Friday, January 25, 2013

The Mystery of the Parcels ... Fashion

I have been receiving parcels for some time via Net-a-Porter of items that are perhaps best described as so hideous my friends didn't want them for free. Various friends use it to send gifts, for example a male friend who regularly asks my advice on everything from jeweller for his wife to where to film a Roman pirate movie. 

I turns out that Net-a-Porter style advisers have been telling him they are on my "Wish List" so he's been buying them. It gets worse - because they make him use the US site, he pays a fortune in shipping to London, and I can't return them (he was told I could return items in the UK, but Net-A-Porter UK won't let me).

So the moral of the story is don't listen to the nonsense of salespeople - and use better sites, as I do, such as the ones below.

UK fashion sites

Matches Fashion is very good, they have had a small chain of fabulous shops in London for many years, and I prefer their buyers' choices for my body type. (sign up for Mr and Mrs Smith membership for a discount off your first order, and discounts at My Wardrobe, which I have never used so cannot comment on). They just started stocking Aquazzura shoes, and stock Ancient Greek Sandals (my Icarus style ones pictured)

Browns Fashion has been going for even longer, and again I love their buyer's picks - but they tend to suit brunettes rather than blondes.

I've had nothing but good experiences with Young British Designers - although they only stock what it says on the tin, they did a fabulous job sorting out my faulty Bionda Castana heels* (left - sign up for the email newsletter for regular discount codes).

US fashion sites

Kitson ... still waiting for the parcel to arrive, so I can't comment.

ShopBop delivers very quickly, and you pay the import duties when you order so there are not delays as the parcels gets stuck in customs whilst they decide what to over-charge. They stock my beloved Aquazzura shoes (see left), and the irony is that it is cheaper to buy them in the US, pay shipping and duties etc than to buy them in the UK.

Italian sites

For classics from previous seasons I use Yoox. They have a new delivery of Bionda Castana but ... (see below).

Luisa Via Roma is a Florence institution, but I have not ordered from them online (yet ... plus will be there soon ...): they stock Vlieger & Vandam (I so want the version of this clutch with cuffs or a gun), and I am lusting after the Dolce and Gabbana Pom Pom Earrings (not in stock yet, see left - and the rest of the collection too if I'm honest).

Avoid like the Plague:

Cocosa - their sales are dubious in the sense that items were made for them not on sale previously at the higher price, as required by British law, and they held my money and refused to post my item unless I gave them a lot of very personal information of the sort that is only usually required by Nigerian con men.


Amusing Post Script - gosh Net-A-Porter finally got back to me after I posted this. Sort of:
Dear Dorothy,Thank you for contacting NET-A-PORTER.COM.
We have contacted you this morning on the phone number listed below
however, we were unsuccessful :

020 7235 0835
Umm, yes, they probably were unsuccessful since I repeatedly gave them a completely different phone number when I ordered through their web site, and when I spoke to their staff, although admittedly I did have to telephone several times to get someone who spoke English ... Yup, they really are that bad. I declined their offer to ring them yet again, since I prefer to have things in writing from a company that tells that many porkies ...

* - I love Bionda Castana shoes, but they are hard to find in physical stores, and two out of three pairs bought online have turned out to be faulty, so my love-in with them is over ... which is a pity as this is an otherwise fabulous brand, which makes the only super-comfortable high heels.

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