Shopping Guide

For whatever reason, my friends always ask me things like “what’s a good website for cute stuff” or “where should I go to find a dress for my birthday.” I guess the reason they always come to me is because I have a pretty serious obsession with shopping. While I’m being honest with myself, I must admit I have far too many clothes and a ridiculous amount of shoes. That being said, people that know me assume I know where to go to get certain things and that I’ll always have an answer. It’s not even that I buy something every time I go into a store or on a website- it’s more that I just find it fun to look and compare and I don’t exactly have an explanation as to why- it’s simply an interest of mine. Kind of like how boys take part in Fantasy Football, while makes abosolutely no sense to me but I guess they wouldn’t understand why girls turn into rabid dogs over LF’s summer sale.

Anyway, I decided to put together a list of my favorite shopping websites and a list of my favorite stores in the areas that I’ve lived. I can’t wait to do some “research” for the making of my Hoboken list 🙂

Shopping Online:

1.– This site is very similar to Pintrest, but weeds out everything you can’t purchase such as DIY’s and all of those fitness inspiration pictures, which are only in existence to make us all feel really, really fat. You have to make an account, which is free. Vendors as big as Urban Outfitters and as small as independent artists can showcase their most popular products. You can see which products are trending at the moment, the most popular of the week, and the most popular of all time. You can follow friends, your favorite stores, and add your favorite things to a wish list (much like “pinning” it to a board).

2.– Piperlime is an online-based retail company, with it’s first store opening in NYC this Fall. It is a partner of The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athelta. Piperlime isn’t a brand itself, but rather carries over 250 brands of footwear from Steve Madden to DVF. It also has a section called Editor’s Picks, which feature Rachel Zoe, Rachel Bilson, and Olivia Palermo’s favorite things on the site.

3.– Shopbob is your typical shopping website for higher scale clothing, shoes, and accessories. They have seriously millions of brands and cute things.

4.– This site is a cheap alternative to something like an Urban Outfitters, except for the fact you have to create an account in order to shop. They have various brands, many of which I have never heard of and they also have their own Tobi brand. The clothing and accessories are cheap in price and quality- but it’s a perfect site to try out trends and build unique outfits.  I wanted to try a look I saw in a magazine- long, over-sized pants- so I got a pair on Tobi, wore them to dinner and came to the conclusion I liked them, but probably would only wear them a few times a year so I was happy that I only spent $25 on them.

5.– The Out Net is a less expensive version of its sister site of Net-A-Poter, a high-end e-tailer. It claims to be “the world’s most fashionable fashion outlet devoted to selling discounted designer womenswear and accessories.” Although it can still be expensive, it has a better selection and better discounts than many sites of its kind.

Shopping In/Around Belmar, NJ:

1. Lightly Salted, Asbury Park- This store is super small but has some really unique things. They carry some surf-style brands such as Insight, RVCA, and Patagonia but they normally only carry one of each size. Even though they don’t have much, I always walk out with a unique something-or-other.

2. Waterlily, Spring Lake and Manansquan- I’m a bit bias because I used to work here but Waterlily is awesome. The owners have the most impeccable taste and they handpick what gets put in the stores themselves. The Spring Lake Store is a bit more high end and preppy with brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Calypso, and Hudson and Citizens Jeans, while the Manasquan location has more brands like BB Dakota, Blank Jeans, and Free People.

3. Brave New World, Point Pleasant- Brave is my favorite store in the world. It is HUGE, has the best selection of clothes and suits, and has the best sale ever at the end of the summer. They carry everything from French Connection to Quicksilver to Free People to RVCA, and they carry bathing suit brands like Marc Jacobs and Roxy and everything in between. The midnight madness sale comes once a year at the end of the summer and is pretty epic. At midnight on a random weekday they’ll put all of the Summer and Fall things on sale for 50% off… the place is a mad house. There is a little secret that not many people know about, though- you can buy a pre-shopping pass for $40 and shop the 50% sale a few days before midnight, which is totally worth it.

4. Dor L’ Dor, Red Bank- I have only been the the Red Bank location, but there are 7 others including one in Hoboken and one in NYC. This store has unique clothing and accessories that you won’t find anywhere else because the brands are pretty random, which is a good thing in this case. It’s affordable and has some good staple pieces for your wardrobe and some great things for work.

Shopping In/Around Blue Bell, PA:

1. Free Shop, Ambler- Again, I’m bias because I used to work here but I really do believe Free Shop is the best woman’s clothing store in the area. It’s a great place to go if you need to put together a whole outfit for a night out or a dressier event- the owner is really helpful with putting outfits together that are unique and fun. The prices can get a little high, but the quality of everything they sell is really good- I still have (and wear) so much of the stuff that I bought all the way back in high school. They carry brands like Joe’s Jeans, Vintage Havana, Joie, and Free People.

2. Bowties, Spring House- Bowties is very expensive, but I had to add it because everything they have is to-die-for. They carry the most beautiful clothes, accessories, and small home goods. I’ve gotten one or two things from there with Birthday money, but I usually go to just look around and see what I like- then go try to find something similar and cheaper somewhere else.

3. The Shoe Bar, Lafayette Hill- Small shoe store that you’d never think had good shoes from the outside appearance. They have good discounts on Steve Maddens and some other various brands.


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