You know you don’t actually need to leave your house to do all your holiday shopping, right? View the VIBE’s Philip Mak walks you through the best online shopping while you stay comfortably seated on your couch…
My mother still doesn’t like online shopping. As a woman who spent far too much of the 90s immersed in the early internet hysteria surrounding viruses and identity theft (thanks for the memories, Dateline NBC and Stone Phillips), it’s just not something that interests her. By contrast, as a carefree millennial who doesn’t believe credit is actual money, I am totally addicted to online shopping.
Whether it is my busy work schedule, an aversion to store associates who assume my youthful appearance is indicative of poverty, or my allergy to public transportation, I can’t find enough reasons not to choose online shopping. It is infinitely more convenient since I can do it any time of the day (Read: in bed in my with my homeboys, Ben & Jerry), see all colours and sizes in stock, and easily compare prices across competitors.
As we head into the 2014 holiday season, online shopping is especially appealing. The mall is reminiscent of Jumanji and the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones, with a quarter of the civility. Not to mention everything has been touched and if you’re not a medium or extra-large, chances are they won’t have your size. Tack on the fact that most online shopping outlets haven’t caught the memo that CyberMonday is only supposed to be one day and you have a great reason never to leave your house again.
A small clique of department stores has long dominated the Canadian luxury market and, as such, we have been deprived of the variety, accessibility, and lower pricing afforded to our neighbours south of the border. With the advent of online shopping, we can instantly access an entire international selection of highly competitive pricing and fast (often free) shipping. Win? Win! Apparently most of you have already caught on to the trend: according to StatsCan, Canadians spent $18.9 billion for online goods and services in 2012 (75% of which was bought internationally).
To help you enjoy a more pleasant spending experience, Vv Magazine has put together a list of the top online shopping destinations.
Based out of Montreal, Ssense has become a favourite among young, hip fashionistas. Carrying clothing and accessories for both men and women, they have a well-curated, fashion-forward stock that includes everything from industry flag bearers like Burberry Prorsum and Givenchy to more Montreal-specific lines such as Denis Gagnon and Want Les Essentiels de la Vie. Their pricing is always extremely competitive and their sales are legendary (check in around December and June, FYI). Not only a one-stop luxury shoppe, their homepage is a mini-magazine showcasing editorial that incorporates their stock into trend pieces and feature stories.
While Asos may put a bit of a markup on third-party brands such as Nike and Jack & Jones, they’ve got an amazing selection of what’s hot at the moment for both men and women. That and their in-house Asos brand is absolutely fabulous, offering fast fashion versions of every trend on the market. Given that they’re in the UK, the styles are often a little more fashion-forward than what we have here in North America, offering the perfect chance to be ahead of the curb. They make sizes from XX-small to maternity, and shipping is free for any order that’s over $35.00. Just be careful with those duty fees at the border!
Why buy fast fashion, off-the-runway knock-offs when you can get the real deal? Moda Operandi is the only place you can pre-order looks straight off the catwalk through online designer trunk shows, months before they are available anywhere else. If you can’t wait that long, they also have a sublimely curated boutique of in-season items featuring established and emerging designers. Spend? Spend.
At this point, everybody in the western hemisphere has heard of Nasty Gal. The online women’s clothing and accessories retailer, founded by Sophia Amorusa and chronicled in her 2014 bestseller #Girlboss, carries everything from Jeffrey Campbell to designer vintage (think Dolce & Gabbana and YSL) to fast fashion to collaborations with cosmetics giants like M.A.C. It’s your one-stop cool shop.
Net-a-Porter + Mr. Porter
Net-a-Porter and its menswear counterpart, Mr. Porter, have long been the internet’s leaders in online luxury shopping. Their selection is unparalleled, their sales are off the hizzy, and you can always depend on your items to arrive on time and in perfect condition. They also have a hyper-addictive in-house editorial magazine called The Edit (or The Journal on Mr. Porter) which makes it almost too easy to envision how much better your life is going to be after the checkout.
That sinking feeling when you look at the prices on Net-a-Porter? That’s your credit rating plummeting. Luckily, for those of us on a budget, they have a sister site, Outnet, that carries designer fashions for women at prices that won’t have you eating instant ramen for the rest of the month.
A total hidden gem of the online shopping world, Barneys Warehouse is the discount site for the famed department store Barneys New York. You can get luxury items for women and men at reductions ranging from 15-80% off, which can mean saving hundreds of dollars. Even with the currency conversion and shipping rates, you’re never going to find prices like these in the Great White North. Well, not outside of Chinatown anyways.
No list of online retailer would be complete without including Amazon. Whether you want shoes or sex toys, it’s got everything. Word on the street is they’ll be delivering purchases by drones in the very-near future.
Intermix has a fabulous, edited selection of top designers. They may be guilty of being a little trend-driven sometimes, though usually the items are so good you don’t even notice it. The best part? The have a brick-and-mortar store on Bloor Street West in Yorkville where you can go test-drive an outfit if you are a little unsure.
While many may associate Etsy with candles and expensive paperweights, the online shopping outlet is actually an amazing place to score some emerging designer clothing. Young talents from across the globe sell their wares on the site, often at prices comparable to high street retailers. Why buy Zara that everybody else and their dog is wearing when you could get something unique and support the next generation of fashion? Rhetorical question.
Of course, we have to mention Ebay. Fun fact: that’s where Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amorusa got her start in the industry. Cool, right? Also, Gilt and Beyond the Rack, though for these two you have to sign-up for online membership to shop which, personally, I’m not a huge fan of — blame Stone Phillips.
What are some of your favourite online stores? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “The Best Online Stores To Spend All Your Dollars” in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewTheVibe.