The Iconic

 

The Iconic is an Australian born website that aims to offer you the ‘best Australian brands’ in clothing and footwear. Boasting a whopping 500 brands and 15,000 products diversity is a plenty.

The handy factor about an Australian site is the free overnight shipping. The Iconic takes this one step further guaranteeing 3-hour delivery in Sydney for $4.95. The T & C’s are that it is only valid for Sydney metro areasbetween 7am and 6pm on business days. Regardless, that’s fast.

The Iconic website

Another unique factor is that you can return your purchase up to 100 days from when you purchased it, and The Iconic will pay for the return shipping. To me this sounded a little suspicious. 100 days is more than a quarter of the year, by the time you return it, it will be out of fashion and tougher to sell. But after investigation I can confirm that although bizarre this offer is legit.

With over 135,000 likes on Facebook this site is pretty popular in OZ and NZ. Site presentation is the norm and easy to navigate. Although, the site appears plain with the main colours consisting of black and white and could use some jazzing up to make it more appealing. I assume that they are aiming for the ‘professional look’ but a bit of colour wouldn’t go astray.

I do give them kudos for their hilarity through out the site. Such as ‘we’re so keen to hear from you, you might confuse us with your clingy ex. We want to answer your questions, give you style advice and hear exactly what you thought of your experience with us!’ They have indeed used the right word – keen. I plan on recommending their number to my lonely Aunt Mary. It might save me a visit for our weekly chat, as I’m sure they would love to hear from her.

I have also seen The Iconic advertised on TV. Their ad is great and definitely sucked me in to visit their site. However after the first view I was yet to return (except for the purpose of this review). The assortment is great compering clothes and accessories from almost every brand you can think of from Adidas to Maurie and Eve. However, they seem to be similar prices to what you find in retail stores.

I don’t know about you but when I head to an online clothing website I want a good deal and a unique piece of clothing. Something people are going to admire and want to know where you purchased it, rather than already knowing.

I feel I can purchase The Iconic clothing in MYER for the same price along with the 17 other people that will also purchase the same dress. I suppose convenience is a positive, but so is trying on items in a changing room. Overall, this site just didn’t tickle my fancy.

 

Bridget’s button down 2/5 (1 for the design & variety and 1 for the postage & returns deals)

boohoo

Boohoo is yet another UK online clothing store that has really taken off in the past year or two. Launched in 2006 they boast they are ‘UK’s leading online fashion retailer’. (I don’t disbelieve this, but I wonder what measures were used to attain at this statement?)

Newly catering for men as well as women, this site is colossal. Accommodating a massive range with pages and pages of clothing it reminds me of ASOS reinvented a little trendier.

I recently dealt with boohoo after seeing their advertisement on television. This is the first time I have seen an online clothing site advertised on TV and was excited at this expansion. This confirms how clothing sites have recently increased in popularity extending their advertising to other media platforms. Within five minutes of visiting their site I was an instant aficionada, although a little overwhelmed by the variety.

boohoo website

I feel that if I don’t see every item the site has to offer I’m deprived of the sites full potential.  But it would take me days to wade through every page of BH, nevertheless from what I have seen, the site has a great deal of potential.

The first item that caught my eye was an extremely unique pair of floral pants, unlike any I had seen in retail stores before. I was enthralled to discover they were only $40 and with a quick look at the T’s & C’s I found there was free postage, even better. Postage is guaranteed to be with you anywhere in OZ within 8 days. I was slightly apprehensive on day 6, requiring them for a function on day 7. However, I shot them an email enquiring about my item and they were very helpful explaining that it had arrived in the country 4 days prior and assured me they would be delivered to my door by the following day.

Along with my delivery arrived a hardcopy magazine of their new items. I thought this was a great idea as it rekindled my love for looking at clothes via hardcopy, which was something I hadn’t experienced in a long time. There is nothing better than laying in the sun with a magazine dreaming of all the clothes you could buy when you win Tatslotto… maybe that’s just me.

Returning to the massive variety the BH website along with the many categories of dresses, tops, playsuits and jumpsuits (I had no idea these were different things) cardigans and tights, they also have a category labeled ‘Holiday Shop’. This tab features clothing items specifically to wear when holidaying, interesting.

Their clearance category is one of the best I have come across featuring ‘items under $10’. These are not just accessories like earrings or belts that were originally overpriced, but t-shirts and dressy shirts for $5. Good luck finding that in a retail shop.

Pants I purchased

The website navigation is very professional but easy to use and quite amusing to check out all the links. There is an extreme ‘refine by’ setting with every colour and size imaginable, but I’m sure it would be beneficial if looking for something in particular.

