Fashion / Ret@il Therapy

 
 

There’s more out there than just Amazon: Seán McGovern looks at two of the best online outlets available and proves that even online, it’s still good to shop around

While online shopping is not a new phenomenon, the discerning buyer knows that the best deal is not necessarily the one with the best price tag in the shop. Books and music are common online purchases, but many are turning to the internet for better deals on clothes as well.

Two websites in particular, ASOS.com and Net-A-Porter.com, feature heavily in many credible fashion magazines and are some of the most reliable and popular fashion websites at the moment. Net-A-Porter features brands and labels otherwise unavailable here in Ireland. The pieces are of high fashion and quality, but the price tag does represent the exclusivity of some of the items. For example, a Balmain jacket, with its trademark jutting shoulders, can set you back over €2,500 – but with many items under €100, there are many more luxury alternatives to suit your budget. Shopping on Net-A-Porter can often guarantee an exclusive find to the seriously style-savvy, but realistically it’s best suited to investment purchases like classic coats and dresses. There is, however, no men’s section on the site.

If variety at the best price is what you’re after, ASOS is the leader, stocking well-known brands like French Connection, Mango and Ted Baker, as well as having its own-brand items that are cheaper than other labels while still being great quality. The men’s selection is just as good as the women’s, dealing with everything from boots and jackets to underwear and grooming. The product descriptions are detailed and the size guide is useful in distinguishing the size of the garment in relation to broadness of the chest, as well as giving European sizes in their UK equivalents – a particularly useful guide when many retailers neglect to decipher continental measurements. The size guide also explains how to measure your own size, for both men and women, by detailing how to correctly measure areas like the chest and inside leg, rather than having to rely on guesswork.

Bear in mind, too, the delivery costs, which for both sites depend on the size and weight of your order. ASOS features more information about delivery details and cost, while Net-A-Porter think the delivery cost on a €5,000 Fendi coat isn’t really an issue.

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