• Esther Boutique

    I have recently discovered Esther Boutique, an Australian-based online women's store.

    It is a fantastic site, that offers worldwide shipping, uploads new items weekly and uses the same (stunning) model in every shot, which gives you consistency and a good gauge of sizing and fit.

    Coming into the party season, I realised my wardrobe was lacking some depth, and onto Esther I went. I purchased an I.D.S 'Time has come' floral top in mint/multi in a size 8 ($49.00), Ladakh 'Resort scarf' print dress in a size 8 ($85.00) and Here Comes the Sun 'Full bloom' tunic in peach in a size 8 ($79.00). I thought the pricing was very reasonable. As I had spent over $200, I also qualified for free shipping which was good.

    The site warns customers that their sizing is small, and recommends going a size larger than you would normally. Wary of this I looked at the site's size chart and compared their measurements to my own measurements. While I appreciated the information they gave me on sizing, it only left me more confused, as my measurements showed I was a size 16 in the bust, size 14 in the waist, and not even a size 6 in the hips??? In the end I decided to stick to what I knew, and just ordered my regular size, knowing that they accept returns and would provide me with a refund.

    It took about a week to recieve my items in the post, which was pretty good I thought. The I.D.S top and Ladakh dress both fit well and I was very happy with their quality. The Here Come the Sun dress however was frightfully short and very low in the arms, meaning you would have to wear a bandeau with it to prevent major side boob or bra flashing action! I decided to send this dress back, and was provided with my money back about ten working days afterwards.

    Overall, I was very happy with my experience with Esther and would definately purchase from the store again. I have summed up the positive and negative aspects of my experience below for your reference:

    Positives:

    1. Extensive range of stock, which is beautifully presented and modelled by the same model (making it consistent, and easier to get an idea of sizing and fit).

    2. Store is aimed at young people, therefore they stock things ideal for my age group (women in their 20's).

    3. Free shipping when you spend over $200 worldwide, and it is quite quick.

    4. Will provide a refund for returns.

    5. Items come packaged in a cute black and white Esther box (see image).

    6. Good quality of stock at a very reasonable price.

    Negatives:

    1. I have found stock sells out fast, so if you see something you like- buy it straight away or you might miss out!

    2. I have found that there is very little available to those over a size 12.

    3. Sizing guide is very obscure, and while it warns that sizes are on the small size I found the items I bought to be quite accurate to normally sizing.

    Happy shopping! x

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  • Stories from my Wardrobe - I'd love to know what you think!

    I have just started on a new project: a blog called Stories from my Wardrobe.

    This project began from a realisation of the stories a wardrobe of clothes, shoes and accessories holds, and a desire to articulate them for others. I also hope my readers will share their wardrobe stories with me too!

    If you are a lover of fashion, vintage clothes and accessories or you just like to read stories, I am sure you will love it.

    Please check it out and tell me what you think.

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  • The MUST HAVE App - ShopStyle

    If you love online shopping, and a good app you HAVE to check out ShopStyle. ShopStyle is based in Australia and brings fashion from different online stores from around the world to your iPad. All your favourite stores. Every single one! Seriously! Plus its FREE!

    You can search by brand, clothing or accessory type or with keywords and are given pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of results (literally I think it is never ending.... I have never reached the end!). You are guaranteed to find what you are looking for (or be tempted by something else!).

    Once you find something you want, you press the 'Buy' button and you are redirected to the original website where the item is from where you can then check out the shipping details.

    My favourite feature of this app is the ability to subscribe to alerts when a certain brand or item goes on sale. That way, if you don't really need it, but could be convinced if it was reduced (the story of my life) this is perfect.

    If you love the app also check out their website. Their blog is great, and they have a community of users who upload different outfits they have styled which is worth a look.

    What are your favourite online shopping apps?

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  • Mix Apparel

    I have recently stumbled upon Mix Apparel, an online store for the Coles clothing line. Established in 2011, Mix is my go-to for cheap basics and sportwear. Their regular line of clothes and accessories is cheap, and their sale stock is ridiculously cheap! The quality of their fabrics is very good considering their price, and their colour range is very tasteful and on-trend. If you spend $50 or more shipping is free, but it is quite a challenge reaching the $50 mark when their prices are so cheap!

