Luxury shopping – should you buy in store or online?

Louis Vuitton store London

The luxury market is booming and has continued to grow over the last decade. Social media and celebrities have been two major factors in keeping our attention on the big name luxury brands and keeping everyone interested in buying the latest fashion pieces.

With most brands, the trend has been that the majority of shopping is done online and fashion retailers such as Asos, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided have taken the lead with this, becoming huge giants in the industry. On the flip side of this though, it has been affecting the sales on the high street and we are losing a lot of stores. This isn’t the same for the luxury market though as there are a lot of positive points for shopping for luxury goods online as well as in store.

The Online shopping experience

In 2017, luxury e-commerce grew by 23% which is more than three times faster than total luxury retail growth. Net-a-Porter were one of the first to bring global luxury fashion house products all together online. The online shopping experience that you get with them is fabulous, from the beautifully packaged parcels that they send you, to the extra special services they have such as delivery within the same day in London. Since the success of Net-a-Porter, there are now a lot of other similar websites such as FarFetch, Matches Fashion and My Theresa to name a few.

Luxury brands themselves though were pretty slow when it came to getting into e-commerce – Chanel being a good example of this. Perhaps they didn’t expect online shopping to become as huge as it has or perhaps they were not too bothered until they realised that every brand was moving into the digital world.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Savvy online spending

75% of luxury shoppers research online before they make their purchase which is a huge figure, however 72% of shoppers say that they actually prefer to purchase in store. This does not surprise me and I feel exactly the same way. If your going to spend a large amount of money on something you want to feel the product first, check that it fits and get an overall feel for what you are buying. A lot of shoppers are now doing this the other way around though, by trying the item in store first, and then buying it online using discount codes. Luisaviaroma are the best at offering discount codes and flash sales and are perfect for savvy shoppers that want to save themselves some coins.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods online

  1. Using discount codes to get money off and for cheaper than the price you would pay in store.
  2. Some people feel uncomfortable shopping in designer stores which can have a reputation of being snooty with unhelpful shop assistants.
  3. It is a quick and easy process, with often same day delivery and a good returns policy. Some designer boutiques will not allow refunds, but give you in-store credit only.
  4. You can browse a selection of designer brands all under the one online destination.
  5. You can search for the same item over various online stores to find the best deal and again, often cheaper than in the boutiques,

The in-store shopping experience

For me, shopping in an actual boutique is a much more exciting experience than shopping online. Consumers want to feel special and be offered a good quality customer experience when they are buying luxury items. In stores like Louis Vuitton, Dior etc there is often a queuing system where you have to wait to be served by one of the sales assistants. This can take quite a long time which is the downside of this. However with the majority of these brands, you need to build a relationship with an SA (sales assistant) and they will help you when it comes to reserving the latest pieces from the new collections. Hermes is one of those brands where this is crucial. If you ever want to purchase a Birkin bag, you will only ever have the chance if you are a known regular shopper with a solid relationship with an SA.

Saint Laurent handbag

Beautiful surroundings

Luxury stores know that we are living in a digital world now but they still want us to go into the stores. They know the importance of looking fabulous and are creating insta-worthy spaces to inspire people and encourage new visitors into the store. This is great advertising for them as images are posted onto social media and it gets everyone excited about going to visit the store. The Alexander McQueen store on London’s Bond Street is like an art museum with a huge egg in the doorway like something out of a Lady Gaga music video, as well as having the windows covered with nets holding bejewelled beetles. Louis Vuitton have just opened their newly refurbished store and it is also incredible – which was to be expected. And look at the Dior flagship store in Paris – the displays they put on the front of the building are so beautiful and worth the visit to see them.

Dior store Paris

Dior store Lady Dior bag

Dior store Paris

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods in-store

  1. You get to experience the overall feel for the brand so much more in-store.
  2. For the first class customer service and experience
  3. Being able to build a relationship with an SA so that you have a point of contact within the brand and they can help you to source items before anyone else – especially those extra special items that are hard to track down or sold out.
  4. Your purchase will be wrapped in their branded box, tissue paper and carrier bag which will be beneficial if you are a collector or if you plan to sell the item in the future.
  5. Being able to try on the clothing, to check the fit and feel of the products you are buying so you can be 100% sure that you are happy with it.

Saint Laurent packaging

Saint Laurent packaging

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. How do you prefer to buy luxury goods?

What was the last thing you bought?

I would love to know your thoughts so leave a comment below.

Trend Report: Mini handbags

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

Mini handbags are having a major moment. They are all over Instagram, were spotted being worn at the recent fashion weeks, as well as making numerous appearances on the red carpet. In a world where mobile phones are turning into the size of laptops, and sneakers are getting chunkier by the day, I wonder, what is it about these teeny tiny handbags that is getting everyone excited, and is it worth spending the money on something that doesn’t actually have enough space to carry anything?

