Ever tried to go clothes shopping for yourself with kid(s) in tow? Between toting a toddler while carrying unwieldy hangers, and then attempting to catch a mannequin in mid-air because your little one has pulled its skirt down therefore making it fall over (yes, it happened), a shopping excursion ends up being an exercise in futility with nothing more than a pair of hose to show for it.
Fret no longer. Thanks to advances in technology, you don’t have to make a sartorial sacrifice anymore. Some of the best high-end online shopping sites now offer handy dandy mobile phone apps that allow to you buy that lovely Tory Burch skirt from the comforts of your car (parked, please), at soccer practice or even in line at the grocery store.
Here are some of my faves – and they’re all free.
Known for its vast inventory and coveted luxury labels at up to 70 percent off retail, Gilt’s app lets you view styles and browse current sale offerings, as well as preview future sales. Most sales only last for 36 hours, so I love the fact that you can set an alarm on your phone to
remind you when they’re starting. You need an invitation link to join, or here, use ours. Then you’ll get your own to forward to friends; 10 new members gets you free shipping on your next order.
Rue La La
Rue La La, another invitation-only site (again, use our invite link if you’d like) boasts premier brands and amazing private sales, along with much lauded customer service and easy returns. Once you’re in, you can use the app to pounce on some Prada from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry and/or Android-based device or shop the different boutiques. There are even tropical island getaways up for grabs. A few kid-free days in paradise, with sun, surf and drinks with umbrellas? Dare to dream…
Net-a-Porter offers gorgeous very high-end (translation: cha-ching) clothes, accessories and shoes. The app also features pages from its eponymous magazine, along with video clips of models strutting their stuff. In
addition to purchasing directly from your smart phone, you can share product suggestions with your inner circle of fashion consultants (i.e. girlfriends) and put items on a wish list to tell Santa about. The app is available from iTunes and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
If you’re looking for a broader range of shopping options and want to peruse a huge virtual mall without the crowds and parking hassles,
Shopstyle offers more than 2,000 fashion, beauty and home brands on its app. Brands ranging from higher-end House of Fraser to more mainstream Ann Taylor are included, as are kid, men and home brands. A search for boots alone turns up more than 25,000 options.Whoa! It’s a bonanza of shopping options at your fingertips and you’ll never need to hit a shopping mall again. Available on iTunes.
HauteLook offers deep discounts of up to 75% off high-end brands for women, beauty, living, kids and more. The mobile app lets you browse current sales (which last for 48 hours) and search for products by size, price color, etc. As with Rue La La, every time you tell a friend about an event and said friend makes a purchase, you score a $10 credit in your account. Repeat with a handful of additional friends and you can get yourself something special. HauteLook is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users and is available on iTunes. Our membership link if you’d like to join.