It’s 30 degrees outside, and the few high street shops that we have are already filled to the rafters with winter clothes. So what do we do? To find that high street fix and still cling on to the last days of summer fashion… go online!
Sorry if I’m already preaching to the converted, but a post about online shopping has to contain reference to the wonder store asos. Launched back in 2000, asos has grown to be an online shopper’s delight. Together with its own label, asos carries a number of international brands including UK high street favourites River Island, Warehouse, French Connection, Karen Millen, Oasis etc.
Now you might say we have Karen Millen here, so why do I need to shop online for it? The black dress above retails online on ASOS for £235 (HK2926) and in store in Hong Kong it retails at a whopping HK3900 (£311!). That’s a huge difference! I always thought that the likes of KM marked up due to the high cost of rental in HK but not by this much. This was an eye opener!
The good news for us is there’s an outlet/clearance section carrying summer frocks and swimwear. I often struggle with picking up swimwear at an affordable price in HK so asos saved my bacon recently when in need of a few new bikinis. You can mix and match bottoms and tops — a godsend for those of us who have a bigger bottom than top half or vice versa!
Before you get carried away, a word of caution, you do have to pay return postage on non suitable items! Although I am a real fan of asos, it’s worth noting that sometimes I have been disappointed by the quality of its own label range dresses which a fellow online shopper also agreed with me over a glass of vino the other night. I’ve had no problems with its own brand swimwear, though. Worldwide shipping is free and the turnaround times are pretty quick — about 10 days for Hong Kong from ordering to arriving at your door.
One of the selling points about Shopbop is that the worldwide shipping in 3 days or less (orders have to be over US100 [HK779], if under US100 then you pay US10).
When I first clicked on Shopbop I thought, “Here we go another site packed with high end designers”. Although it does offer high end frocks, you can filter these out and get down to high street prices with their handy search engine. As for returns, it looks like these are done via DHL and there’s a blanket cost of HK283 from Hong Kong…so get it right! At the moment there are some summer sale bargains to be had. Also, for the higher end stuff it has a helpful wish list feature which you can set up to notify you when your posh frock goes on sale.
Topshop, the UK favourite with the masses and stars alike is now offering free worldwide delivery on orders over GBP75 (HK940). Delivery time is 5-7 working days and unwanted items are to be returned at your own cost.
Don’t let the image of pouty models, bad photoshop and push-up bras put you off! Again another favourite with my friends for swimwear, lingerie and beachwear. There’s a summer special on at the moment with “sexy steals” from HK230 to HK463HKD. They also have a denim section with 20% off.
Orders take 14-21 business days and unfortunately you have to pay for international shipping based on the value of your order. For example an order of US125 (HK975) will cost US38.99 (HK304) in shipping. To speed up your order you can opt for an express service by adding US20 to the standard shipping charge. With such shipping charges you get more bang for your buck with the likes of ASOS and Topshop.
From 5-18 September Firefly are having a huge clearance sale. Firefly is an Australian brand, specialising in beach and resortware and they also have a Little Miss Firefly range for our little ladies. International shipping is available but at a cost taking between 5-15 working days sent by Australian Registered Airmail.
I hadn’t come across the flash sales concept until recently when my husband, not one to encourage my shopping, told me about Shouke. Designer brands such as Missoni are offered over 6 days only at discounted prices. Join their mailing list to get first dabs when your favourite designers are on flash sale. Y3 is currently on sale. I was disappointed to see that delivery is 100HKD, given that the brand is based in HK, but for first time members you get a 50HKD credit for joining, so you can use that against your postage.
Love the name, love the frocks! I discovered the WTF?! girls, Lauren & Maria, over a year ago and love their range of frocks in good prints, silks, short, to the knee or maxi. They also have something for everyone and only produce a handful in each design so no more H&M moments where you see your dress on every female Tom, Dick & Harry. Frock on Mamas!
Tailors for Tweaks
And finally, if the online purchases don’t quite fit, Worldwide House has a number of tailors. I’ve used Million Fashion Altering Co (shop no.225, World Wide House, 19 Des Voeux Rd, Central, 2526 3886) which are good and have done some trickier alterations including evening dresses for me. Not the cheapest but of a high standard, reliable and quick. The other one that I’ve heard is good and more reasonably priced is at shop no. 247 in World Wide House. But don’t go to early… These shops don’t open until 10 / 10.30am but are open late.
I couldn’t leave you without telling you about StrawberryNET. Well known perfumes, skincare and make up galore at discount prices. Gorgeous for gorgeous, click away! That’s all for this week..embrace the goddess within.