The Family Panel love to look great when they go out, but sometimes making the time to go clothes shopping can be difficult. 20SomethingMum has been trying out clothes shopping online with Very.co.uk.
With High Street shops sadly affected by the recession, and many stores moving to out of town locations, like in my own town, it can be hard to find good quality and affordable clothes locally. If like me, you don't have access to a car, the idea of a day of shopping can mean bundling the tots, plus buggy and essentials like nappies and snacks onto a train, or even two trains, to reach a shopping centre. Even then, there's no guarantee that you'll find what you're looking for, and by the time you come home, you're often tired, stressed and wondering why you bothered in the first place.
That's where Very.co.uk come in.
Based on the Internet, they don't have a High Street outlet, and the only travelling required is to move from sofa to PC! With a wide range of items, from clothes for all the family, gifts, shoes, jewelery as well as homewares, toys and electricals, there is something to suit all budgets.
And there's not just one particular label contained on the site- big brands are available too, such as Miss Sixty, Bench, Diesel and Lipsy. There are even ranges designed by well known style favourites Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby, Denise Van Outen and even Steve Jones, who all take from their own personal and in some cases individual styles to provide something just that little bit different, and which aren't available anywhere else, either online or in shops.
The Love Label, South range and Savoir range, again not available anywhere on the High Street, mixes the latest must have trends from the catwalks, with classic pieces which can be worn time and again, but with dresses which start at £16, and jeans for £10, its easy to see why Very have helpfully placed these items in their Great Value section.
The site is incredibly easy to navigate, and even the most novice of wannabe fashionistas can find style tips- click on a certain item and the site will give you hints on what may go with the item you've already chosen, or will show alternatives which you may prefer, from across the whole site.
The sizes are great too-with sizes up to 22 available. Helpfully, on every item if the customer waves the mouse over the picture of the item, the site tells you if its in stock- so no disappointment on ordering and finding out at the check out its not available.
I tried out a Love Label Jersey Maxi Dress, which cost a very reasonable £29.00. It took just a day to arrive and was very well packaged. I was happy to see that the dress was exactly as represented in the online graphic and the quality is great, I've not seen a dress like it in any local stores so I know that I have something which beats the usual fashion must have rush! Its a simple long-sleeved maxi, meaning it can go from summer to winter just by adding different accessories, and it washes in the machine with no sign of pulling or stretching. For those not so keen on longsleeved maxi dresses, there are plenty more styles to choose from as the website contains a whole section devouted to Maxi dresses
I teamed it with a Lipsy Padlock Pendant, in silver, which cost £12.00. Again, this arrived at the same time as my dress, and was just as shown.
Some people are put off by shopping online, simply because they feel they cannot try before they buy, and its harder to see what an item looks like if not hanging in a store. However, Very give great descriptions as well as 360 views of all the item on site. There are also reviews of items from other customers, and sizing guides. And if all else fails, there is a no quibble returns policy, so if you really don't feel an item is you, or the size is wrong, then you can send it back, no questions asked.
Those on a budget can even pay weekly small amounts for purchases (on request and determined by your credit rating), or even pay next year for bigger items.
I have been pleasantly surprised by my first experience of online clothes shopping, and will be bookmarking Very.co.uk to use again. A must see site for busy Mums or those disillusioned by the lack of variety available locally- you can't get much more local than your own laptop!