The Jacquemus effect

French designer brand Jacquemus were responsible for bringing this trend back and in a big way. Simon Port, the designer behind the brand is known for his use of bold bright colours and structured simple silhouettes. Jacquemus had every model carrying a mini bag for their AW18 show, which led to his bags being spotted on celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Rihanna.

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

The Le Chiquito bag was then introduced which was even smaller. These mini bags can be worn across the body as well as with the top handle feature. At just over 4 inches wide though, the £450 price tag is a little eye watering. This particular style is consistently selling out and has everyone trying to get their hands on one. These have become THE stand out piece that you will instantly recognise as Jacquemus and have really elevated the brand into the accessories spot light.

Jacquemus mini bags

Jacquemus mini bags

image @ Jacquemus Instagram

Mini bag mania

We are starting to see other brands incorporating similar mini items into their range. Chanel have bought out a classic flap handbag which has a mini coin purse attached, as well as a waist bag with 2 mini purses which are just gorgeous. Louis Vuitton have their own version with the latest ‘muli pochette’ bag which is a body bag with a detachable round coin purse.

Chanel Flap Bag & Coin PurseChanel Waist Bag & Coin Purse

Although mini bags are not entirely practical, they are a cute addition to an outfit, and perhaps it’s a good way to stop yourself from carrying around everything including the kitchen sink. Just a bank card, your keys (possibly your phone but unlikely) and you’re good to go! Carrying large heavy handbags is really bad for the posture after all.

I can definitely see why celebrities are loving this trend as they will have a team of people in the background carrying the real items that they need on a daily basis.

Mini handbag Edit

Here are a few of my favourite mini handbags available at the moment.

Chanel Clutch With Chain
Chanel Clutch With Chain
JACQUEMUS Le Chiquito Micro leather tote @ MyTheresa
JACQUEMUS Le Petit Chiquito leather tote @ MyTheresa
JACQUEMUS Le Bello leather belt bag @ MyTheresa
ASOS DESIGN micro grab bag with curved flap and detachable strap
GUCCIBroadway crystal-embellished elaphe tote
JACQUEMUSLe Porte leather pouch @ Netaporter
And Other Stories Beaded Handle Mini Leather Bag
Boohoo Faux Snake Mini Lock Grab Bag
Zara 2-PACK OF MINI NEON BAGS
Zara Animal print mini crossbody bag with scarf
Topshop – CINDY Lime Mini Cross Body Bag
Miss Guided diamante buckle mini bag
Topshop Half Moon Mini Grab Bag
Topshop Cow Print Grab Mini Bag

Personally, I do like a small handbag but feel that the mini styles are a bit of a step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes with designer items, it seems that the smaller the item, the higher the price becomes and I would rather invest in a classic designer handbag that I know I will get a lot of use out of for seasons to come. I don’t like carrying a load of stuff around with me but I at least expect my bag to hold everything that I do need for every day use!

What do you think of the mini handbag trend?

Are you loving them or do you think they are a bit of a pointless fashion trend?

Leave me a comment below xx

Femme Luxe: October Edit

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Today’s blog post is another clothing haul from Femme Luxe who I have worked with in the past. I had so many messages when my previous review was posted (HERE,) telling me how much you loved all of the pieces. So, here is another Femme Luxe styling report! I can’t wait to show you the items that I picked out and how I would style them into each outfit.

Loungewear – Maria black tracksuit

Loungewear is an absolute must have in your wardrobe and it’s what you will find me wearing most of the time, especially when I’m travelling or at home. I’m always looking for new tracksuits or loungewear sets and usually feel that you need to invest in better quality pieces, at a higher price point, that you will get a lot of wear out of. So I wanted to test out this loungewear set from Femme Luxe and I was really pleasantly surprised with how soft the fabric is! I chose a classic black set and this is a really easy outfit to style with sneakers or sliders in the warmer months. This would also look great with some perspex heels for a more dressed up look.

This particular loungeset is the ‘Maria’ and I’m going to have to pick it up in some of the other colours as I really like this set. It’s available in black, grey, wine, khaki, and beige and is priced at £27.98 which is so affordable.

Femme Luxe have some great loungewear sets HERE in a variety of colours, textures and patterns so you have a decent selection to choose from.

