March 29, 2012

FASHION FRIDAY: The Wondrous World of Online Shopping

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Being a Cornell college student is tough because you have to contend with not only chaotic deadlines and Ithaca winters (albeit not this one), but also the bloodbath in Collegetown every fall for housing. When I try to escape the insanity that consumes my life with a little retail therapy, I find that most of the times the strength required to wait for the bus downtown (or to the mall) just doesn’t lie within me. I’ll put it nicely: Ithaca is not the shopping center of the world. Aside from a smattering of decent stores downtown and in the mall, this city offers very few selections in the shopping department.

So what happens now?  The answer is: online shopping.

Oh, online shopping. The hours I log in looking at clothes on the web would probably outweigh the time I spend actually looking at outfits in stores… by a lot. For some reason, I’ve developed this compulsive urge to look at clothes every day, even with the knowledge that I don’t have the necessary dough to satisfy every possible longing (I’m talking to you, cashmere sweaters at J.Crew and Ksubi jeans). Though some might therefore call my obsession pointless, I’m proud to say I’ve managed to cull the sucky online shops from the better ones. Here are the fruits of my labor:

ASOS: The mecca of all affordable clothing. They have scores of different clothes from various designers, all in one place. However, this also means that you have to sort through some pretty boring and dreadful items till you find an article of clothing you actually want. Nevertheless, their sales are pretty sweet as well.

Nastygal: I want to buy almost every piece of clothing in the site, starting from the perfect shredded jean shorts to the see-through button down shirt. The company started by selling vintage clothing on eBay but quickly expanded to an actual online shop that also includes contemporary designers. Today, the main focus has definitely turned to the new clothes, although they still sell vintage apparel. Their sales are also smashing. My only issue with them lies in the quality of their clothes. They can be subpar, and choosing the correct size is difficult.

Sidenote: Make sure to type in the correct name, otherwise you will be lead to an adult entrainment site. My roommate last year found this out the hard way while working.

Modcloth: This site is for the lover of all things vintage, featuring tons of vintage-inspired clothes. Their pieces are one-of-a-kind, since they mostly sell independent designers’ creations. When you buy a dress from them, you know that very few will ever have the same piece (unless they also bought it from Modcloth). Now that’s cool!

6pm: Do you want to buy a French Connection dress yet don’t have the heart to fork out $150 for it? No problem, take a little trip to 6pm. 6pm has the most amazing discounts on almost all the major fashion labels. Their shoe section is also pretty darn spectacular (Dolce Vita shoes for 50$? Yes, please!). They have tons of different brands; nonetheless, they seem to miss out on the edgier labels geared towards younger generations, like Jeffrey Campbell. I do give them credit for having Free People and Anthropologie though.

eBay: What, eBay? Why yes! Much like 6pm, eBay has tons and tons of high-end designers for a fraction of the original price. Isabel Marant for $60 and Seven for All Mankind jeans for $100 is enough to make any fashion-conscious girl squeal and twirl for joy. If you feel squeamish about wearing second-hand clothing, no worries! You will find heaps of brand-new clothing with the tags still attached.

So there you go: these are some of my secret shopping spots. There are many more online shopping destinations to be found. One pointer for discovering the best ones is to go to several of your favorite fashion blogs and check out the shops advertised there. Finally, always compare prices on different websites before actually obtaining that shirt you’ve been lusting over for the past week.  Trust me, it’s worth it!

Eleni Konstantopoulos is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at edk44@cornell.edu. Fashion Fridays appears Fridays.

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Original Author: Eleni Konstantopoulos