A few years ago, when I started this blog, one of the very first posts I wrote was about my "Online treasures", my favourite places for Internet shopping (how did I shop before the Internet?!) and since then I've regularly posted about cool web finds I've come across.
Now that I'm a full time working mum, I am busier than ever, and I have a thousand things to do at the week-end, from getting an overdose of cuddles to working out like a devil to shed the baby weight, making some fruit compote for Little Madame, and of course cooking Boeuf Bourguignon for a treat dinner (not at all contradictory with the working out item on my to-do list by the way, I am all for balance)... So falling over other shoppers in busy boutiques, asking overworked sales assistants for my size (don't you love how shop floors are often filled with size 8 clothes, when the customers browsing look anything but?) isn't at the top of my list.
But, as I am sure many of you have experienced, just because I don't have time or patience to go out shopping, doesn't mean I'm going to give up and wear Spring 2010 clothes until they fall to pieces. An obsessed fashionista doesn't change her leopard spots so easily, and I have become quite an expert in the best Internet shops, from childrenwear to designer shoes to cool home accents, there isn't a single thing I don't buy online these days, everything gets delivered neatly in bigger or smaller boxes, right to my door. Of course it does help that we have a nanny at home to take delivery of all these goodies, as having to schlep it to the Post Office or, worse, call some random delivery company to re-arrange deliveries is not really my cup of Lapsang.
So, what makes a good online shop in my view? Easy, all I need is...
1) A varied selection from the collections (it's really no good picking just three pieces from a collection, we don't all want to wear the same top!)
2) Browsing ease, with a search function, categories, etc. (also it's good that the website doesn't automatically reset your settings to some foreign locale...!)
3) Good inventory: don't you hate it when you click on that wonderful dress only for it to say Sold-Out?!
4) Good customer care, which can be contacted easily and which is really responsive... you'd be surprised how many online shopping sites don't provide even the most basic customer care...
My absolute favourite remains Net-A-Porter, this is the perfect destination for luxury collections, and whilst it is true that recently it has taken to being a little bit too high end, it remains my go-to for urgent "Ihavenothingtowear" situations, be it for work or events. I also love how fantastic their customer care is, it operates very long hours and the attendants are able to help you track down sold-out sizes and make ordering and returning a real dream. This site still gets five stars from me.
For all those items which are hard to track, sold out in the UK, or which aren't stocked in Europe (hello Ulla Johnson, I'm talking about your fabulous boho collections....), I turn to Farfetch: it does exactly what the name says, it fetches far to find your ultimate must-have and deliver it to you, wherever you are, within days. Think about an online department store filled with the best, most trendy boutiques in the world, all within reach of your finger tips. I ordered a skirt last Monday from a shop based in LA, it was with me by Thursday. Unbelievable.
Talking about reaching far to find that special piece, I adore Lane Crawford, it is based out of Hong Kong, but the collection is so incredibly well curated it has become a go-to online haunt for me, especially when I'm looking for super sought-after pieces which are often sold out everywhere. Their Isabel Marant selection, for instance, is out of this world...
That's it for this post's three websites you must have on your online shopping list. I think we should make this a little series, about online shopping, don't you think?
Enjoy your Sunday everyone!