Shopping as a young professional is tough. It seems like so many stores have two ends of the spectrum, teen and matron, and nothing in between. Even the ones that do (think Gap, Old Navy, Loft) mean braving the mall, lines, and almost certain traffic. Let's face it. You just can't do the mall on your lunch break.
So we turn to our trusty friend, the internet. A world of clothes, all at our fingertips. But where do you start? Do you go traditional (again, Gap, Old Navy, Loft)? Do you go edgy (Express, H&M, Urban Outfitters)? Or do you go off the beaten path and try a boutique?
Let me tell you. There are TONS of options for online boutiques. Some have niches, but most are a compilation of all the cute clothes you see on everyone else, the one that makes that girl you'd love to hate look like she spent an hour getting ready, even though she claims she rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing she saw.
So I'm here to guide you through the treacherous terrain of online shopping. Here are a few of my favorite boutiques &what you can expect. Happy shopping!
Red Dress Boutique
Red Dress Boutique is one of my favorite go-to's. They have a mix of southern staples and on-trend looks, including rompers, dresses, skirts and more. They also have super cute shoes, scarves, hats and accessories. Lately, they've been rocking a hippie, seventies theme that I'm really into; flare jeans, crop tops and off-the-shoulder everything. Fit is pretty true to size. They have free shipping for orders $50 or more, and free returns within 7 days. The best part for those of you in Greenville? Their warehouse is in Atlanta, so stuff comes super quickly!
The Mint Julep Boutique
More Southern than anything else, The Mint Julep Boutique will help you wear your Southern belle-ness on your sleeve. Literally. They've got tons of cute dresses, tops and sweaters for every season. I particularly love their selection of maxi dresses in the summer. Check out their shoe selection too, which usually boasts some pretty killer wedges for summer. I'm not as big of a fan of their boots, but then, I'm pretty picky about my winter footwear. Fit runs slightly large, so definitely double check their conversion charts for sizing. With their special perks, you get $10 off your first order, and they have free shipping for orders of $100 or more.
Although they have brick-and-mortar retail stores, sometimes shopping online offers a larger variety, since not all stores get the same stock and often they don't get restock. Plus, free shipping to all brick-and-mortar locations is a huge bonus. It's like buying in-store, but without leaving your couch. I'm especially partial to their jewelry, which is always funky and different (unless all your friends shop at the same store, then you might all end up with the same necklace). They've got an awesome "planet necklace" that goes with literally everything - it can take jeans and a tee from laid back to fun night out. They get a mix of stuff I'd wear in a heartbeat and stuff I'd never wear in a million years, but they're always a solid choice if you're not quite sure what you're looking for. Clothes fit true to size, with the exception of bottoms, which run small. Like I said before, they ship free to their stores, so if there's one near you (Greenville ladies, Augusta St right by the Panera), definitely worth it.
Spool No.72 is a recent find of mine. They specialize in vintage-y clothes with a boho-chic emphasis. Right now, they have some really awesome sales on winter clothes, meaning cheap sweaters, hats and boots. The vintage feel is a reflection of Spool's humble beginnings - a local farmer's market where the Spool girls would sell their hand-made clothing, vintage boots and jewelry designs. I've only just bought my first item from them, but it's already on the list of boutiques to check when I need something new. Shipping takes a little longer since Spool No.72 is based in Washington state, but so far I've been very happy. They offer free shipping on orders $150 or more and returns or exchanges within the first 30 days, although no free shipping on returns. Definitely a boutique worth keeping your eye on!
Okay, I know this is technically not a "boutique," in that they specialize in shoes and bags, with clothes as almost an afterthought. But if you need cute shoes for cheap, this is the place to go. Plus, their clothes have gotten increasingly cute (although I have yet to buy anything) and their bags are sturdy, well-made and right on trend. If you join the VIP club, you'll be charged $39.95 a month unless you choose to buy something within the first 5 days of the month. There's always the option to skip a month (an option I exercise regularly), or a credit will show up in your account. This is where I get almost all of my shoes. They're comfortable, cute, and hold up well. I've gotten sandals, wedges and boots and been happy with everything! Shoes run a little small, but you can't beat the price. Shipping is quick, usually mine arrive within 2-3 days after ordering. If you're a shoe fanatic, or just need a new pair of shoes and don't want to pay department store prices, this is the place for you.
Shoot the Moon LA
I'd be remiss if I left this little boutique off the list. Run entirely online, Shoot the Moon LA carries closet staples along with trendy pieces like rompers, maxis and joggers. But my favorite part is their jewelry of the month club - the owner, Carrie, handpicks three pieces of jewelry each month for you. You can pay by the month or purchase a block of months at once. Their jewelry is super-cute, on trend and sure to make any outfit. They also sell customizable necklaces and bracelets which make for super-cute wedding presents (new initials, anyone?), graduation presents, birthday presents and just because presents. Right now, they're in the midst of clearing out inventory, so tops are $9. Can't beat that! Clothes fit true to size. Shipping is a flat $4.95 fee anywhere in the US, and they offer free shipping on orders $75 or more.
Did I miss any? Let me know your favorites in the comments.
"You can never be over-dressed or under-educated" Oscar Wilde