiator, Cut-out Sandals, Neutrals.

Of course, there are some guidelines for online shopping. I tend to buy only dresses, shoes and other accessories online because my shoe size never changes and I can generally tell if a dress will fit my shape or not (my reward after years of wearing ill-fitting clothing). Unless you’re familiar with the brand, I’d stick to buying jeans in a store where you can try them on. It’s just not worth the hassle of returning them.

If you fall in love with a particular online retailer, sign up for their newsletter! I know we all get tons of junk e-mail and you probably don’t need another newsletter, but it can save you tons of money. I never would have found out about ModCloth’s sale if I wasn’t subscribed. Plus, you’ll often get a heads up when free or discounted shipping is available.

If there’s a retailer you love I haven’t mentioned, feel free to let me know in the comments. This could turn into a series of posts — who knows?!

Happy shopping!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Abeeda permalink
    February 17, 2010 5:11 pm

    Those tan wedges are great!

    I always make sure to visit before making a purchase online. It’s a great source for current discount codes.

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