Cargo Pants – Sunny

I’ve worn cargo pants in the past but they never looked quite right on me but I was excited to try these as I liked the fact that they were high waisted and a slim fit. And the result? I just LOVE these trousers!! They are really flattering and the fit is beautiful. They also have a nice stretch to them which I appreciate. I really like the elastic cuffed ankles as they taper the leg and finish off the silhouette perfectly. You can style these with a simple t-shirt or a fine knit jumper with trainers, or you could pair them with ankle boots for a more urban chic style.

Femme Luxe Cargo pants

These are the Sunny Cargo pants in Khaki green and they are available in a couple of camo print options as well as a stone or black colourway.

Femme Luxe also have a fabulous selection of trousers HERE – especially their denim range. I tried a pair of their jeans in my previous blog post which I was really impressed with, so I definitely recommend checking out their denim pieces.

Pink ruffle mesh bodysuit – Ciara

I have a thing for ruffle details on clothes. They are so pretty and add a lovely feminine touch to an outfit. So when I saw this Ciara bodysuit I had to try it. I have styled this with black jeans, a Gucci belt and a fedora hat which is perfect for the Autumn season. You could wear this body with light denim mom jeans or for a more evening look you could pair it with some cigarette trousers. This is a cute, fun piece to add to your wardrobe and mesh material is so on trend at the moment. I went for the size 10/12 and just to let you all know that this is also available in a white colour option.

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Black polka dot, fishnet sleeve shirt – Iona

The final piece that I chose is this cute polka dot shirt. Another mesh piece and something smart to wear to the office but can also take you through to an evening out afterwards which I love. The mesh is soft on the skin which I was happy about as sometimes mesh fabrics can be slightly scratchy and uncomfortable. I’ve styled this with jeans, biker boots and a vintage Dior handbag. I think this will also look gorgeous with leather trousers or tucked into a skirt with tights – especially for the Autumn season.

It’s available in both black and white HERE and I went for the UK size 10.

Femme Luxe mesh polka dot shirt

Femme Luxe mesh polka dot shirt

Overall verdict

Femme Luxe are becoming one of my favourite online clothing stores as they have some really gorgeous pieces at affordable prices. I think from this selection that I tried, the cargo pants were the overall winners for me and I will be wearing these a lot throughout this Autumn as there are a few different ways I have in mind to style them. Follow me over on my Instagram page for my fashion related posts.

There are a lot of options to choose from on the Femme Luxe website whether you are looking for an every day outfit, to something for a night out. As I mentioned before in my previous post, they are adding new pieces to their website regularly so it’s worth keeping an eye out for new items that are uploaded.

What was your favourite item from this selection?

Have you purchased anything from Femme Luxe recently?

Shoe heaven – colour customisation by Rainbow Club

Rainbow Club heels

As a footwear fanatic, you can imagine my excitement when Rainbow Club reached out to me to tell me about their bespoke colour matching service!! I’m really excited to share this blog post with you all.

Have you ever found the most perfect pair of shoes but the colour of them wasn’t exactly what you were looking for? It can be so annoying when you have an outfit that you want to wear for an event or a night out and you can’t seem to find the ultimate matching pair of heels to go with it. Customisation or bespoke services are not something that you’ll find easily on the high street, unless it comes with a premium price attached, and so whatever is available in the store at the time is kind of your only option. That is, until I discovered Rainbow Club and what they offer.

Rainbow Club customisation..

Rainbow Club heels

Rainbow Club have a selection of different heel silhouettes to choose from and they offer a dyeing service in a variety of colours. If you have a specific shade in mind, you can send them a swatch for them to colour match or you could even send them a Pantone colour reference and they can dye your chosen heels to that exact shade. Footwear magic.

This would be a perfect idea for weddings if you have a particular colour theme planned, or you would like all of your Bridesmaids to have heels to match the colour of their dresses.

Your chosen shade is hand mixed by one of their colour experts and they work on getting the exact match for you. They then apply the dye by hand and then leave them to dry naturally before they are inspected and packed up ready to be sent back to you. They also apply a protection spray before they are sent to you to make sure the heels are kept in beautiful condition.

Choosing my heels

I couldn’t wait to get started and to choose my pair of heels and there are 41 options available in a variety of heel heights. There are open toed strappy styles, courts, peep toes, Mary Jane heels and even a couple of flat pump options. Some styles have sparkly trims or embellishments and there is also a pretty lace pair available. Rainbow Club also cater for wider fits so they literally have everyone covered. After looking through all of the options, I chose a Mary Jane style called Hana – well I just had to go for this pair really didn’t I! Priced at £79, this is how Rainbow Club describes the heels that I chose:

Crafted from beautiful ivory satin, these retro-inspired bridal shoes feature a softly-pointed toe, a sexy stiletto heel and are finished with a delicate strap and stylish silver buckle. Vintage inspired but with a contemporary touch, brides looking for height and glamour will love these simple but chic wedding shoes.