    I put in an order with my mum and purchased this Purple Hooded Zipper Jacket for the huge price of $8! I love the colour and it is great for winter walks. Our parcel arrived very quickly too which was an extra bonus.

    My only criticism of this fantastic online store is the functionality of their website. It can be quite slow in loading the items, and sometimes you will have a shopping basket full of items and then it clears it and you have to start again! I urge you however to be persistant, it is worth the run around!

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  • A Parcel from Ebay

    Today a parcel from Ebay came in the post! A cream Alannah Hill cardigan! Just in time for the cool weather!

    I had been wanting an Alannah Hill cardigan for a while, and had seen it on Ebay and fell in love! I love cream, and it is a very versatile colour, and I love anything feminine and pretty. This cardigan certainly checked those two boxes! With the little silk flowers along the neck line and pretty pearl buttons it is very cute!

    I purchased this cardigan for $30, with $7 postage. I thought this was a pretty good deal considering most Alannah Hill cardigans retail for well over $100 new. There is a small stain on the right cuff, but it is reasonably unnoticeable. The buyer had outlined this in the item description, so I was well aware and prepared for this. Plus I noticed one of the buttons is a bit loose, which the buyer hadn't warned me about (but that's easily fixed!).

    The fit of the cardigan is perfect and the quality of the fabric, like all Alannah Hill products is impeccable. It is beautifully soft and remarkably warm considering its thickness. The item arrived quickly and in one piece too which is always good!

    If anyone is unfamiliar with Ebay, it is an online auction site which sells both new and used items. You name it, Ebay has it. Everything from clothing and shoes to car parts and furniture. I can spend hours trawling through things on Ebay, plus the excitement of bidding against someone makes it even better! Sometimes I get so carried away with the thrill of trying to outbid the other buyer that I go past by budget!

    My best tips for successful Ebay shopping are:

    1. Download the Ebay app. Available both for smart phones and tablets, this app makes Ebay shopping even greater! This app is very functional and easy to use. Plus, it will remind you if an item you are watching is about to end, if you have been outbid, or if you are selling items, whether someone has bid on one.

    2. Always investigate the seller before placing a bid. I have heard a few bad stories about people who haven't recieved the items they have purchased. You can never fully protect yourself from this, but my best tip is to find out as much about the buyer as possible. What is their percentage of postive feedback? How many sales have they made? What does their freedback say? Where is the buyers location? Generally I stick to buyers who are in Australia, and sometimes by reading the item description you can get an idea of what they are like too. Trust your gut feeling!

    3. Always remember to factor in the shipping to your purchase price. For some items, often it is cheaper to buy a similar item in store than to buy it on Ebay and then pay for it to be shipped to you.

    4. I only buy brands on Ebay that I have purchased or tried on before. That way I have a reasonably good idea of how that brand's clothes fit me, what size I am in their products and the quality of their items. This seems to work most of the time in recieving items that I am happy with!

    5. If all else fails sell it! Remember that you can also sell things yourself on Ebay; so anything you aren't happy with you can try and flog to someone else instead! This is also handy for anything you have at home that you no longer wear. Having someone bid on your items is equally as exciting as bidding on someone else's items, plus your bank account recieves money instead of losing it!

    Please see the Styling page and YouTube video for what I paired with my new Alannah Hill cardigan. I would love to hear what you think too!

    Have you had any Ebay horror stories? What are your best tips for purchasing Ebay items?

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emily's eye

YOUR ESSENTIAL ONLINE SHOPPING GUIDE

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I am Emily - a normal girl, with a small obsession for online shopping. Please read on for the tips and tricks of online shopping and to see what I'm buying!

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Overwhelmed with the amount of online stores at your fingertips? Anxious about navigating through items and items of clothing? Worried about how much to pay for shipping and whether your item will arrive in one piece? Frightened that after days of anticipation the item will arrive and you will be sorely disappointed with its fit/quality/style? I hope this site will help guide you in the right direction and allow you to relax and enjoy what online shopping has to offer!

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