Hands up who remembers the laborious days of spending time doing hair and makeup to go out to the shops for a few hours; of dashing out to that shop you love, ten minutes before it closes due to your hideously hectic work schedule, to pick up a dress you need for the same night. Read on for an easy peasy solution to your retail woes – the internet.

Gone are the days where you need to think about changing into something a bit more befitting prior to spending all your time in a changing room. The following is a much needed, heavily researched list of online shopping websites that will direct you to the cream of the crop of online shopping.

Apart from the fact that online shopping is almost always cheaper and offers great discounts to all, it is undeniably satisfying to get a pretty parcel delivered to your door just for you after a long week. Happy browsing!

We girls love our accessories, and as any designer will tell you, you can pull off any outfit once you have accessorised accordingly. A good quality pair of sunglasses and handbag will work wonders for your get up. Whether you are a ripped-jeans kind of gal or hooked on lace and cashmere, these sites have something for everyone.

Dannijo.com – handmade, metallic, sparkling accessories that are a favourite of celebrities such as Blake Lively – great for grabbing a coffee with the girls or livening up your favourite little black dress.

Tomassa.com – exquisite and classical jewellery. Perhaps more expensive than most would be prepared for, but with insurance included in the shipping price, and quality shining out of each product every time it catches the light, you can rest easy knowing it is money well spent.

Shopspikethepunch.com – bright and colourful crystal necklaces and thickset chains are these people’s specialty. Ideal for achieving the ‘Festival Goddess’ look.

Prettylittlething.com – if it’s elegant yet edgy fashion-ware you’re looking for, look no further. Pretty Little Thing presents to us the delightful concept of spikes and leather mixed with lace and flowers.

Photo credit: MIKELIKEBIKE (Flikr)

Photo credit: MIKELIKEBIKE (Flikr)

In these hard times it is more important than ever to support local businesses and Irish companies. Here are some websites you will be proud to say are Irish.

Alila.ie – if you’re the kind of girl who likes to party hard but who also enjoys the classy, chic image, look no further. These guys will be able to sort you out for any occasion. With shipping charged by weight, these guys will set you up with all you need for a day at the races or a night on the town, pronto!

Iclothing.ie – the aim of iclothing is to bring celeb styles to a wardrobe near you. Packed with adorable shoes and sweet dresses, iclothing will see to it that you catch everyone’s eye.

9crowstreet.com – An Irish vintage shop whose roots are in Temple Bar. This site is very user-friendly, and with such glamourous and flattering clothes, you would almost feel rude if you didn’t surrender!

Miinto.ie – this website is all about boutiques. Stocking both Irish and European brands, there’s a price and a style to suit everybody.

If you’re setting out to go on an all-girls holiday to places like Ibiza, Magaluf or Kavos or your summer is going to be spent socialising in your hometown, here are international shopping websites that deserve all of your love.

Stylebop.com – the most impressive thing about this gang is their sale section. With stock such as Givenchy, you won’t be stuck for style, but the sale section will help steer you onto a path of bargains and couture.

Modekungen.se – Sweden – we love you for this. This website is irresistibly stylish and is the best site to go to if it is cute accessories you’re looking for.

Boohoo.com – an old reliable full to the brim of old favourites. Whether you’re looking for a slick bodycon skirt or an unusual Wonderland-style dress, Boohoo will deck you out from head to toe, leaving you looking bonny to boot.

Quality deserves the majority of your attention when it comes to shopping for shoes, so beef up your budget for the sake of your tootsies’ future.

Size guides are a crucial element to apply yourself to when you are shopping online. Just because you are a size 6 in Penny’s Pumps does not mean you will fit into every size 6 you come across on the net. Unless you call yourself ‘a small 6’ (i.e.: a 5 ½), you should probably order a size up when high heels are involved. Better to have an extra inch of room than be lacking an inch therefore being in agony the entire time they are on your feet. Likewise, if you know you have wide feet or that you can only sometimes squeeze into size 7 pumps – go for the 8.

Newlook.com is great for dependable shoe sizes. They also have a huge range of styles, colours, fabrics and patterns. They do runners, high heels, pumps, stilettos, boots and kitten heels so you are guaranteed to find something suited to your taste.

To get the most enjoyment out of the experience, it is important to remember the following things when you’re shopping online.

1.      Only shop on legitimate websites.

It probably sounds almost too obvious, but it can be a fatal mistake if you don’t take the time to check certain things out. For example, before you purchase anything, make sure the web page has a small padlock in the bottom corner (this will let you know the website is credible and secure). Read ANY small print you come across that deals with payment details.

2.      Be familiar with all your sizes.

Shoe size, dress sizes, bra size – no matter what it is, make certain you have requested the right size before paying. You can’t try anything on first like you can in a shop, so to save yourself grief check the size guides and be honest with yourself as well.

3.      Know what you’re paying for.

If you purchase a dress that costs €20, and the checkout price is €30, make sure you haven’t missed any information on the website about taxes and customs fees. The larger the item, the more you will have to pay, especially when purchasing from an international company.

4.      Keep on top of your bank statements.

After purchasing something online, it is imperative to check your credit card and bank statements. Keep an eye out for money you didn’t spend being charged to or taken away from your account.

5.      Keep the receipt.

Once again, it may seem quite an obvious thing to do, but the World Wide Web is a big place. Information gets lost and distorted. Orders may not always reach the other end. Any professional website will give you either a receipt to print out or a reference number to hang on to should anything go wrong with your order. Hold onto these until you have received and are decidedly satisfied with your product. Then file it away for future reference, just in case.

 

Happy shopping ladies!