As great as the brand Goliaths are for releasing covetable items daily, the field of online shopping is extensive, and it is well worth having an off-piste foray into the less well-known shops for fresh inspiration. Here is a rundown of some of the hidden gems at the best lesser-known websites on the market:
1. Runway Bandits (found at http://www.runwaybandits.com/)
The ethos: Soft-focus, with monochrome and block pastels. Featuring elegant girly with collars, dresses, and skirts.
If it was a person: Collects ‘texture’ cushions, especially Mongolian ones, and likes Yankee candles. Least likely person to fall over in a puddle.
Best of: The Silas dress or the Narth Dress.
2. Olive Clothing (found at http://www.oliveclothing.com/)
The ethos: Casual heritage. Much knitwear, including knitted hats and jumpers, styled with tartan skirts. Baggy, stripy layers under dungarees.
If it was a person: Has a beard/dates a beard. Most likely to be surrounded by exposed wood, bookshelves, coffee, and lots of literature. When being photographed will always look somewhere other than the camera lens.
Best of: The Corduroy Pinafore dress, every single one of the striped tops, and for men, the Brixton Beanie.
3. Front Row Shop (found at http://www.frontrowshop.com/)
The ethos: Eclectic, no definitive overall ‘vibe’ other than being streets ahead of trends. PU skirts, faux fur coats, and tapered trousers.
If it was a person: Unpredictable. Pursuer of wide-ranging hobbies including: chess-boxing, life drawing, and panto society. Most unconsidered dancer you will meet.
Best of: Robot Resin Earrings, Navy two-piece ‘Spliced’ dress.
4. Beyond Retro (found at http://www.beyondretro.com/en/)
The ethos: The vintage holy grail. Every clothing imaginable, beaming between ’20s Flapper Girl to ’90s Grunge. Extra special lingerie section including vintage slips and bed jackets.
If it was a person: Has perfected pin-up victory rolls and the Gibson girl, and is in demand for their in-depth knowledge of fashion evolution. Has been to every Itchy Feet night at Mint Lounge and teaches Swing dance classes.
Best of: The range of leopard print faux fur coats, or the entirety of the ‘Gothic Regal’ section.
5. Nasty Gal (found at http://www.nastygal.com/)
The ethos: Every item is a ‘statement’, bold verging on Rihanna. Chains, rips, laces, deep thigh slits, sequins, and flares; sounds anarchic but looks amazing.
If it was a person: Has a wall calendar just for house parties. Has already clocked the ‘glitter roots’ hair trend and bought the tools ready for take-off. Is fiercely protective over their cat, and once drunk-ordered it a tent.
Best of: Katarina Mesh Blouse in beige, or the ‘Renaissance Woman’ Bell Sleeve Velvet Top
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