Online boutiques are a great alternative to dragging partners or kids round crowded malls. But foreign brands, baffling sizing and enormous shipping charges can make us a bit nervous about shopping online. Here’s our pick of the best online stores for your next fashion fix, according to your shopping style.
Reebonz is a members’ only website that allows you to purchase heavily discounted designer brands like Miu Miu, Balenciaga and Prada through private sale events. Membership is on an invitation-only basis. Luckily for you, you’ve already been invited. Enter invitation code “ExpatTreats” and never look back.
We love: The new Reebonz iphone and ipad app, which means you never miss a sales event.
Shipping: Free delivery on all items. They should arrive within three working days. If you don’t like it: You have 14 working days to return items for a refund in Reebonz credit.
Sizing: Huge range of sizes, from US 2 to 16.
Best buys: Vintage Chanel classic flap evening bag, Fendi star-embellished chef new large tote.
Based in Singapore, Cate offers a great variety of pieces that are ideal for working in a corporate environment in Asia. This means you can pull off conservative chic without compromising on style, plus it’s lightweight, too. Cate’s speciality is excellent tailoring and office outfits that can be worn from boardroom to bar.
We love: The fantastic range of cutting-edge Singaporean designers and labels including the Beth dress by Capri by Audrey, and a Gerri cotton romper from Yu.
Shipping: Costs $5. Deliveries can be expected within five working days.
Sizing: There’s a handy international conversion chart for each brand. If you don’t like it: You can return it within five days if you’re a Singapore resident and there’s a free collection and refund service for those who live in the CBD.
Best buys: Rayon twill blazer by Al&Alicia with blue dress from George.
Net-a-porter has single-handedly revolutionised online shopping for high-end brands. The website is presented in the style of a magazine, making it super-easy to find this season’s styles and trends. It’s the little extras like the finishing touches on packaging and its speedy and reliable delivery that have made Net-a-porter so popular among global fashionistas.
We love: A dazzling array of high-end designers from Alberta Ferretti to Yves Saint Laurent.
Shipping: Not cheap at $40 plus local GST (anything over $400 and you’ll be charged 7 percent of the total value), but orders arrive in just two or three working days in tiptop condition. Plus, there’s a whisper they’re to be launching in Singapore soon.
Sizing: A breeze. Each product has exact measurements alongside handy tips and recommendations about fit and drape.
If you don’t like it: Request a Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) number within a week of receiving your products to track your refund. After receiving it, you then have a fortnight to return your products.
Best buys: Erdem Anneli floral print silk satin dress.
A truly beautiful online boutique based in Singapore, with a unique selection of vintage collectibles ranging from dresses, jewellery and shoes to home-ware. Many of the dresses are one-off pieces.
We love: All purchases come gift-wrapped in a Ribbon and Roses cotton sack filled with dried rose petals, making them ideal birthday gifts.
Shipping: Delivery cost $6 and takes from two to four days.
If you don’t like it: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss exchanges and refunds.
Sizing: May prove trickier as the uniqueness of all products means sizing may vary slightly, but owner Marina welcomes sizing queries via email.
Best buy: Purple-side sleeve detail dress
A firm favourite, Asos always offers a huge variety of the latest trends in evening wear, to suit almost every budget.
We love: the Asos online magazine, which allows you to purchase items directly from the pages – genius!
Shipping: Standard shipping costs $10 and takes 11 working days.
If you don’t like it: You have 28 days after your goods arrive for a full refund.
Sizing: Use the asos.com size guide for measurements and fitting tips.
Best buy: Aqua Faith pencil dress with shoulder puff.
Launched in 2008 by two friends with a passion for international designers, SplusM is a quirky online boutique located right here in Singapore.
We love: Quirky Australian designers like Alice McCall and Life With Bird, reputed to be favourites of Nicole Richie and Chloe Sevigny.
Shipping: $10 to any Singapore address, or free if you spend over $800. Delivery in three-to-five working days.
If you don’t like it: For up to 30 days after delivery, you can exchange them for a different size.
Sizing: Most products are sized from XS to XL. The SplusM conversion chart is useful and accurate in converting to UK and US sizes.
Best buy: Parakeets bustier dress by Alice McCall
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