I haven’t even noticed that a month has gone by since I’d last posted in this blog since the new normal life is slowly returning day-by-day in UAE. To be honest with you, the phrase “new normal” still feels weird to me; it somehow feels dystopian to me and makes me think I’m one of the characters in a twisted, life-like Black Mirror episode — except it’s real. *Sigh.
I at least hope that you are safe and well, wherever you are.
I’m sure a handful of us can relate when a lot of articles nowadays claim that the lock-down made us a millionaire overnight because we have nothing to spend our money on, but the reality is actually far from it. And that is because, online shopping exists. Even for someone like me who’s been trying to stay away from spending my savings on tempting discounts online, I still ended up purchasing a little “treat” for myself here and there after months of skimping for emergency purposes.
In case you haven’t read it yet, I have shared in my recent post the things you have to keep in mind when it comes to online shopping and personally I find that article helpful especially for newbies and even for the pros.
Today, I want to follow through with the online shops that I’ve used, enjoyed and could recommend to you as well.
Net-a-Porter is my go-to website when it comes to my Agent Provocateur cheap finds. They typically cater to the more high-end, luxury brands at a convenient and competitive pricing and shopping experience.
There are a couple of brownie points that I’d be happy to give to this online retail store, such as: affordable express delivery, seamless website and mobile app shopping experience and generous discount percentages during sale seasons (in fact, they are running their annual summer sale of 80%!). An added plus is that their style is more professional, curated and muted which is a perfect choice if you’re looking to be a well-balanced combination of chic and mature.
I don’t have any unsatisfactory comments or experience with the brands, but I would probably have liked more variety on the product selections they carry per brand.
I think more than a handful of us are familiar with this brand as it’s of the bigger, known online merchandisers which carry both products from their own line, as well as others’ and carry thousands of apparel — anything from tops, dresses to accessories. They frequently push sale campaigns as well, ranging between 20% – 70% off plus a free standard delivery upon purchase of more than AED 265.
One thing that I would say sets them apart from the other players is that they have the Fit Assistant which is an AI that suggests the perfect size of apparel to buy based on factors such as height, weight, fit preference and sizes other customers of your same dimensions have bought before. It’s a very helpful tool for anyone who haven’t tried specific brands before and especially if you’re skeptical about purchasing items online and thinking if they will fit or not. It’s still a hit or miss in general, of course, but I would say that that service is about 4 out of 5 stars for me.
The only downside (if I may even call it that) about ASOS is that with all the hundreds and thousands of brands and products they carry on their site, it can overwhelm the customer because the choices are limitless. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my product marketing class, sometimes having an infinite choice isn’t necessarily always the best idea.
Next to what was known as Souk (now a subsidiary of Amazon in UAE), Namshi is also one of the bigger more-known apparel online retailers in the UAE. They offer a mix of branded and department store brands mostly catered majorly to women, although there are also selections for men. I would say they resemble more of a Debenham’s department store, only online. What I love most about using their service is the free and express shipping (which I would say is always a plus for anyone, let’s face it), that they only carry 100% genuine name-brand products and that they only continue to expand their product and brand selections regularly.
I would say that for someone who sometimes have the penchant to wear clothes that are a combination of sultry and cheeky however, their dress designs and options often feature a more modest appeal – most probably because of the supposed conservatism of the country they operate in. Nevertheless, it is always worth checking out.
It’s every Instagram babe’s shopping destination, as it probably should be, because they’re always on-trend and you could find similar or knock-off versions of more expensive brands at a more lucrative price. They have a plethora of choices of every woman apparel and caters to different sizes, too. What I love most about Fashion Nova is their celebration of women’s curves, which is always a pleasure for my eyes. I’ve always heard people rave about their denim pants although I haven’t personally purchased one for myself yet but that’s something that’s queued on my list at some point.
Coming from someone who lives outside of the US though, I probably only had an issue with delivery, especially since it went beyond the projected 7 – 10 working days and I still didn’t have it delivered then. Generally speaking though, majority of the products I buy which are from the US takes a while to be received unless they’re shipped by FedEx.
This store reminds me a lot of the local department stores we have back home that carry all sorts of apparel and merchandise for any age, gender or needs. What I love purchasing from them is my gym wears because of how inexpensive they are, in comparison to more known sportswear brands such as Lululemon, Nike or Adidas. As much as I would like to splurge on on these name brands, I just couldn’t justify buying for myself now if I’m not really burning myself out in the gym daily. I just basically need something that I can sweat on profusely for a few hours, which wouldn’t necessarily break my wallet.
I would say that for non-name brand, Max Fashion products are still of good quality considering their price point but I’d say it’s a hit or miss when it comes to the design or sizing at times, especially if it is based on the average body size of the locals living in your area.
Savage x Fenty
I used to feel 50 / 50 with Savage x Fenty especially when they were starting out because their products looked like an upscaled Victoria’s Secret lingerie to me and I probably was expecting a lot more pizzaz, especially coming from the Queen Riri herself. I was expecting more glitter, more lace and more smoking hot sexiness to come out of the brand.
Eventually however, I understood more of the brand’s premise which is a collection that’s hot and steamy yet accessible, wearable, comfortable and reasonably priced for all kinds and shape of women. Every now and then, they do come up with some eye-catching design that I’d love to get my hands on and they do a good job scouting for the perfect trendsetters and influencers to market their goods.
The only con I ever experienced shopping with them was that the hosiery I bought was already pried open before I even got to use it, which I couldn’t fathom if it’s the brand’s or the courier’s doing. It wasn’t much of a big deal to me, but could’ve made the experience an A+++ for first time if it didn’t happen at all.
Due to the unprecedented times now, more brands have to compromise for the lack or reduction of business with frequent promotions and discounts that are more than their usual just to drive up the sales that they might have lost in the past months. Even my favorite luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur just did a 30% private sale THEN a 60% semi-annual sale with an additional 15% for a limited-time for almost a month now.
How about you? What’s your shopping guilty pleasure this pandemic?