Blogshopping 101

I’d always scoffed at buying clothes online.

Where was the fun of trying things on? What if it looked way better in the pictures than on you?

Then I found out they were selling a version of the convertible dress on The Pop Look thanks to Kim.

Kim looks great in her dress but sadly despite ordering it in navy, I had to settle for the pink one instead because they’d run out of stock. I didn’t like the colour on me and I wasn’t crazy about the fabric either.

You’d think I’d stop buying clothes online but no, instead I decided to see if I could find decent vintage clothing online.

I stumbled on the excellent local vintage blogshop review site The Vintage Affair.

Besides profiling some of the best dresses you can get online, it’s also a great resource for links to the best vintage blogs around. Thanks to the site, I stumbled across a gem of a dress on Sunny Sideup Closet and never looked back.

A note on vintage clothing shopping:

1. Prices are usually really cheap. Dresses can start as low as RM30 and rarely if ever reach RM100.

2. The clothes are thrifted so they might have been used or as they call it ‘pre-loved’. So shops with good feedback ratings are important. The better stores will make sure your clothes arrived promptly, cleaned and in good condition.

3. Vintage clothing is a better bet if you like classic cuts as they’re made better and to last. A dress I bought from Vintage Day Out for only RM30 was made in Italy but had Japanese labels but the fit and cut was amazing.

4. Vintage clothes also tend to be more forgiving of women not built like planks. Since I’m busty, shortwaisted and anything but skinny, shopping at local stores is a pain. Though European franchises such as Naf Naf and MNG do make dresses that flatter my curves, I could buy 3 vintage dresses for what one MNG dress costs. And they’d likely fit better.

5. If you see a gorgeous, cheap vintage dress – if you can spare the dough, buy it. It’s likely one of a kind and you’re not going to see a girl wearing the same dress as you. Embarassing, that.

Other frugal options: pre-loved.

Eew. Buying used clothes? I know some of you find the idea distasteful but there are so many girls out there who make impulse purchases and end up selling those hardly worn clothes online. Why pay full price for trendy stuff when you can buy almost new clothes online?

If you’re really worried about hygiene, then wash/disinfect the clothes once you get them. It’s no different from department stores where you buy dresses someone has probably had on before you got your hands on them.

Besides pre-loved stores, you can also buy ridiculously cheap though not necessarily well-made clothes from bundle shops. ‘Bundles’ are usually clothes sold in huge bales that are shipped from overseas. Wealthier countries give their clothes/factory overruns/old season clothes to Goodwill or Salvation Army and they in turn sell the bundles to make money.

I stumbled across Kisses Bundle Shop and couldn’t help picking up 5 dresses for the equivalent of RM10 each. I even got another dress thrown in free so that was RM60 for 6 dresses? Not bad at all. (My free dress is in the picture)

One thing’s the pity: there are few blogshops that sell clothes for men.

Tip: If you want your favourite dresses to last longer, hand washing is usually the kinder option. For ‘only dry clean’ items, so long as they’re not silk you can get away with handwashing. But it’s better to dry clean it the first time and then subsequently use gentle ivory soap or even delicate cycles on your washing machine.

Pre-orders?

Now if you’re buying new clothes online (something the newly frugal me doesn’t like doing), you’ll see pre-order sites. What sucks about pre-orders:

1. The waiting. Even some so-called ‘ready stock’ shops take ages to post things to you like this one store, Agape Boutique. Will not link them as frankly their service was shoddy (and late) and I basically had to wait 2 weeks for scary red hooker wedge shoes.

2. The prices. Most pre-order shops aren’t cheap and looking at the selection, heck I’ d be better off just going to Sungai Wang and paying pretty much the same prices.

Other links I love:

Shop Paperdoll Sammy – Sammy sells her preloved clothes on this blog. She’s hilarious! And creates cute custom paperdoll illustrations of the clothes she sells. Bought a preloved denim skirt with lace trim from her as all my current skirts are a bit on the short side.

Shopping Roll – Links to the most updated/popular blogshops all on one site!

Night Owl Says – Gossip and ratting out sellers who overprice their clothes. Worth a look so you’ll learn if you’re being ripped off as well as avoid bad sellers. Plenty of scams abound out there in the online blogshop world.

Shop Style Shack – Nice preloved stuff. Bought 2 pairs of flats from owner. Prompt delivery, great service. Also it’s having a sale!

Shopaholic Epitomist – New/preloved. Really sweet blogowner!

WARNINGS

1. Blogshopping can be addictive especially if you’re working from home at the moment like me.

2. Beware infrequently updated blogs. Likely the owners have stopped selling/are too busy/are zombies.

3. If you’re buying new clothes, for the love of God SHOP AROUND. Some stores might carry the same item but a few will significantly mark up the clothes.

4. Unless you’re buying a whole lot of clothes, please don’t be cutesy and try to wangle discounts from the seller. Especially if you’re buying a vintage dress which likely has 2-3 people waiting just in case a buyer backs out.

5. Once you confirmed a purchase, don’t back out at the last minute unless you fancy being blacklisted. You will be named and shamed so don’t expect people to want your business after a while.

Happy shopping!

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