They are connected with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube so it is extremely easy to be kept up to date with new stock and deals. Another positive is they’re not into spamming like other sites. I am yet to receive an email from them except when my order was shipped, I’m sure this is an admirable element for some users who are overwhelmed by spam in their inbox on an hourly basis.

Boohoo user Kelly however, was disappointed with her experiences “The prices were great very affordable however, the quality of the attire I received were less than what I expected. I guess you get what you pay for.”

Prices range but it is not hard to pick up cheap clothes that are full priced and even cheaper in the clearance section. For the quality and quantity of clothes I have experienced I would say this is the cheapest site I have come across with many dresses just $40.

Bridget’s button down 5/5

Show Pony

Online Shopping sucks you in like that baby dragon Norbertfrom Harry Potter. Deep down it’s evil, but you can’t help but adore it.

website

There’s this thing about using your debit card online. It’s so easy to spend your hard earned cash with the click of a button, even when you thought you didn’t have any and struggle to buy grocery’s for the next week- see? Pure Evil.

Show Pony fashionis my latest discovery. I just happened to stumble across this website one day involuntarily, but since I have purchased 3 dresses and disbursed far too many pineapples.

One of the best things about SP is they update their stock regularly. I have them as a friend on facebook too and they constantly post new stock. None of that PR bullshit, ‘share’ our photo to win this dress… they only tell you what you need to know, like what’s new (and post the occasional funny meme) so I defz recommend befriending them.

My first dealings with them were satisfactory. I ordered a dress express post and it arrived the next day. Their policy is ‘order before 4pm for free next day delivery’, which is a bloody good deal.

However the dress I ordered was a size bigger than the one the model was pictured wearing but somehow it was like a top on me, even though the model was taller than me. The dress was so short it was un-wearable. I don’t understand the logic behind this… I have concluded the picture is an illusion.

Once the dress arrived and it wasn’t what I was after I emailed the staff and they were extremely lovely and understanding and even sent me kisses on the end of the email. We’re totez besties now XO.

SP has a very flexible returns policy. All I had to do was write that I required a store credit no exchange and this credit was automatically at the checkout on my showpony account for my next purchase. I did have to pay return potage though so that was a bit of a bummer and $7 poorer.

Dress I purchased

The next dress I ordered with my store credit was better, but I still wasn’t happy with it so I did the same thing and now I have a dress that I like. It’s still too short for me but I can deal with it.

I don’t know why online websites are fanatical about making dresses too short for the average lady. I’m a regular height (5 9’) and it seems every dress I’ve ever ordered has been too short. Yet somehow they always look the right length on the six-foot tall model, I demand an explanation!

Otherwise the website is easy to use with big pictures of the clothing items for sale. It’s annoying when you see an item you like then you have to wait for it to load to realise you’ve wasted 5 seconds of your life for a view of an unpleasant dress. The site is also optimised well for mobile use.

SP is pretty cheap as I am yet to see something over $100, with most dresses $70. The sale page is updated regularly, if you’ve got your eye on a dress and it’s not urgent definitely wait a little longer until it comes on sale, usually for around $40!

Tops and skirts can be picked up for $20 on sale. SP brags that all pieces are designed in Australia- Congrats, but where are they made showpony?

Bridget’s button down 3/5

Princess Polly

Princess Polly, the site that took my online shopping virginity. Back in the summer of ’09 I purchased my first ever clothing item from the Internet. A lovely little white lace dress that was way too short for me, but I loved it so much I still paraded around in it despite the charming view of bum cheek I exposed when I bent over.

Princess Polly website

Who knew this would be the initiation of my obsession. (Okay I admit it. I’m addicted.) But it definitely doesn’t help that every site you view has a stunning model wearing a dress that fits her perfectly and even though you are aware that she is definitely not the same size as you, you look at the beautiful dress and think wow, it’ll obviously look that good on me too. Sigh.  It’s not that we’re gullible. They are ingenious.

I have a soft spot for princesspolly. It was my first love and I still visit this site very regularly. In the past year it has become extremely popular amongst the gen y gals. This is great for the founders, but if you purchase  an outfit, you can’t guarantee someone won’t rock up with it on at your next big do. Bummer.

This Australian website began many moons ago in the summer of 2005 in a little boutique in Surfers Paradise. As well as their eminent website, they now have 13 stores around Australia with 2 freshly opening in VIC (Geelong & Hawthorn).

Princess Polly Brisbane store

I don’t like this new trend of online websites opening retail stores. I don’t see the purpose. Although it’s no different to retail stores like sportsgirls’ website presenting the option to purchase their clothes online. I say pick one development and go with it #dontbegreedy.

