Sunday, August 7, 2011

After YEARS of Online Shopping, I Present to You...the Inaugural Review

So. Anyone who knows me would know that I'm completely comfortable with online shopping. Been doing it for more than 10yrs. What I've never done is reviewed stuff that I've bought. It's always been a private bitching/raving session with my nearest and dearest and that's it. But now I have a perfect excuse to post my ugly mug online.

The site at the heart of this review is Ministry of Retail. They have something called "Be an Ambassador" and what this basically means is that they get word of mouth publicity, clothes modelled by real women, other shoppers get an idea of how a piece of clothing or accessory will look in real life without professional photography and lighting, while the real woman gets a 10% discount off the next purchase. Do I sound cynical? No no. I'm not. I completely understand the cut-throat competitive retail industry made worse by global and virtual economy. And anything that helps me make that tempting article of clothing become a reality in my wardrobe is always a good thing. My cynicism is related to something else that will be fleshed out (ha!) in another post. This post is strictly about the Lady Audrey Dress that I bought in 2 colours (does that mean I get two 10% vouchers? hmmm).

Shopping on the site is easy. Like most sites, you click on a link, it takes you to the page of interest, if there are options for an item, they appear in a drop-down menu. And if you want to add the item to your cart, just click on the "Add to Cart"icon at the top right-hand corner. They offer free returns/exchanges (within reason, of course) and will ship to anywhere in the world that SingPost covers. What is interesting (for me, anyway), is the delivery system. After you've ordered your desired pieces, it will take 14 business days from the day they process your order (i.e. after you've paid) before they ship out the clothes. So depending on where in the world you are, it could take 3 to 6 weeks from the day you order to the day you receive the package. It's all stated on the site...if you're in a hurry for an outfit, don't order from them...or order well in advance. 'Cos even if you're living in SG, it will take at least 14 working days before you are able to go " prettttyyy" (to the item you ordered. not to Ministry of Retail. hello. seriously). So anyway, it took just over 3 weeks for my order to be delivered to me in Australia.

The Lady Audrey Dress comes in Apricot and Black. Don't ask me why they called it Apricot when it's really a muted beige. Maybe it just sounds better...even though it's completely off the mark. Apricot. Anyone seen an Apricot fruit before? Even the dried ones don't have the colour of the Lady Audrey dress. But I digress.

Apricot and Black. Yes. The 2 staple colours any woman should be happy to have in her professional wardrobe. Why? 'Cos they are functional, inoffensive, and lets you demonstrate your brain instead of competing for attention. Navy, White/Cream/Apricot(!!), Black and Red are 4 colours that should always occupy some space in a woman's closet.

    Apricot                                                        Black

The dresses come as you see in the photos. One piece. Long sleeved with 3 non-functional buttons on each cuff. Slight pleating at each side of the dress. Sans any other adornment.

I got size L, which at 88cm (34.6") long falls at knee-length for me (perfect!!), although the sleeves might need shortening 'cos I've got shorter arms. The webpage for the dress states all the necessary measurements for each size, so I won't go into detail. Overall, a rather corporate-evironment appropriate attire (assuming you are around my height of 152cm i.e. 5ft). The material is made up of 65% Cotton and 35% Polyester, and is actually quite thick. It's not lined, but given the thickness of the cloth, it doesn't really need lining. The Apricot is not sheer at all, so don't worry about bright lights.

I like the dress. It's simple, feminine (yes. I did use that word), and you can accessorise however you want. Thin belt, thick belt, chain belt, brooch, opera-length necklace, blazer with statement buttons, or just wear it as it is. If you are no taller than 155cm (5ft 1"), this will be a great work dress. If you are blessed with height, you should check your company's dress guide to see if this is appropriate.

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