I SPEND FAR too much time browsing fashion websites. My husband thinks I’m working, which, most of the time I am, but when I need a break I’m off in a tear, searching online for real and imagined wants.
Because I no longer live in an area that’s convenient to shopping for such, I’m even more attached to my browser than previously.
As the world of online shopping has exploded, so have the number of sites soliciting our shekels. So, when a friend of mine asked whether I would put together a list of my favorites— ones that readers might not find easily for themselves—I had to think hard about which ones I’d recommend and why.
As you probably know if you’ve been here before, I’m a fan of the San Francisco-based Everlane. The company maintains their “products are made at ethical factories, from the finest materials, and sold without traditional markups.” In particular I like their shirts, including the Relaxed Poplin Shirt ($65) and the Light Oxford Collarless Square Shirt ($65, shown above). The quality of the cotton is good enough you can wash the shirts yourselves and press with a light iron after line drying. I debated whether I could buy pants online at all, but I went for it and purchased Everlane’s Slouchy Chino Pant ($58) in June. I’ve worn them constantly. Now I’m waiting for the trench coat I’ve been eying for a couple of seasons to return to the site in early fall. Fingers crossed.
I haven’t been to Richmond, Va., in a few years, but when I go again, I plan to stop at Need Supply on Cary Street. The store also happens to have an excellent website that’s not so exhausting you can’t quickly browse through the offerings. A mix of brands span the price range from a gingham ruffled blouse by Campbell for $78 to a Ganni floral crepe shirt for $148 to Robert Clergerie loafers for $725.
Three-year-old e-commerce startup Spring sells clothes from 2,000 clothing brands through its mobile app and website. (Groupe Arnault, the investment arm of luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, is an investor.) Items for sale on Spring range from women’s Levi’s jeans on sale for $50 to $1,110 Gucci loafers—and lots in between. In addition to men’s and women’s clothing, the site also sells home design, tech products and gear for kids, so the selection can overwhelm you. Think sheets from Brooklinen, men’s shirts from Brooks Brothers, frocks from the trendy Brock Collection and Balenciaga moto jackets all in one space.
My savvy daughter-in-law turned me on to Sweaty Betty. The London-based activewear company was founded by Tamara Hill-Norton, whose goal was to make clothes that could go from the studio to the street. I’ve been very happy with the power leggings ($105) I bought last fall and I wear for Pilates, yoga and as my favorite bottoms when I’m working at home. The butt-sculpting properties of the pants are worth the price. I recently spotted this oxblood cashmere-blend knit hoodie ($265, see above) and can see how it would make the ideal, throw-it-on piece for multiple occasions.
Begun by an ambitious fashion entrepreneur who first opened a store in Seattle and then Soho, the Totokaelo site feels fashion-insidery with labels like Yang-Li and Nehera that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Curated for a sophisticated, artsy audience who can never get enough black clothing.
NET A PORTER bet that customers would buy high-end designer clothing online when many of the high-end designers themselves were shunning the web. Founder Natalie Massanet was right. In 2015, Net A Porter merged with Yoox to become an even stronger player in the online fashion stakes. Even if you’re not buying, the site is always worth a look for the way it smartly coordinates outfits from its featured designers.
Moda Operandi is the relatively new kid on the block. Its claim to fame is allowing users to order clothes directly off the runways of fashion week. Even more than Net A Porter, it seems like a site for the one-percenters. Nevertheless, one can dream, and the clothing featured on the site is frequently inspiring and sometimes within mortal means.