From the best site for designer look-alikes to the award for the selection that’ll make you want to get a Kickstarter fund going for your wardrobe, we’ve ranked our favorite sites to drain your bank account—or just do some digital drooling.
Best for Vintage: Nasty Gal
This super-addicting site is perfect for ladies who love vintage clothes but don’t love digging through mothball-scented racks or fighting over a find with a hipster who just downloaded Mackelmore’s Thrift Shop.Nasty Gal does the dirty work for you, featuring loads of one-of-a-kind scores with detailed info about the condition and sizing and pictures of models wearing the garments so that you can actually see what that hippie skirt will look like. Besides perfectly-curated vintage, Nasty Gal has an awesome collection of edgy pieces by outside designers like Jeffrey Campbell, and recently launched a proprietary collection with lookbooks shot by Terry Richardson. With their mostly affordable pricing, there’s nothing nasty about it.
Best "I Can't Believe It's Not Designer": ModCloth
Dying to wear that Bottega Venetta dress that Amanda Seyfried wore to the National Board of Review gala? ModCloth’s got an almost identical version for a price that doesn’t require you to be an Academy Award-nominated actress—and the same goes for just about any dress you could want. But ModCloth’s not just about oodles (and we mean oodles) of pretty party dresses that look like they cost more than $50—they’re seriously on top of trends, churning out simple, extremely affordable pieces in a generous range of sizes as fast as they come. There’s even a fun voting feature that allows you to play buyer and ‘pick’ or ‘skip’ looks that are in development, or even comment about something about the garment you’d like to change. As for the site—and the charming puns it uses to name all of its products—we wouldn’t change a thing.
Best Fashion Aggregator: Popsugar Shopping
If you’re not into doing a whole lot of Googling and scrolling to find what you want, look no further than Popsugar Shopping. Formerly known as ShopStyle, Popsugar's shopping section works a lot like our other favorite fashion aggregator, Polyvore.com—the site allows you to see results from tons of other shopping sites based on a specific search (it’s fun to see just how specific you can get—there are ‘coral metallic socks’ for sale somewhere on the internet!). You can make browsing even easier by narrowing results down by color family, brand and price. Though we love how Polyvore users can create Pinterest-style mood boards featuring their favorite products, ultimately, Popsugar Shopping beat it out because of the fact that the site lets you see how many of each size are left before you fall in love with something, saving you serious online shopping time (so that you have more time to shop online, of course).
Best Site Your Mom Also Uses: Zappos
Good old Zappos. You just can’t beat their selection of zillions of shoes—not to mention homeware, accessories, beauty and clothes. With never-ending free shipping and returns, plus all-night customer service (because when are you really doing your online shopping? Not from 9 to 5 EST), this site makes it pretty easy to keep repeating to yourself, "If the shoe fits…"
Most Drool-Inducing Selection: farfetch
Farfetch.com’s idea of slashed prices may be a discount on a Mary Katrantzou dress from $7,688 to $3,844, but it’s not so heartbreaking if you surf there knowing there’s no chance you’re going to buy anything. The designers are luxe, the prices are outrageous and the clothes are so on-trend that it sometimes feels like you’re looking at a website from the future, but hey, a girl’s gotta dream.
Best Site for the Non-Committal: Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway, dubbed “the Netflix of online fashion,” allows you to rent your dream designer dress for that one special night—and then return it, no questions asked. (Well, if you’re like me and are bound to spill a little champagne, they might ask some questions.) Users upload pictures of themselves wearing their rented looks out, and besides being extremely refreshing to see normal people wearing killer clothes, the feature helps you to get a better idea of how these fantastic dresses will look IRL.
Best All-Around Shopping Destination: ASOS
With shipping costs, deceptive models who make everything look so effortlessly cool that you forget what trying on clothes in-store can be like, and the ease of purchasing something with a simple click, shopping online can be a bit daunting. But tFS writers and online shoppers in-the-know just can’t stop gushing about ASOS. The UK-based fashion emporium carries over 40,000 styles of hard-to-find and in-house brands. They have constant jaw-dropping sales and each piece comes with a quick runway video to show you how it moves from every angle. Best of all, ASOS takes the risk out of buying something like swimwear on the internet with its free, lickety-split shipping and returns, making online shopping palatable for even the pickiest of customers.
Ellen Freeman has been contributing to the Fashion Spot since 2010. Since graduating with a degree in comparative literature from Haverford College, her celebrity fashion, wellness, arts and travel writing has appeared in publications including the Matador Network and Philadelphia Weekly. Also a certified yoga instructor, Ellen currently lives in the Japanese countryside—but misses thrift store spelunking in her hometown of Portland, Oregon.