I really liked the classic style of these and knew that they would go perfectly with dresses just as much as a pair of jeans or with some smart trousers. Plus they reminded me of that Sex in the City episode when Carrie finds her perfect pair of Mary Jane Manolos.

After choosing the style, Rainbow Club very kindly sent me a pair to try on before they dyed them just to check that I was happy with the fit. The next part of the process was to choose the colour of my new heels. As they are satin, I didn’t want anything too pale in colour. I think satin always looks so gorgeous in bright, bold colours.

Rainbow Club heels

I had a look through my wardrobe to see what shoes I already have – which took a while I have to admit! I was tempted to ask for the Pantone colour of 2019 which is a gorgeous coral colour but I finally decided on an acid yellow shade. The exact colour reference is 600 if you love them as much as I do and want to order yourself a pair too!

The verdict

A few days later, my newly dyed heels arrived in the post and I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out – and they are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! You can’t tell that they had been dyed since the last time that I tried them on when they were a blank canvas ivory satin. There were no dye marks or any imperfections and I’m seriously impressed with the zesty acid yellow shade. It was the exact colour that I wanted. The heels are lined with padding to make them more comfortable to wear which is great, especially if you are wearing them to an event where you will be on your feet for a long period of time.

Rainbow Club heels

Before…the blank canvas

Rainbow Club heels

After…the final dyed pair

Rainbow Club heels

Another really sweet little touch to mention about these heels is that on the sole, there is a little blue crystal within the Rainbow Club logo. This is just perfect for brides looking for ‘something blue’ to add to their wedding.

Rainbow Club heels

Additional Items

Rainbow Club also offer a selection of evening bags which can be colour customised to match your heels, as well as some stunning embellishment clips that you can add to your heels, to make them even more bespoke and individual to you.

For the quality and service, I have to say this is excellent value for money and a really exciting treat to be able to create your own bespoke footwear. I will definitely be ordering more pairs and I’ll be adding some of these pretty additional details as they can really add a little something extra. I just LOVE this. 

Head over to the Rainbow Club website HERE to view their full collection and enjoy customising the perfect pair of heels for yourself! Let me know what you choose, I would love to see your heels!

Here is how I have styled my new heels with an acid wash pair of mom jeans. Dressed down denim paired with these heels are just the perfect combination:

Rainbow Club heels

Rainbow Club heels

Rainbow Club heels

Although these heels were kindly gifted to me by Rainbow Club, all thoughts and opinions are as always completely my own.

What Rainbow Club style do you like the most?

What colour would you choose and why?

Let’s talk shoes! Leave me a comment below xx

Breakfast at the Fendi Cafe, Harrods

Fendi Cafe Harrods

Fendi is one of my all time favourite designer brands, so as soon as I heard that Harrods were hosting a pop up Fendi cafe for the Summer I couldn’t wait to visit! Located on the 5th Floor of the famous department store is the brand new cafe which is fashionista heaven.

A couple of weeks ago I went to try out the new cafe and luckily chose a good time to go as when I as leaving there were queues to get inside. I believe the queues can be up to an hour long so plan your visit in advance if you want to go to avoid waiting in line for eternity.

Fendi Harrods Taxis

image @ Pinterest

Fendi Cafe Harrods

Fendi Fabulous

The cafe itself is a contemporary, monochrome design with the Fendi logo everywhere you turn and it was designed by artist Joshua Vides. We were shown to our table and presented with the menu – which of course was also covered in FF logos.

There were quite a few delicious choices from breakfasts to full Italian style cuisine such as antipasti, insalate (the beef carpaccio is a house special) and mains of lasagne, aubergine parmagiana and more. As it was still early for me, I went for the breakfast pastries. The coffees are also decorated with Fendi logos and they are presented with an adorable logo biscuit. It is an Instagrammers dream!

Fendi Cafe Harrods

image @ Pinterest

Fendi Cafe Harrods

Fendi Cafe Harrods

Fendi Cafe Harrods

Peekaboo bag customisation

At the till, there were some fabulous cakes which were replicas of the Fendi Peeakboo handbags that looked exactly like the real thing.

In July, there was a pop-up Fendi Peekaboo bar, allowing shoppers to fully customise their own Mini Peekaboo bags. Customers were able to mix and match the body, handle and straps, to create their own unique style. There were over 20 different options for the body of the bag, 25 variations of handles and a further seven strap possibilities.

Fendi Harrods Peekaboo

image @ Pinterest

The cafe is likely to be seen all over your Instagram feeds throughout the summer, from the branded walls, tables, menus, plates and crockery. But if you want to visit, it will only be open at Harrods until 31st August.

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