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Online Shopping Saves Big Bucks

by Daniel Falkenheim
Online shopping can save any shopper a ton of time and money. Photo courtesy of jenny.nash712 (Flickr)

Online shopping can save any shopper a ton of time and money.
Photo courtesy of jenny.nash712 (Flickr)

Do you ever find that your search for stylish yet affordable clothes online always comes to a dead end? With retailers continuing to upgrade their quality and costs at the expense of our wallets, it seems impossible to find garments that are cheap yet still up-to-date on the latest trends.

As an avid online shopper, over the past couple of years, I have formed a vault of online stores that are affordable but still manage to have amazing quality. These virtual stores consist of big brands, websites that are expensive yet constantly have tremendous sales that allow you to gain access to luxury labels for low prices, and others are hidden gems I have uncovered along the way.

Many people decide to steer away from online shopping because you can’t try on the clothes or be confident that they will fit you. However, many online stores now offer free shipping on returns, so there is nothing to lose. Also, many big retailers carry exclusives that the store only carries online. Therefore, you gain access to the merchandise you couldn’t buy in a physical store.

Here are my top five sites you must check out:

1. Forever 21

Many people do not know how fabulous Forever 21’s online store is. As someone who goes to the mall nearly every weekend, I am fortunate enough to have this store in my local mall. However, I rarely opt to step inside because, as many know, it is a mad house.

With the crowds on the weekends, the store gets messy, and it is hard to find what you are looking for. If you decide to shop in-store, you will most likely be waiting for a minimum of 30 minutes online. Their online store tells an opposite story. It is organized, it always has a ton of online exclusives, and they always have free shipping.

2. Dolls Kill

Perhaps my biggest hidden gem, Dolls Kill is an online boutique that carries edgy, unique clothes. They give a combination of well-known labels like Wildfox and a variety of smaller brands. As a result, their prices have a wide range, depending on what you are looking for.

They always have high price items in their clearance section, but they go fast once they are there, so if you are looking for a bargain, you need to sign up for their newsletter and check their website daily. Also, they constantly have one-day sales where everything on the website is discounted. I believe the best deal I have ever gotten on here is a $450 For Love & Lemons dress for $35.

3. Brandy Melville

If you shop at PacSun at all, you are sure to know this brand. Brandy Melville is based in California and captures a chill West Coast vibe from their clothing. Mostly consisting of graphics (my favorite), loose flow dresses and super comfy shorts, this brand is a winner for anyone who likes to combine comfort with fashion.

Surprisingly, the clothes are affordable with most graphics priced around $20, yet the quality of the garments themselves looks and feels like a way higher quality. PacSun has some of their products available in-store only, but most of their products are only available on their website. The one downfall to this brand is that is it strictly one-size-fits-all, something that the brand has received extreme backlash from.

4. Love Culture

Although Love Culture has somewhat of a retail store presence, it is often overshadowed by brands like Forever21. Personally, I am not a huge fan of this website, as I have ordered from them before and some of the product comes looking cheap, but every once in a while you can hit a gold mine when ordering from here.

My favorite sweatshirt for the past two years is from here, and I only got it for $15. In summary, Love Culture’s style is exactly like Forever 21’s, and it is similar in price. Their basics are a must, and I find them to be more durable than Forever21’s basics, which often wear out within a couple of months.

5. Nasty Gal

Don’t be fooled by the name — when my friend first told me about this online store I have thought it was a joke. I was wrong. I now find myself getting nearly all of my formal dresses and accessories from Nasty Gal. They have low ticket and high ticket items, and if you get lucky, you will catch an amazing sale you can’t refuse. Overall, the brand is a little more classy and proper than Dolls Kill.

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