Campus chic

Tiffany Barth, a frequent online shopper, wears a brightly colored scarf. (credit: Courtesy oh Hanah Ho) Tiffany Barth, a frequent online shopper, wears a brightly colored scarf. (credit: Courtesy oh Hanah Ho)

As the saying, “time is gold,” goes, people want to use time as efficiently as possible, and being students at Carnegie Mellon, we are no exception. Among the many advantages that the Internet gives us, one of the most important ones is online shopping — one of the best ways to save time. The Internet is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. Tiffany Barth, a senior chemical engineering major, commented on the facility. “Time is the main reason I shop online; I have no time to actually go out shopping,” she said. Here are some websites where you can get some fashionable pieces.

Based in New York City, Bluefly offers a wide variety of items, ranging from clothes to jewelry. This site often features designers such as Marc Jacobs and Diane von Fürstenberg at discount prices. Due to the site’s wide selection of items, it might be easier if you have a specific item in mind before you shop.

At this website, customers are able to shop by brand, trend, exclusives, and even discount (30, 50, or 70 percent off). This nine-year-old site features hip finds from the likes of Anna Sui and Alexander Wang. Keep an eye out for the sale season, because they offer good deals on designer clothing. Another incentive for shopping at Shopbop.com is that it provides free ground shipping anywhere in the United States, so it doesn’t cost you that extra money.

Established in 1999, Zappos specializes in footwear. In addition to this, it offers clothing and bags for sale. Zappos offers free shipping, a 365-day return policy, and 24/7 customer service. If you don’t like the product, it is really easy to return or exchange it.

You’ve probably heard about this famous London-based brand that just recently opened a store in SoHo. However, you don’t have to go to New York to get Topshop’s fashionable clothes. The website carries hip and chic pieces that get shipped right to your doorstep. Look out for trendy jackets and sweaters for this fall — you can definitely add a European touch to your wardrobe.

Modcloth is based in Pittsburgh and was established in 2001 by Susan and Eric Kroger, recent Carnegie Mellon graduates. Modcloth offers a good deal on vintage clothing and also has dresses that are very fashionable — either retro-chic or floaty, ethereal, Bohemian sheers. Many of the pieces are available for under $100. The store also offers hip accessories.
While online shopping is a big time saver, there are some shared concerns about it. Because you cannot try on the clothes, you can never actually know how they are going look on you. Esra Aras and Yasemin Silahtaroglu, first-year architecture majors, commented that they never know what size to order. So here are few tips about shopping online.

Check the shipping and return policy
Always check the return policy before you purchase an item. Since you cannot try it on until it actually arrives, it is safer to have a flexible return policy. This way, you can return or exchange the item if you don’t like it.

Read the buyers’ reviews
Reading other buyers’ comments can give you a good sense about the quality of the product. It can tell you a lot about sizes, too: if the product runs true to its size or a bigger one. However, be careful if there are only a few reviews, because it can give you a biased view toward the product.

Save the shipping fee
Often, online stores will offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money on their products. If you are only planning to buy one product, however, and the shipping fee is expensive, consider asking other friends who are interested in buying products from the same website to purchase things together.