Come on, hands up, who's been drawn in by the sales crowds this festive season then? Couldn't resist the tempting signs in the windows and veritable rainbow of cut-price clothing within?
I'm going to bet a rather substantial amount of money that once inside you immediately regretted it for one of the following reasons: a) the rude general public bashing into you with total disregard, b) the on-too-high heating causing you to have to shed layers of clothing and, incidentally, drag even more paraphernalia around with you (I'm talking to you, Topshop), c) the bargains that, once closer aren't so much bargains but mostly cast-offs from 4 seasons ago with bits of wear and tear that you convince yourself aren't that bad because godamnit you've ventured this far and you'll be damned if you're going home empty handed.
Well, friends, I have a solution. Online sales shopping. A revolution. Avoid the crowds, see the clothes clearly and in flattering light, pick your size without having to rifle through 3 rails around you only to settle for a size up/down.
This year online was my chosen method. I have had some success but it hasn't all been plain sailing.
My first stop was Topshop.com where I opted for 3 items (well, 4 actually but one was out of stock although they still honoured the free post when this meant my items came under the £75 bench mark which I thought was good of them and with me within 48 hours.)
1) Simone Rocha for Topshop dress (£90-£45) size 10 - look at those neon, mesh sleeves!
2) Big bug ring (£16-£8.25) size M
2) Big bug ring (£16-£8.25) size M
3) Star Print Corset top (£30-£15) size 10
However, my Topshop endeavour wasn't to be a success. The dress was far too big which was a disappointment as it wasn't described as over-sized/un-tailored etc and by the time I'd received it, tried it on and decided to send it back for an exchange the size 8 was sold out.
The ring arrived with one 'leg' missing and the other snapped off in the packet and the corset, although absolutely gorgeous was personally just a little on the underwear side for me (a lot of silk, lace and mesh). So all were returned but again, another plus side for online shopping, in their freepost returns bag (included).
My next stop was Lipsy to hunt down a skirt from last S/S that I first saw last A/W when buying at their head offices (I'm their UK independent agent) and, foolishly, didn't book.
Anyway - success and down to £20. Received after 48hours and fits perfectly - now in storage until the spring kicks in which, judging by this unseasonal warmth, should be any day now...
Finally I had an ASOS splurge. Some time ago I bought some grey suede platform heels that have been well and truly worn in on several dance floors. They are now ready for retirement but happily ASOS had a pair, real suede, for £26. *Add to shopping bag*
After that my eyes happened to flicker over the 'swimwear' tab...and, as luck would have it, I intend to be in Las Vegas again this June (went last May and fell in love with it) and NEED a new bikini. Now, if you read my last post you'll be aware I am not the most blessed in the chest department so I was thrilled to immediately stumble upon a metallic, padded, small cupped winner and at £19 for the set I was S.O.L.D!
I have, for a while, and especially since Gucci tweeted their festive 'look', wanted a white blazer so you can imagine my delight to find one on the aforementioned site from £60 down to £18. However, the main downfall of online shopping is the indecision about which size to choose based on being unable to try on (obviously) so I did what any sane shopper would do. Bought an 8 and 10 and will return the unsuitable one.
As I want the above jacket to create this look this coming weekend at an event I paid for postage, but I think £3.95 to be sure it's at my office by Thursday is a small price to pay - especially when cancelled out against the sale discounts.
Anyway - I'm off to rearrange my wardrobe to allow my newly acquired beauties into it and I hope the above has inspired you to try it the online way. Next post coming soon!