One of the questions that readers e-mail me on a regular basis is whether or not the online discount sites are actually good deals.
The first answer, of course, is that it depends on the retailer. One of the ones who has become a staple in my wardrobe building is .
The site seems to consistently deliver top-notch designers at reasonable prices and with a good selection of in-season selections with a decent range of sizes. For instance, the site currently has sales from Ben Sherman, socks from Unsimply Stitched and Star USA by John Varvatos, with sales from PUMA, Joseph Abboud and J. Campbell coming online in the next 24 hours.
In addition to their brand-specific sales, Hautelook consistently offers multi-brand sales when it comes to watches, shoes, and themed sales geared towards business apparel, weekend apparel and similar themes.
Now there are some caveats to online shopping. The biggest is making sure the sale has a return policy. If you're not 100% familiar with the cut and style of the clothing, you'll want to make sure that you can return your purchase. There's nothing worse than buying a stylish shirt, pair of pants or pair of shoes than to get them and find out that they are too big, too baggy or cut in that slightly too-fashionable slim cut that hugs you tighter than your aunt at the holidays. Fortunately, Hautelook has a good return policy, taking back the bulk of the products they sell within 21 days of ship date.
The second caveat is to be patient - you'll likely come across a number of sales that don't have anything to offer you. You'll probably delete a number of e-mails or look at a number of listings without making a purchase. The trick is to know what you're looking for and then pounce on it as soon as you see it.
There are lots of good online shopping sites, and many of them will be reviewed here in the coming weeks. But if there's one worth signing up for right now, it's Hautelook.