The perks of this website is the free express shipping. An item will take 4 days max to get to where you are in Oz. If an order is placed by 3pm you should have it by the next day. Great for that last minute fret on a Thursday arvo, when everyone’s talking about their new outfits for Saturday nights’ event and you’re still thinking FFS what on earth am I going to string together now.

While PP has some fantastic and unique dresses, they can be overpriced. Some are $100+ with the average around $70. I fell in love with a gorgeous PP dress that was $330, safe to say that love soon turned to heartbreak when I couldn’t justify spending that on a dress I would probably wear once when $330 can get me 5 new dresses. I guess I’m one of those quantity of quality people.

Me (middle) wearing princesspolly dress

Recently though, I haven’t worshipped this website. I still visit it regularly with hope that something amazing will be obtainable for under $50. Unfortunately my optimisms are always crushed, but I still like to evaluate their new stuff and see what they have on sale. But I have been disappointed with their most recent range, I guess it’s not really my taste.

23 year old Ally has purchased multiple items from the site and agrees ‘the designs are all great but probably a bit too overpriced. I tend to only buy something from the sale category’.

Newly PP has had a website makeover. The layout is definitely easier to navigate and looks much better, but I can’t help but think they have embezzled the design from asos. It’s almost identical. But it does work well so who am I to judge.

Bridget’s button down 3.5/5

ASOS

ASOS is the mother of all online clothes shopping.  I have spent many hours adding countless asos clothing items to my cart knowing I will never actually purchase them… Stop your judgment right there; I’m sure you’ve done it too.

This UK website has the biggest variety of clothing you will ever see. According to my calculations if you were to look at every item of clothing on the site, it would take you 2.3 weeks. Okay so maybe that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea.

ASOS has over 13.6 million unique visitors a month from 160 different countries. So the variety is necessary. They have won numerous business awards including E-tailer of the year four times since it’s launch in 2000.

While their variety is great their sales are even better. Hundreds of clothing items are on sale everyday for up to 70% off. I have purchased many dresses for under $25 that look as though they are worth $100+.

Another perk is the free delivery. ASOS recently launched an Australian site, which means express post is $10 and standard delivery is free. This new site is much easier to navigate and the best part is that you don’t have to convert the prices back to Aussie dollars, now that was a pain.

Me (on right) wearing $24 asos dress-bargain!

Standard delivery really is snail mail. ASOS claims it will deliver your item within 6-12 days. You really do need to cater for the latter. Even with express delivery it can still take up to 7 days, so if you need that dress by the weekend I sure hope the gods are on your side.

While variety is good, sometimes the site becomes overwhelming with hundreds of pages of clothes becoming boring after a while. I wish I could choose the refine settings to only show ‘clothes that I would actually wear and can afford’. Some of them I wouldn’t let my grandma wear to bed.

ASOS has clothes for men and kids as well as the ‘petite’, ‘curvy’ and pregnant.  Unfortunately they are yet to cater for a petite curvy pregnant lady but at least they try.

Frequent shopper Taylah has been using the ASOS site for 5 years.

“I would never consider shopping online elsewhere. The pricing is reasonable and their customer service is great. They’re everything an online shop needs-Love ‘em!”

Alice has ordered from ASOS twice and has had a pretty good run.

“The only problem I’ve had is that the colours can be slightly different in real life. A pale orange top I ordered turned out to be bright orange. But overall I am happy with ASOS”.

Bridget’s button down 4.5/5

Generation www

Online Shopping. It’s great when you find a bargain or when your too lazy to get out of bed and to the shower to visit retail stores and be pestered by shop assistants acting like they’re your best friends calling you ‘babe’ and telling you how good you look in a dress that’s two sizes too small but it’s looks fantastic because it’s the only size they have left. But then there’s the downfall, the added postage costs, the patience you must possess to receive a 3 week order from America and of course there’s no try-before-you-buy policy, so that perfect-fitting size 10 you ordered is really a super skinny size 6, oh shit.

This surge towards online shopping will allegedly cost Australia 50,000 jobs over the next five years, according to the National Retail Association. Does that make you feel guilty for wanting to save an extra $20 on that last dress you purchased online despite seeing it in MYER? It really is all your fault.

But I’m sure the guilt will subside as soon as you get that email from ASOS forcing you to click the link because there’s another 20% off for students, just your luck!

I’m not trying to turn you against online shopping in fact I’m encouraging it. It is far too convenient for that. However, I don’t encourage you to spend your week’s wage on that $120 cha cha dress from princesspolly. Yes, we all love it, but eating is important too.

With so many clothing sites sometimes it’s hard finding the right one, or it can become too monotonous visiting the same site every week, or every day or every hour (ok too far, you need help).  Hopefully I can introduce you too some original sites and help you save that desperately needed time and money by doing the hard work for you.