Category Archives: Online Shopping

Surprising brands to covet this summer

I used to only get L.L. Bean and Fossil catalogs around holiday time, but I’ve been impressed with their spring and summer mailings that have arrived the last few months. And while Fossil overhauled its mostly classic accessories image a few years ago by integrating fun new colors in leather goods and new American sportswear staples, L.L. Bean Signature’s very recent collections have truly surprised me.

Summer’s a natural season to look to crisp, classic looks that battle heat and humidity, and dresses, shorts, sandals, and blouses from these two outfitters are reasonably priced for their quality and reputation (particularly L.L. Bean). So get over your hipster or trendsetting ego and stock up on some of these season-spanning looks:

Fossil Willow Skirt

Fossil Rachel Dress

L.L. Bean Signature Desert Bootie

L.L. Bean Signature Ruffle Tie-Neck top

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StyleMint to follow JewelMint

Though I haven’t bought anything from the recently hyped-up JewelMint just yet, I’m signed up and have watched the Kate and Cher videos explaining their motivation for and fun creating their members-only jewelry club. And just a couple months after its release, their parent company has announced a parallel fashion site to come, launched by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

The collection will start with 8 t-shirts and may broaden to include other knitwear in the future. Like JewelMint, each piece will cost $29.99 and feature videos of the young designers.

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Filed under Celebrity fashion, Favorite Sites, Online Shopping

Dress like Jackie (via Katie Holmes)

If you’ve ever blushed when someone’s told you that your look “is so Jackie,” you’ll love getting to shop one stop closer to the actual former First Lady’s closet. SeenOn.com released for final sale Katie Holmes’ wardrobe from The Kennedys, which after much (shady) controversy, began airing this past Sunday on ReelzChannel (it’s an 8-part event).

A few of the items are sold out already, but there are still many looks to choose from, including the one at left. Each of the costumes was worn by Katie Holmes and was sent directly from the set to SeenOn.com. And with the exception of the $10,000 Armani Prive-designed inaugural dress and gown, most items retail for a pretty sensible price, from $99-$400.

If you think you’re around the same size as Katie — or are willing to get the pieces altered — you’ll have a pretty neat story to tell the next time someone comments on your American style.

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Name one item that costs the same now as it did 10 years ago

Photo Source: llbean.com

Yesterday afternoon I flipped through my L.L. Bean catalog, looking for the one spring/summer item I turn to each year (I usually only order from L.L. Bean around Christmastime) — their boat and tote bag. So many colors, such a classic American look, and hey, such a reasonable price! In fact, “the same price since 2001” was written in the catalog next to the bags, and I had to give myself a minute to appreciate the cost control.

Can you think of anything sold retail that’s still the same price it was a decade ago? I’ve recently been lamenting the major amp up in cost of J.Crew’s chino shorts, which are now going for $42.50 ($45 for the longer styles). I can guarantee my mother didn’t spend $90 on two pairs of summer shorts back when I was in high school.

As much as I pick out my perfect L.L.Bean boat and tote bag each year — color, size, open- or zip-top, and monogram — I never buy one because I never go to the beach or even picnic. At least it’ll (hopefully) be the same price next year…

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What’s new for the bride-to-be

Vera Wang for David's Bridal; Photo Source: Fashionista.com

It’s a great time to plan a wedding. Beyond David’s Bridal and standard (or over-the-top) bridal boutiques, several favorite retailers are going bridal, too. Here’s a quick round-up, and anymore you’ve heard about, please share!

  • Gilt Groupe: They extended their flash sales to incorporate all bridal themes, including wedding dresses, bridal party wardrobes and even honeymoons.
  • Shopbop: You could easily outfit your bridesmaids from this site already, and maybe even find a beautiful dress for yourself, depending on the type of wedding you’re having. But everyone who gets regular Shopbop e-mail blasts knows that a special wedding e-boutique is on its way.
  • Urban Outfitters, Inc.: What would a bride who’s half Urban Outfitters and half Anthropologie wear to her wedding? Debuting exclusively online this Valentine’s Day with a single store to arrive in August, BHLDN is a new concept from Urban Outfitters, Inc., showcasing “off-kilter” dresses, glassware and other bridal and wedding accessories. Two or three stores will open next year, with a larger goal of providing all kinds of party and special occasion clothes. Sign up for e-mail updates here.
  • Net-a-Porter: Another fabulous site for wedding dress shopping, where you can easily snag a Lanvin or Matthew Williamson for less than a poufy cupcake thing you’d find at a bridal boutique. And to make browsing even easier, the site’s already filtered bridal into its own online boutique for MOBs, bridesmaids, shoes, and more.
  • J.Crew: One of the first conventional retailers to add bridal, J.Crew has admittedly stepped up its game in the last couple of seasons. And with mini boutiques for engagement parties, honeymoons and even “something blue,” you can at least get a free virtual planning assistant out of the site.
  • Vera Wang for David’s Bridal: First Kohl’s, now David’s Bridal. Vera Wang’s just debuted her wedding dresses for the national chain, and they’re pretty. If you can’t afford the real thing, this is worth a quick finger-rub test. If the fabric is up to par, I can’t imagine how this couldn’t be a viable option.

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    Filed under Accessories, Favorite Sites, Most Wanted, Online Shopping

    Google launches Boutiques.com, puts on its fancy pants

    Last week, rumors about Google cluing into the fashion hype and e-commerce circle swirled, and today, it’s confirmed: you’ll soon have a web portal for saving looks and archiving favorite brands and styles, sharing them with friends, and shopping them through outbound links to actual retailers, like Saks, Styleite confirms, via WWD.

    The recently Google-acquired Boutiques.com is currently invite-only (you need a username and password) but already has several high-profile users creating their own “personalized shops,” most likley to spread hype. Sarah Jessica Parker, Oscar de la Renta, and Tory Burch are allegedly active on the site.

    There’s a launch party on Wednesday reserved for VIPs and press, and hopefully Google will start courting us by the holidays.

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    Bona Drag gets a new design

    If you haven’t visited Bona Drag’s website lately, then 1) you probably haven’t started holiday outfit shopping yet, and 2) you haven’t seen their awesome website re-design. Besides a blog and a track listing for their latest, famous Mix Tapes (you get one with every order), you can also shop by category as before, or by designer, via the left tab. It’s a little sleeker than their older design, but still bursting with indie spirit.

    Also check out the new logo, a collaboration between Kim Krans of the Wild Known and Bona Drag buyer/photog/stylist/web designer Heather Wojner. “The ancient Egyptians considered the symbol (Eye of Horus) as a representative of eternal renewal of the kingdom from pharaoh to pharaoh,” says Wojner. “Since this marks the renewal of Bona Drag, I thought it fit perfectly.”

    And don’t miss the About page, where the Bona Drag Girls share their photos, Favorites (songs, “wearables”) and job descriptions. They have the best jobs ever.

    But despite the revamp, don’t expect Bona Drag to turn corporate. “We’re definitely growing but we will still remain very personal, and will keep a small collection,” assured Wojner.

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    Filed under Favorite Sites, Online Shopping